Used for centuries throughout North America & Europe as a traditional medicine. A common herb readily available in most health food stores, sold as an herbal tea or supplement. It’s long been hailed for it’s healing properties and is rich in Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Iron and Zinc as well as essential B vitamins, E and C.
Used to treat numerous conditions such as; GI tract issues, colds & flu, and respiratory disease, fever, tonsillitis, ulcers, canker sores, bleeding gums and used topically for sores, minor wounds, and burns, it is most commonly known for it’s benefits for women’s uterine health and menstrual issues.
Often called ‘pregnancy tea’ or ‘uterine tonic’ Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is the go-to herbal supplement to improve reproductive health, ease menstrual discomfort, as well as for expected mamas to overcome some of the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy such as morning sickness, leg cramps and swelling, strengthening of the uterine wall and supporting optimum hormonal patterns during pregnancy.
Here are three key uses of this popular elixir from fertility to pregnancy.
RED RASPBERRY LEAF: THE UTERINE TONIC
Often called the ‘uterine tonic’ Red Raspberry Leaf is most commonly used for it’s beneficial effects on women’s uterine health and reproductive issues.
It’s Promotion of healthy menstrual flow and ease discomfort by soothing cramping, and irritability, depression, and restraining excessive bleeding make it the common go to for a natural PMS remedy. Red Raspberry Leaf contains Fragrine – an alkaloid that tones the muscles surrounding the uterus and pelvic region, which can reduce cramping, and help regulate menstrual blood flow.
Despite the ability to soothe PMS it is thought that the herb may have a slight effect on the female hormone estrogen. For women suffering from Estrogen fueled disharmonies such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids it is best to air on the side of caution. Women should consult their health care team before deciding to take Red Raspberry Leaf for safe dosage and frequency.
DOES IT ENHANCE FERTILITY?
As mentioned above, the Fragrine present in Red Raspberry Leaf can aid in regulating the menstrual cycle, and to stop spotting. The strengthening and toning of the uterus may help in assisting early embryo attachment to the uterine wall, and decrease chances of miscarriage.
There are numerous online discussions based on women’s personal experiences expressing that Red raspberry leaf has lengthened the luteal phase of the cycle, enhancing chances of conception. However, presently there aren’t many studies to prove it's fertility enhancing abilities.
RED RASPBERRY TEA FOR PREGNANCY AND LABOR
It is often recommended to use after 32 weeks of pregnancy but best to discuss with your OB-Gyn, MD, ND, Midwife or Health practitioner whether it's safe for you to use during early pregnancy. Presently no studies have shown that it has a direct effect on the induction of labor. However, clinical studies have shown that Red Raspberry Leaf can shorten the pushing stage of labor by almost 10 minutes – which is a momentous amount of time during the labor process!
Another study found that women who consumed red raspberry leaf during pregnancy had lower chances of early or late delivery (pre – post gestation) and decreased the possibility of ruptured membranes during birth, as well as lessened the number of assisted birth methods such as C-section, forceps or vacuum births.
Overall, in moderation there seems to be no real adverse effects on the multifaceted benefits of Red Raspberry leaf.
It is best to keep in mind that a balanced well-being varies between individuals. Physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional balance, and constitutional characteristics differ from person to person. It is always best to discuss with your team of healthcare practitioners before using any supplement or herbal medication while pregnant or trying to conceive to see how much and how often is best for you.
Happy tea drinking everyone, cheers to your health!
Oh, the holiday season - that time of year when many of us feel the financial strain of gift buying, the chaos of holiday crowds, the never-ending family and work events. Holiday cheer to some but holiday drear to many. The increase of stress and frustration during this time of year is overwhelming for anyone, but can be even more immense for fertility patients who are trying to conceive.
Whether you are dealing with reproductive health issues affecting your fertility, or deciding to attempt IVF/ART the decision is a major step and an intense process. When you add the family pressure that the holiday season can provoke on top of it all, the idea of managing your stress levels may seem like an impossible feat, but it is possible!
WHAT IS STRESS?
Stress is natural. A bit of short lived stress isn’t always a bad thing – it can make you active and alert when you need to be. It can help us find focus and can kick the immune system into healing wounds or fighting off infections.
Stress is our body’s natural response to what we perceive as an imminent threat or potential danger. You may know it as our “flight or fight” response.
Nowadays, our body’s stress response is triggered all the time, everyday, even when we are not in mortal danger. Although our everyday stresses may not kill us, our constant responses to non-immediate stresses can wreak havoc on all the major systems of the body including our Reproductive Health.
When we feel stressed out and our bodies feel 'attacked' it releases two hormones into our blood; Adrenaline & Cortisol. What happens to our reproductive system when there’s too much cortisol present?
When the body enters crisis mode, other functions of the body that are not considered 'relevant' to this time are put on hold - such as getting pregnant. (Basically, the body feels that staying alive is more important than reproducing). Stress can act as a natural contraceptive which is unfavourable when you’re trying to conceive.
Here are some simple, effective and affordable ways you can help ease your stress to get through the holidays, and help your chances of successful conception.
GET YOURSELF SOME ACUPUNCTURE
Acupuncture is most commonly known to relieve pain but it’s also incredibly effective in relieving stress and anxiety and regulate many of the systems that are directly affected by stress. Acupuncture releases Oxytocin and endorphins that result in an analgesic effect, and activates our “rest and digest” response – the body’s natural ‘yin’ response to the ‘yang’ of our fight or flight mode.
Some other amazing things that acupuncture can do for your body:
FIND MINDFULNESS THROUGH YOGA & MEDITATION
Yoga and meditation are commonplace practices now. It seems that there are yoga studios on every corner, and there are endless meditation retreats and centres to chose from. With so many styles available out there, it can be overwhelming to decide which methods work for you.
Experiment a little, and find a style of yoga and meditation that resonates with you.
Here are some useful tips on choosing the right practice for you, and how effective both practices can be once you've found your groove.
CREATING BOUNDARIES AND SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE
We've all come across that idea of just quitting our jobs, and moving to a tropical Paradise for the rest of our lives to live a stress-free life. As lovely, and ideal as that would be, let's face it - for most of us, it's just not probable. Be gentle with yourself while making these changes, and focus on practical solutions that are within your abilities. Make it simple to simplify your life!
Everyone's life experiences are different, and we all deal and manage stress in a variety of ways. Methods that may work for some people might not necessarily work for you. Don't give up! explore a bit to find which approaches resonate with you. Be kind to yourself in the process, focus on doing what is within your limits and is realistic to your pace of life. It may be nearly impossible to eliminate all the stressors in our lives, but with the help of practices that strengthen our body-mind connection, we can change how we handle and react to our challenging life events.