Raspberry or Rubus species are native to North America, Europe and Asia. Rubus idaeus is one of the most common indigenous plants in North America. Raspberry leaf is used in modern herbal medicine and by the indigenous people of Canada.
The leaf is used to treat painful or delayed menstruation. Raspberry leaf tones the smooth muscle of the uterus and can also be used to prepare for childbirth. This astringent characteristic also acts on the digestive system, making Raspberry leaf a good medicine for mouth sores, nausea or diarrhea.
For diarrhea or menstrual cramps make a cup of tea with 1 tsp of dried Raspberry leaf. During the last trimester of pregnancy drinking 1 cup of tea per day can help the muscles supporting the uterus to deliver the baby!
Other herbs that are used to prepare for childbirth include Partridge berry (Mitchella repens), also native to Canada, and Highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulus and local species), which helps dilate the cervix during labour.
If you are unsure what to take you can contact a Medical Herbalist, or a Midwife or Naturopathic Doctor with a herbal specialty. For more info on herbal medicines, herbal history or how to visit a herbalist