The leaves contain tannins, flavone glycosides, organic acids and vitamin C. The berries contain 1.5-2% organic acids, fructose, pectin, gum, anthocyanins, iron and vitamin C.
Raspberry has been cultivated for a long time and not only for its culinary uses but also for its medicinal properties. The fruit is rich in nutrients and may be helpful in preventing anemia.
In Chinese herbal medicine, the berries of Chinese raspberries (Rubus ideaus) have been used to strengthen the kidneys and as a treatment for incontinence.
There are many ways the berries can be applied as a medicinal herb and to fully exploit their high content of iron and vitamin C.
Both the dried and fresh leaves contain tannin that is known to have astringent properties. The leaves have therefore been used (usually as a tea) to treat diarrhea, heavy menstrual bleeding and vaginal discharge.
Additionally they have been used for menstrual cramps and as a remedy for fever, colds and flu.
Extracts from the leaves have been used externally for ulceration and inflammation of the mouth and throat, for tonsillitis, sore throat, varicose veins, burns and slow healing wounds.
A cooled and filtered decoction of raspberry leaves has been used as eye drops as a treatment for conjunctivitis.
Raspberry leaf tea has become a popular pre-birth treatment due to the relaxing, restorative and astringent effects of the herb. It seems particularly beneficial to the uterus in the last three months of pregnancy and during labor.
The astringent and stimulating effect helps to strengthen and tighten the muscles of the uterus and abdomen, while at the same time the relaxing and more soothing properties help the uterus to relax.
Laboratory experiments strongly indicate the raspberry leaf tea affects the uterus in a positive way, but the exact mechanism is still unknown so it is recommended that any intake of the tea during pregnancy should be done only under medical supervision.
The leaves may strengthen the mucous membranes throughout the body and have a positive effect on the digestive system.
The herb has also been used to alleviate morning sickness.
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