The red raspberry is a well-known delicious, sweet fruit popular for snacking on as well as for use in baking. Less commonly known is the fact that the leaves of the red raspberry bush have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries in Asian countries. Containing tannins, flavonoids, and polypeptides, some of the red raspberry leaf’s uses are treating skin rashes, digestive problems, influenza, and diabetes. Its most common use, however, is for easing menstrual problems and for relieving morning sickness and aiding delivery in pregnant women.
One of the red raspberry leaf’s many medicinal purposes is relieving problems associated with menstruation. Many women experience pain during menstruation from both abdominal and uterine cramping. Red raspberry leaves help to relieve the constriction of muscles and blood vessels throughout the body, which helps to relieve painful cramps. Irregular menstrual cycles and heavy bleeding are other problems associated with menstruation. Some women find that taking red raspberry leaf daily helps to regulate their periods after a few months. In addition, women who suffer heavy bleeding also find relief, as the regularity of the cycle helps to reduce episodes of heavy bleeding as well.
Flavonoids are a powerful antioxidant, making red raspberry leaves good for both mother and baby. While vitamins A, C, and E are all good vitamins for mom, flavonoids work in vitro, helping to boost baby’s health before birth. Flavonoids also help to rid the body of toxins and free radicals, damaging cells that, although the result of natural bodily processes, can cause disease in the body. Red raspberry leaves also help to strengthen the muscles of the uterus. This helps with strengthening contractions for an easier delivery and also helps to prevent miscarriages. Red raspberry leaves have also been found to be effective in reducing episodes of morning sickness during pregnancy as well, as it helps to fight nausea and regulate the digestive system.
Red raspberry leaves have been found to be effective in helping with digestive problems by stimulating the digestive system, which keeps the digestive process steadily going. This improves regularity of bowel movements, preventing constipation. Red raspberry leaves also work to soothe irritated skin, including in the stomach and intestines. This can prevent diarrhea and nausea or vomiting that occurs from a mild irritant in the digestive tract.
Red raspberry leaves can be applied directly to the skin to relieve a rash or to relieve the effects of an insect bite. Red raspberry leaves chewed or brewed in a tea can help to soothe a sore throat as well, due to the tannins contained in the leaves. Red raspberry leaves are also thought to be effective in helping with the treatment of acne in teenagers and adults, also a result of the astringent tannins. Another benefit of red raspberry leaves is a natural reduction in blood sugar levels when taken in small doses. This is beneficial for those with diabetes or in a pre-diabetic state.
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