Introducing Red Raspberry Leaves. -- NOT to be confused with Raspberry Ketones!
I first heard about Red Raspberry Leaves from Caroline over at The Modest Mom Blog. After reading the birth story of her fifth child, I told myself that when I became pregnant again, I would try this all-natural herb. And I did. But as I have studied more about this herb, I've learned that it does far more than just helping to ease labor pains. In fact, if you are a girl, this will help you, no matter how old or how young you are. (By the way, men can consume this too! This is safe and beneficial for the entire family, but exceptionally beneficial for female health.)
Here are just a few of the ways that RRL helps us. :)
Red Raspberry Leaves are excellent for every season of a woman's life, from puberty to menopause. It eases PMS symptoms, helps regulate your cycle, and greatly reduces cramps and headaches common with that time of the month. I've always suffered from intense cramps and headaches and since I have begun taking RRL on a regular basis, they have been drastically reduced. Because of the Calcium and hormone support, it is great for young girls as their bodies begin to change.
RRL has been labeled a "uterine tonic" and is extremely beneficial for the female reproductive system. It is an all-natural herb that tones the uterus and lengthens the luteal phase (the period between ovulation and Day 1 of your menstruation). It works to regulate your cycle and has properties that help to strengthen the lining of the uterus which will improve the chances of implantation.
I first started taking Red Raspberry Leaves when I was full term (37 weeks) with my second child. Since then, studies have shown that RRL are safe to take in early pregnancy in small quantities. Red Raspberry Leaves can actually help to prevent a miscarriage caused by a weak uterus because its main benefit is the toning and strengthening of the uterine wall. Red Raspberry Leaves are high in magnesium (which your body blows through during pregnancy), iron, potassium, and vitamins A, B, and C. It improves sleep during pregnancy (glory be!) and because it is naturally high in B-vitamins, it fights against leg cramps and morning sickness. Red Raspberry Leaves strengthen the muscles of the uterus which works amazingly in labor because it assists in contractions, making each one accomplish more, thus making labor shorter and less painful. It also lessons the likelihood of post-partum hemorrhaging and aids in boosting milk supply.
In this post, I listed the vitamins and supplements I took while pregnant with Selah and I give the amount of milligrams I took. Be advised that I am not your OB/GYN or midwife, so always clear it with your healthcare provider before you take anything in pregnancy.
The hormone support in Red Raspberry Leaves makes it great for women going through menopause, as well as women who suffer from hormone imbalances. When a woman goes through menopause, estrogen levels drop and bring with it mood swings, hot flashes, and a whole slew of unpleasant side effects. Because of the Calcium in RRL, and all the other vitamins that aid in the health of the female system, hormones are replenished and the symptoms of menopause are reduced.
See why I call it my secret weapon? :) There are two ways to take Red Raspberry Leaves. You can take it in capsule form and in a tea. I typically take it in capsule form because I have never been a big tea drinker. However, RRL tea is very delicious and it's caffeine-free! So if you are a tea drinker, you can buy the tea bags from your local health food store or online. I like this brand the best, personally. You can also buy the leaves and make your tea that way. The Bulk Herb Store has a great price and they even have various mixes you can choose from (pregnancy blend, PMS blend, etc.). Or if you prefer the capsules, you can find them at any health food store or online at places like Amazon. Nature's Way brand is my personal favorite and one of the best-priced brands I have found.
So there you go! Aren't you thankful that God has given us things in nature that aid in our health? :)