According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.5 million women in America are are currently forced to confront the pain of infertility. Such a staggering statistic seems hardly believable, an undoubted cause of much heartbreak. While not all infertility can be treated, and not every body responds alike to herbal remedies, many, for their potency and time-tested worth are being re-considered. One such traditionally-valued remedy, red raspberry leaf, is surfacing to popularity for its alleged aid to women's overall health, particularly in the toning and preparation of reproductive organs. Often defined as "woman's best herb," the leaves were already hundreds of years in use under Native American wisdom and therapy. It wasn't until the 1940s that the herb caught the serious attention of more mainstream medical minds and now, as many people are returning to more economic, traditional treatment for minor to moderate ailments, the herb is being consumed in capsule, tea, and tincture form.
Scripture calls the fruit of the womb a blessing, a reward; indeed, it is ultimately God who opens or closes wombs within His perfect timing. Trusting in herbs for something that only God can do is irreverent at worst and superstitious at least. Images of Rachel's mandrakes come to mind and the fruitless (literally) pain accompanying (Genesis 30:15). Though certainly wrongly placed, such desperate action only stands to testify of the extent humanity will go for a divinely, innately planted desire, distinct to women alone: motherhood.There is an incomparable blessing with motherhood. Whenever I see a woman, whatever her age, with a baby "bump," " I can't help but offer up a silent prayer of blessing and thankfulness to the One who so lovingly invented the reality of producing life within a life. While infertility is something we will have to deal with in a fallen world, it is likewise something that may be eased in the wonderful blessing of herbs. Scripture says that He has lovingly given us every green herb; so many are given to the improvement and well-being of our health (Genesis 1:29). Surely, then, He expects us to be good stewards in the utilization of His Creation as stewards in fulfilling our calling to propogate the Gospel by filling it with the godly seed that He searches the ends of the earth for (Malachi 2:15).
While it is largely considered for its aid to female reproductive health, red raspberry leaf is not exclusively beneficical to women seeking hormonal balance. On the contrary, red raspberry leaf is an excellent and safe source for all ages and both genders. For nursing women specifically, babies benefit greatly both as they grow within the womb as well as receive the vitamins offered in breastmilk:
"Red raspberry leaf is high in Vitamins C, E, A, B and has significant amounts of major minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. It also contains essential trace minerals such as zinc, iron, chromium and manganese. "
Red raspberry leaf tea is prized for its strengthening effects on the uterus; taken in a timely fashion, dedicated imbibers attest to quicker, less painful labor. It's important to remember that for its inducing effects, however, red raspberry leaf tea is not recommended until after the second trimester, and should be used with caution by those with exceptionally weak uteruses and a history of premature labor.
"Improves the effectiveness of contractionsMay be especially beneficial to...moms. A stronger uterus is less likely to rupture.Improve strength of amniotic sac. Reduced pain during labor and after birth. By toning the muscles used during labor and delivery, labor may be shorter and less painful.Helps balance postpartum hormonesHigh mineral count helps bring in breast milk for many women."
It's clear that our ancestors were sages in this regard. Red raspberry is delicious in its purest form, and can be drunk iced or hot; its taste is very akin to black tea, so should prove a smooth transition for black tea drinkers. However, those who prefer to "work" on the taste a bit find pleasant results sweetening it a bit with stevia or honey. My hope is that you would enjoy both the taste and the benefits, all the while remembering the generosity of the God who provided all things for our good!