Black raspberry leaf tea

Hot summer days are made for iced tea on the porch. This easy homemade Raspberry Iced Tea recipe takes a bit of time but the from scratch recipe is truly delicious. You will love the combination of your favourite tea combined with fresh raspberries to make a truly excellent drink. I love that you can vary the tea flavour to add unique twists to this recipe. Love green tea? Substitute black tea for green tea. Prefer a caffeine-free drink that’s perfect for kids too? Substitute the black tea bags for a herbal tea and follow the same directions. Any way you make it this from scratch Raspberry Iced Tea Recipe is delicious, refreshing and easy to make.

Doesn’t it look divine? A treat without the guilt. Follow these directions for perfect raspberry iced tea.

Raspberry Iced Tea Recipe


3 Black Tea Bags (like Lipton)
8 cups Water
1 cup Sugar
12 oz Raspberries


Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium pot.
Remove from heat.
Add tea bags and allow to steep for 15 minutes.

Add 4 cups water to a medium pan (not the one the tea is in).
Add sugar and raspberries and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium and squish raspberries while continuing to cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or strainer, discarding all berry pieces.

Combine both in a large pitcher and serve over ice.

End result = a cup of summer in a glass. Perfect for a hot day and increase the portions to make a large batch for a party. Check out our other iced tea recipe for more flavour options.

Raspberry Iced Tea

A delicious summer drink made from brewed tea and fresh raspberries. Delicious homemade Raspberry Iced Tea.

Servings 4


  • 3 Black Tea bags
  • 8 cups Water
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 12 oz Raspberries Fresh


  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil.

  2. Remove from heat.

  3. Add tea bags and allow to steep for 15 minutes.

  4. Add 4 cups water to a medium pan.

  5. Add sugar and raspberries and bring to a boil over high.

  6. Reduce heat to medium and squish raspberries while continuing to cook for 10 minutes.

  7. Remove from heat and strain through cheesecloth or strainer, discarding berry pieces.

  8. Combine both in a large pitcher and serve over ice.

Love this recipe? Check out our favourite recipe made with tea – Pumpkin Chai Tea Cupcakes.

Raspberry Iced Tea is a classic summer beverage. This refreshing iced tea recipe is easy to make as a family drink. Flavored ice tea is also a great non-alcoholic party drink. This raspberry sweet tea makes hot summer days bearable.

Homemade Sweetened Raspberry Iced tea is perfect for all sorts of summer events. It is equally appropriate served as an alcohol-free beverage choice at a wedding or poolside with the kids. For some reason the raspberry flavor just makes this drink seem more refreshing.

The recipe below uses cane sugar. For those watching their sugar intake, a natural zero calorie sweetener can easily be substituted. Just be mindful that some are much sweeter than sugar and adjust accordingly.

Here the ice tea is garnished with lemon and fresh raspberries. A sprig of mint would be a good choice to top the beverage with, as well.

I also have a peach iced tea recipe if you would like to try that too.

Making Fresh Raspberry Sweet Tea

This raspberry sweet tea is an easy iced tea recipe to prepare. All you really need is black tea, raspberries and sugar. Make a big batch the evening before your event and serve over ice during the party. See the printable recipe card below for walk through of the preparation process to make the raspberry tea.

Brewing the Tea

  1. Add 4 cups of water to a saucepan over high heat.
  2. When it comes to a boil, turn off the burner, remove from heat and add tea bags. The black tea should steep for 15 minutes in the hot water.
  3. Discard tea bags and put tea aside until ready to add raspberry syrup.

Making the raspberry syrup

  1. Add sugar and 4 cups of water in a saucepan and put over high heat stir occasionally until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add raspberries and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, mash up the berries and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the syrup through cheesecloth and discard berries.

Combine the tea and syrup. Chill and add ice cubes to serve.

More Refreshing Summer Drinks!

Here are a few more non-alcoholic summer beverage recipes for your family to enjoy.

