Monday, February 5, 2007

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea ... my tonic!

Several pregnancies ago, I heard about Red Raspberry Leaf tea, and how it helps strengthen the uterus and prepare it for labor and delivery, and can help reduce bleeding.  I ordered a lb. of pregnancy tea mix which included Red Raspberry Leaf.  And I began drinking it iced.  At first I always mixed it with a decaf spearmint or peppermint tea bag. 

Eventually, my source quit selling the pregnancy tea mix, so I had to find a new source.  I found one, but that tea mix included comfrey, which I began to hear some negative things about.  We finished off that lb. of pregnancy tea, but didn't buy more.

Then we joined a health food co-op (buying club) and I found I could order some herbs in bulk.  We ordered a lb. of Red Raspberry Leaf, 1 lb. of Nettles, and 1 lb. of Spearmint.  I mixed them together to make a loose-leaf tea.   It was 3/4 (or more) Red Raspberry Leaf and 1/4 (or less) of the Nettles and Spearmint.  (I didn't really measure as I mixed them).  Nettles for its health benefits and Spearmint for flavor.

We continued with that method for a couple years, but our buying club was coming to an end, so I decided to order from www.herbalcom.com.  They have very good prices on bulk loose herbs.  I was able to get Red Raspberry Leaf, Peppermint, Alfalfa (another wonderful herb for women), and Oat Straw.   My new Red Raspberry Leaf mix is still mostly Red Raspberry Leaf, with nettles, alfalfa, oat straw, peppermint and spearmint added.  Very yummy!  I drink a 2.25 quart pitcher of it in 1.5 - 2 days.  And it counts for water since it's unsweetened and decaffeinated.

So,  why am I still drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea daily, even though I'm not pregnant?  Well, besides toning the uterus, I knew that Red Raspberry Leaf helps to balance a woman's hormones.  Some even refer to it as "Cranky Lady Tea" or "PMS tea".   And, there are times that I can use some help in that area. 

But recently I have read about a few other benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf tea.  I was surprised a couple months ago to read that it was a recommended herb when fighting a cold or the flu.  Although I'm sure hot tea is more soothing when sick than iced tea.  But I tucked that information away in my mind as another benefit of one of my favorite teas.

Yesterday I was reading in another of my herbal books and read that Red Raspberry Leaf tea helps to suppress the appetite and increases your energy.  Wow!  With my history of over-indulgence, that is something I could use.  I have relied on sugar and chocolate to give me an energy boost or deal with stress much too often -- an unhealthy habit!!

With all these benefits, I think I'll be drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea for the rest of my life!  I've also really come to enjoy my iced herbal tea, as an alternative to water.

EDITING TO ADD: that this is not the raspberry zinger style tea.  It's not fruity tasting.  It's the leaf that carries these health benefits.  You have to look for Red Raspberry Leaf, not just Raspberry tea.

EDITED TO ALSO ADD:  In order to get the full benefits of the herbs, bring water to boiling, pour over the herbs in a jar or pan, cover with a lid, let steep for at least 30 minutes.  I often let mine infuse for a couple hours.  I have a friend who lets hers sit overnight.   I use a rounded 1/2 cup measure for 2 quarts of iced tea.

Blessings,
April

3 comments:

  1. My mixes were never tasty, even if I relief heavily on spearmint. The RRL alone was tolerable, but adding nettle and alfalfa came close to drinking swampy weed water. I make it tolerable with stevia and spearmint oil, but it's never going to get warm fuzzies for flavor.


    Glad you like yours, though. LOL. uck.

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  2. Hi, Kim! I wonder if you made it too strong? Our mutual midwife friend (who happens to be the one who lets hers sit overnight) has said that is the number one mistake ladies make. They make it too strong and then can't stand it. I don't drink it as hot tea, so that may make a difference, too. I let mine infuse for several hours, then dilute it and drink it as iced tea. And it's really very mild when done that way. Not quite like my iced tea made from Lipton tea bags, but not too different. Maybe I've just "acquired the taste" over these past 6.5 years. I do know I had to mix it with mint or chamomile tea at first, but don't have to as much now. Of course, I'm also not using the same mixes I started out with. I use a heaping half cup for my 2.25 quart pitcher. Maybe it's more like 3/4 cup of tea, not pressed down? I'm not sure.


    April

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  3. Hi, I have missed visiting your blog. I have been so busy that I haven't been visiting my HSB friends lately.


    Blessings,

    Linda<><

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