Raspberry leaf is one of the very first herbs I got to know very well. You see, I first got into herbalism and holistic health because of several chronic health conditions the doctors just didn’t know how to fix. Two of these problems were reproductive issues—polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis. The doctors said I was infertile and would probably never have children without intense medical intervention, and still would probably fail. I was 21 and engaged at the time.
I thought there had to be another way, aside from chronic pelvic pain, surgeries, and a lot of drugs for the rest of my life. I was pre-med in college and decided to do my own research to heal myself. I discovered real foods, and nourishing herbal infusions. These were the gateways to health for me. I learned a lot about common, basic remedies that might help give my body the nutrients it needs to heal itself, and one of the plants that I used a lot of was red raspberry leaf.
Red raspberry leaf is just one medicinal part of the Rubus idaeus plant; the fruit and roots are also useful parts of this nutritional powerhouse. Red raspberry leaf tea tastes a lot like black tea. It is astringent, highly nutritious, and tonifying to the reproductive organs and digestive system, which are two weak points for me. I focused on improving my nutrient intake, which was a great idea, because, although I didn’t know it at the time, I have celiac disease and a MTHFR gene deletion which both make it difficult for me to absorb nutrients. The nutrients and improved real, whole-foods diet were what I needed to heal. I now have two beautiful children. I owe a large part of this to red raspberry leaf infusion.
You will notice this issue is a bit long, and that is because there is just so much to say about this amazing and abundant plant. It is easy to grow, easy to find in the wild (as long as you don’t live in the desert or arid plains), and very abundant. Abundant plants are often there for a reason, and that is because they want to be used. They want to be a part of the ecosystem, which includes us humans. We will talk about the leaf primarily, but we will also discuss the nutritional benefits of the fruit, and the medicinal uses of the root. This is one plant that should not be underestimated because of its gentleness. It is a great healer, abundant, and unfailing in its ability to nourish and support us on our path to health.