  • Pineapple Lemonade
  • Rosewater Limeade Recipe
  • Matcha Green Tea Lemonade Recipe
  • Orangeade (from Know Your Produce)
  • Watermelon Milkshakes | Vegan Milkshake Recipe

5 from 3 votes Raspberry Iced Tea Recipe Prep Time 7 mins Cook Time 15 mins Total Time 22 mins

Raspberry Iced Tea is a refreshing sweet tea recipe that is easy to prepare. The flavored ice tea is perfect for both casual and elegant summer gatherings.

Course: beverage, Drinks Cuisine: American Keyword: raspberry iced tea Servings: 6 12 ounce servings Calories: 158 kcal Ingredients

  • 3 Black Tea Bags
  • 8 cups Water divided
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 12 oz Raspberries


  1. Place 4 cups of water in saucepan over high heat. Remove from the heat as soon as the water comes to boil. Add tea bags and steep in the water for 15 minutes.

  2. While the tea is steeping. Put the remaining 4 cups water and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the raspberries and bring to a boil.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium and mash raspberries. Cook for 10 more minutes.

  4. Take the raspberry syrup mixture off the burner and strain through cheesecloth or strainer, discard the spent berries or reserve to add the oatmeal or baked goods.

  5. Combine the tea and fresh raspberry syrup in a large pitcher and serve over ice.

Nutrition Facts Raspberry Iced Tea Recipe Amount Per Serving Calories 158 % Daily Value* Fat 0g0% Saturated Fat 0g0% Cholesterol 0mg0% Sodium 17mg1% Potassium 85mg2% Carbohydrates 40g13% Fiber 1g4% Sugar 35g39% Protein 0g0% Vitamin A 20IU0% Vitamin C 14.9mg18% Calcium 24mg2% Iron 0.4mg2% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

*articles may contain compensated links*

Fresh Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Last weekend I was sitting in my mother in law’s house and I found myself craving a cup of red raspberry leaf tea. Sometimes your body just tells you that you need something. One problem: I was in the middle of the woods, half an hour away from a store that might have red raspberry leaf tea.

But I was a five minute walk from a raspberry patch.

I love red raspberry leaf tea in general, but there is something about a fresh tea that is so much more bright and whole. So for today’s blog post I wanted to show you how I made my North Woods fresh Red Raspberry Leaf tea and how you can make some of your own.

The information in this post is for general purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. This post does contain affiliate links. For more information please see my privacy policy.

Flashback to the first Red Raspberry Leaf tea post

Last week we celebrated the end of my first year in business and I thought it was a little bit funny that the first post of my second year is another Red Raspberry Leaf tea post.

Last year’s post was finding a way to drink RRLT in the hot and sticky months of summer and early fall. I talked about the benefits for pregnant women in preparation for labor. Red Raspberry Leaf helps maintain uterine tone, can reduce natural labor pain and may help with fertility.

But RRLT can be useful for women who aren’t pregnant either. The APA recommends red raspberry leaf for postpartum women, stating that it can help with milk production, postpartum bleeding and help the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size.

Red raspberry leaf helps menstruating women regulate their cycles and may help ease and prevent menstrual cramps.

It truly is a women’s herb.

Making tea without tea bags

For the past few years, my brand of choice for Red Raspberry Leaf tea has been Traditional Medicinals. But honestly, if you have the chance to make an herbal tea from herbs you harvest yourself jump on it.

I do have a little confession to make here, though. I’m using “tea” as a matter of convention. Herbal teas are not technically tea. Tea is a specific plant, Camellia sinensis. The technical term for herbal teas is a tisane. But if you start talking about “Red Raspberry Leaf Tisane” people are going to give you the side eye.

So going forward, let’s keep calling it a tea so everybody is on the same page.

Harvesting the leaves

Technically speaking, the best time to harvest red raspberry leaves is early in the season before the plant has even bloomed. I was harvesting well into berry season which means instead of lots of beautiful, new, young leaves I got this:

Unfortunately for my mother-in-law’s raspberry patch, the deer also really love berries.

Even this late in the season, you can find branches that haven’t born fruit yet, and at this point of the year probably won’t. Select leaves that are whole, bright green with no brown spots and feel tender and alive. And don’t forget to pick some berries too, both for harvest snacks and for the tea later!

