October 15, 2008

Dr. Christopher always extolled the virtues of red raspberry leaf tea.  Red raspberry leaves are a great aid in times of cold or flu and provide the body aid in times of cold and flu and provide the body with iron in an absorbable form.  It is high in calcium, making it an important tea for the pregnant or nursing woman.  Throughout the history of American Botanic Medicine, red raspberry leaves are mentioned as a tonic for the female reproductive system.  Its astringent properties help strengthen the uterus.  Dr. Coffin, of the early American Botanic Medicine School mentions red raspberry leaves extensively for every phase of pregnancy.  Jethro Kloss states in Back to Eden that red raspberry leaves will allay menstrual cramps and promote a painless labor.  Dr. Christopher has always advised nursing mothers to drink marshmallow root tea to increase milk flow and red raspberry tea to enrich the milk.  In the booklet The Cold Sheet Treatment and Aids for the Common Cold, Dr. Christopher explains how to conquer the cold by fasting on red raspberry leaf tea.  The leaves contain fragrine, a substance that affects the muscles of the pelvic region.

The astringent and nutritive properties of red raspberry are employed in Dr. Christopher’s lower bowel formula, the female corrective formula, and the herbal eyebright combination.  The great medical botanist, Dr. Samuel Thomson, used red raspberry in his patented system of medicine.  Lobelia was first given as an emetic, then cayenne was administered to restore heat to the body and red raspberry was taken as a tea to remove canker from the digestive tract.  Red raspberry leaf tea may be used as a gargle for sore mouths and throat canker, according to the English Herbalist, Maude Grieve.  Externally the tea can be used as a wash on ulcers and other wounds.  The herb also aids in setting the stomach.

Red raspberry can be easily cultivated.  It should be planted in the spring from suckers taken from plants that are a year old.  The suckers can be set three feet apart with six to eight feet between rows.  The soil needs to be moist and the plants should be exposed to full sun.

Red raspberry leaf tea should be kept on hand for women and women-to-be.  A mother should give a young girl a cup of red raspberry tea every day as she approaches puberty. This will make the transitional period much smoother.

Red raspberry leaf tea is made by using a heaping teaspoons of red raspberry leaves to each cup of hot steam-distilled water, or one ounce of the herbs (two heaping tablespoons, approximately) to each pint of distilled water.  Never let the tea boil, but pour the boiling water over the herbs and then steep fifteen or twenty minutes in a warm place, strain and drink.  It is best to drink three or more cups a day of this tea during the entire pregnancy.  It is a pleasant-tasting tea and is also an anti-nausea.

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

• Dr. Christopher’s Natural Healing Newsletter – Vol. 4, No 7 “Ten Honorable Herbs”
• Herbal Home Health Care by Dr. John R. Christopher
• Red Raspberry Master Herbalist Thesis by Marisa Corless: http://www.herballegacy.com/Red_Raspberry_Corless.html
• Christopher Publications carries all the books highlighted in the article above
• To find an herb shop that carries red raspberry leaves and other Dr. Christopher herbs check out http://www.christopherwebsites.com.

HERBAL VOCABULARY:

TONIC: a medicine that invigorates or strengthens; pertaining to, maintaining, increasing, or restoring the tone or health of the body or an organ, as a medicine.

ASTRINGENT: a substance that contracts the tissues or canals of the body, thereby diminishing discharges, as of mucus or blood.

EMETIC: causing vomiting

CANKER: a defined area of diseased tissue

SUCKER: swift-growing shoots which appear around the tree’s base

STEEP: to soak in water or other liquid, as to soften, cleanse, or extract some constituent