Each month we are blessed with a chance to change, to recreate ourselves anew giving birth to new ideas and visions, projects, attitudes and ways of being. Sometimes this is a challenge. Cramping and fatigue can make it hard to enjoy this time of rebirth. Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus, spp.) gives us a stability, a strong support for a smooth moon time so that we can fully embrace the gifts available to us. Using raspberry as part of a healthy lifestyle through the entire month nourishes our bodies and ourselves to promote this vital health. Many herbs are wonderful allies that can be considered super foods, providing beneficial tonic actions to the body through their superior high vitamin and mineral content and raspberry is one of those herbs. Tried and true this wonderful plant has been used for centuries by a multitude of different people for its beneficial health properties.
Raspberry leaf is most commonly known as a herb for pregnancy. Raspberry's effectiveness for pregnant women is due to not only its high mineral content but also its ability to strengthen and tone the uterus while at the same time enabling it to relax. These same properties benefit menstruating women. Raspberry is a tonic plant for the uterus which helps to increase the tone of flaccid muscles in the uterus or relax overly rigid muscles, which ever action the body might need. This is action is thought to be due to a constituent called fragarin which found in high amounts in the leaf. The tonic action of raspberry leaf is said to regulate the action of the uterine muscle thereby aiding in the reduction of menstrual pain, particularly that which occurs at the beginning of menstruation. Raspberry's high tannin content imparts an astringentquality which strengthens capillary beds and mucus membranes thereby helping to curb excess menstrual bleeding and mucus discharge.
Raspberry is high in vitamins and minerals providing many nutrients necessary for female health; including manganese, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins B, C and E. This power packed plant is helpful for building strong bones and teeth. Raspberry also tones the digestive system and has long been used as a remedy for diarrhea especially in children.
- strengthens and yet relaxes the uterus
- reduces cramping, especially cramping which occurs at the beginning of menstruation
- eases excess bleeding
- tones the digestive system
- cooling on a hot day
- is high in vitamins and minerals
It is so easy to gain all of the amazing benefits from raspberry by making a simple infusion of the leaves. Click here to read about infusions and how to make them! Raspberry has a wonderful cooling effect on the body and is great to enjoy iced on a hot day. You can also add other herbs to your brew to increase the nourishing tonic properties of your drink. Nettles is high in vitamins and minerals as well as astringent. Like raspberry it will help curb excess menstrual bleeding and provide excellent nourishment to the body. Red clover and alfalfa have phytoestrogens which aid in hormone balance and increase overall health due to high nutrient content. Peppermint and spearmint are both wonderful tasting, cooling to the body and again high in vitamins and minerals. Experiment with combinations of all of the above plants to find a nutritious brew to support your health and well-being! Click here to read about finding the best herbs to buy.
- tonic ~ encourages increased health.
- astringent ~ creates dryness, tightening and toning in the body.
- phytoestrogen ~ provides high quality material which assists the body in making its own estrogen. Phytoestrogens are thought to compete with environmental estrogens for binding sites on cell membranes.
Originally published in Moon Flow magazine