Originally Answered: Raspberry leaf tea.?
Raspberry leaves are a herb which herbalists claim has a mild soothing, astringent, and tonic action. It is also has digestive properties and helps to prevent nausea, is slightly sedative and helps to strengthen the nerves. In pregnancy, raspberry leaves are said to act to tone the uterus ready for labour. They are taken to encourage an easy, speedy labour, but not necessarily to induce it. You can get raspberry leaves in leaf form, which you make up as a tea, or in tablet form. Some herbalists claim that it’s best to take it in leaf form, but not everyone likes the taste of the tea, and the tablets seem to be more widely available. Opinions about taking raspberry leaf tea in pregnancy vary, however. Some herbalists state that because of its affect on the uterus, it is probably best avoided, or at least delayed until late pregnancy, if there is a history of preterm labour, or miscarriage, while others actually recommend it in the event of a threatened miscarriage. Where there is no such miscarriage or premature labour history, the recommendations about when it is safe to start taking it vary from after three months, from 20 weeks and from 28 weeks. The instructions with some tablets say that it should only be taken after 31 weeks. The dosages are up to three cups of tea, made with one teaspoon of dried leaves or three of fresh, a day, or two tablets three times a day. When there are differences of opinion like this, it is always hard to decide which to follow. My own view would be that it’s best not to take it before the third trimester, but not everyone would agree with this. Although raspberry leaf tea acts to tone the uterus, rather than to set off contractions, in my experience, there are some women who start to get very strong Braxton Hicks contractions after taking it. When this happens, it seems to be helped by lessening the dosage. In labour, one cup of the tea or one tablet every hour can be taken to enhance contractions. Postnatally, it can lessen haemorrhage, help the uterus to shrink back to its non-pregnant size and help milk production.