- Rich source of Vitamin C
- Raspberry-leaf tea can be used to treat mild digestive problems. If drunk late in pregnancy, it may help to reduce the length of labour pains
Rich in vitamin C, raspberries are also both delicious and nutritious. Vitamin C is needed to maintain the health of skin, bones and teeth, to help the body to absorb iron from food, and to speed up the body's healing processes. As an anti-oxidant, vitamin C may even reduce the risk of developing certain cancers.
Raspberries also contain vitamin E, folate and fibre. However, once canned in syrup their nutritional benefits are considerably diminished. In naturopathic medicine, the juice of raspberries is widely believed to cleanse and detoxify the digestive system, to soothe childhood illnesses and cystitis, and is used as a cooling remedy for fevers. Raspberries are also thought to be useful in the treatment of diarrhoea, indigestion and rheumatism. Raspberry vinegar is used as a gargle for sore throats and may be added to cough mixtures. To make it, steep 500g (1lb 2oz) of raspberries in 1 litre of wine vinegar for two weeks before straining the juice.
For centuries, raspberry-leaf tea has been used as a general tonic for the female reproductive system. It has a reputation for strengthening and toning the muscles of the womb, and of assisting contractions during labour. If drunk regularly during the last three months of pregnancy, it may lessen the risk of severe haemorrhage at birth, reduce the length of labour pains and even make delivery easier. But do not drink in early pregnancy when it could initiate contractions in some women, perhaps causing a miscarriage.
Raspberry-leaf tea may have a mild relieving effect on period pains if taken for several days before the onset of menstruation. It is also suitable for treating mild digestive symptoms, including dyspepsia, Diarrhoea and Constipation, and is ideal for babies and children. Because of its mild astringent action, it may also be used as a mouthwash.
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