Abstract | p >Red raspberry leaf (RRL) (Rubus idaeus folium) is one of the most commonly used herbs during pregnancy and labor. Despite its widespread use very little is known about its safety and efficacy for pregnancy-related conditions. To address this we performed a review (e.g. MEDLINE, CINAHL) during 2004 for papers pertaining to this topic. In animals, RRL causes uterine contractions in relaxed uterine strips and relaxation in contracted uterine strips. These results depend on the dose and type of preparation of the raspberry. Human data suggests RRL causes more coordinated uterine contractions during labor, decreases the various stages of labor, and diminishes the need for interventions during labor without significant side effects to mother or infant. However, these findings did not reach statistical significance and are limited by numerous methodological flaws. In addition, teratogenic studies are needed to further ascertain safety of RRL.
Suzann M. Zick, ND, MPH Sara Al-Rawi, ND, MPH
Keywords: Rubus idaeus folium, red raspberry leaf, pregnancy, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral/anti-bacterial, anti-hemostatic, and nutritive effects