Botanical name: Rubus idaeus
© Steven Foster
Parts used and where grown
Raspberry bushes are native to North America and are cultivated in Canada. Although most
well known for its delicious berries, raspberry’s leaves are used in medicine.
Red raspberry has been
used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the
individual health concern for complete information):
Historical or traditional use (may
or may not be supported by scientific studies)
Raspberry leaves have been used by herbalists to treat diarrhea. In traditional herbalism and midwifery, red
raspberry has been connected to female health, including pregnancy. It was considered a remedy for excessive
menstrual flow (menorrhagia) and as a
“partus prepartor,” or an agent used during pregnancy to help prevent
Raspberry leaves are high in tannins and like its relative, blackberry, may relieve acute diarrhea.2 The constituents that affect the
smooth muscles, such as in the uterus, have not yet been clearly identified. The German
Commission E monograph has concluded there is insufficient proof to recommend red raspberry in
modern herbal medicine.3
How much is usually taken?
Traditionally, raspberry leaf tea is prepared by pouring 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water over
1–2 teaspoons (5–10 grams) of the herb and steeping for ten to fifteen minutes. Up
to 6 cups (1500 ml) per day may be necessary for acute problems such as diarrhea or sore throats due to a cold, while less (two to three cups [500–750
ml]) is used for preventive use during
pregnancy. By itself, raspberry is usually not a sufficient treatment for diarrhea.
Tincture, 3/4–1 teaspoon (4–8 ml) three times per day, may also be taken.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
Raspberry leaf may cause mild loosening of stools and nausea. Otherwise, use of the herb
appears to be safe.
Are there any drug
Certain medicines may interact with red raspberry. Refer to drug interactions for a list of those medicines.
1. Lust JB. The Herb Book. New York: Bantam Books, 1974,
2. Tyler VE. Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of
Phytomedicinals. Binghamton, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press, 1994, 52,
3. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, et al. (eds). The Complete
Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative
Medicine Communications, 1998, 366.