Raspberry leaf is a traditional folk remedy for treating female disorders, including some symptoms of menopause. Although raspberry leaf, or Rubus ideaeus, may be beneficial in easing menopausal symptoms in some women, as an herbal remedy, it cannot replace professional medical advice. Check with your doctor before using raspberry leaf therapeutically. Your doctor may recommend a traditional method of alleviating your symptoms.
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Technically, menopause does not occur until 12 months after you have your final menstrual cycle, but menopausal symptoms begin a few years before that. Fluctuating hormones can trigger hot flashes, moodiness, night sweats, heavy or irregular periods and insomnia. While menopause is a natural occurrence, some women find this time of life difficult because of these unwanted physical and emotional symptoms.
Raspberry Leaf: The Herb
Raspberry leaves contain Vitamin C, tannins and flavonoids, according to the “PDR for Herbal Remedies.” A tea prepared from the leaves is slightly astringent and may act as a uterine toner.
Kathy Abascal, B.C, J.D, a contributor to “Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health,” suggests that raspberry leaf may be beneficial in treating heavy menstrual flows experienced by some women during menopause. It may also help regulate erratic periods, although clinical studies verifying these benefits are lacking. There is no evidence that raspberry leaf tea affects hot flashes, night sweats or any other symptoms of menopause.
The “Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine” recommends making raspberry leaf tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of the dried herb and steeping for 10 minutes before straining. Drink up to two cups per day.
Because of its highly astringent properties, raspberry leaf tea could theoretically affect the absorption of nutrients in the intestine. The “Gale Encyclopedia” reports that raspberry leaf is not known to interfere with any other medications, and is generally safe at the recommended dosage. The FDA does not oversee the production of herbal remedies, however, so there is no assurance of quality or safety. Talk to your doctor about your menopausal symptoms, and ask him if raspberry leaf tea is safe for you.