Harvesting the berries

Red raspberry leaf is not a traditional Chinese Herb but red raspberry is. Raspberries, or fu pen zi, help tonify yang and can help support low back pain due to liver kidney deficiency. While they are medicinally contraindicated in many yin deficient conditions they can be consumed in moderation as food.

Choose berries with uniform color, that are fully red and are somewhat firm.

The Recipe

The recipe is fairly easy. Pick your leaves and berries and rinse them. Set aside the berries. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add leaves, and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Muddle the berries in sugar at the bottom of a mug. Add the tea and some remaining berries for garnish. Easy peasy.

This red raspberry leaf tea (or more accurately, tisane) uses fresh ingredients for a refreshing and tasty beverage to support women’s health, including fertility, pregnancy and postpartum care

Course Drinks Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Total Time 25 minutes Servings 2

  • 2 handfuls fresh red raspberry leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-2 handfuls fresh raspberries, divded
  1. Select your leaves and berries, taking care to pick green, whole leaves and firm, red berries.

  2. Snack on a couple berries.

  3. Rinse the leaves and berries.

  4. Boil water. Once water has reached the boiling point, add fresh leaves and boil for 1-2 minutes. Turn off stove and let tea sit for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. While tea is steeping, muddle raspberries and sugar in the bottom of two mugs. Be sure to reserve some raspberries for the final step.

  6. Add tea to mug, stirring to dissolve sugar and raspberry mix.

  7. Add a few berries for garnish and enjoy!

One final safety note

I love foraging. During this same weekend I harvested ice flower, and plantago. The person I was tromping through the woods with harvested sumac, lobster mushrooms, chicken of the woods and more.

When harvesting plants for consumption, be 100% sure that the plant you’re harvesting is what you think it is. If there is any doubt, don’t harvest it. It’s a simple as that.

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Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and any interventions with your animals should always be discussed with your vet. I am an acupuncturist in the state of Minnesota, and the information falls within my scope of practice in my state. However, unless I have directed you here as your homework I am probably not your acupuncturist. The information in this post is for general purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. As always, check with your own acupuncturist or primary care provider before making any lifestyle changes. This post does not create a patient-practitioner relationship and I am not liable for any losses or damages resulting or relating to the content in this post.

Resources and links

A more refreshing Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Jessica Gustafson is a licensed acupuncturist in St Paul, MN specializing in women’s health and fertility. She loves working with patients through the Health Foundations Birth Center on Grand Avenue in St Paul as well as doing home visits in the Twin Cities area. Check out the services page for more information!

​Follow Reverie Acupuncture on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for updates!

Red raspberry leaf is a delicious herb with a taste similar to green tea. See how to harvest, dehydrate, and brew raspberry leaf tea.

Red raspberry leaf tea has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for conditions involving the uterus including pregnancy, childbirth, menstruation, and menopause. See how to harvest and preserve your own raspberry leaf tea.

When I planted raspberries (Rubus idaeus) on the property back in 2010 it was for the delicious fruit. It was years later while researching natural remedies to ease my menstrual symptoms that I discovered that red raspberry leaf tea is a natural remedy for conditions involving the uterus, including menstrual support and menopause (Native American Medicinal Plants).

Red raspberry leaves have also been used as medicine for centuries for pregnancy and childbirth, astringent for skin irritations, gargle for sore throats, and for diarrhea. Raspberry leaf tea has no known side effects or drug interactions, but it can lower blood sugar and impede with the absorption of some vitamins (Healing Herbs A to Z).

It is not known precisely why Raspberry Leaf tea is so effective for uterine health. Herbalists believe that the presence of tannins and the alkaloid fragarine combined with other nutrients, including calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin B, C, and E help tone and relax the pelvic and uterine muscles (Herbal Healing for Women).

After researching, I felt pretty confident in trying red raspberry leaf tea for my menstrual discomforts, and I had plenty of access to leaves to harvest. After drinking red raspberry tea for several months, it relieved a lot of my symptoms, including headache, cramps, and overall energy level and moodiness during that time of the month.

I wasn’t completely convinced until I casually remarked to Kevin that I thought the red raspberry leaf tea was helping. The next thing I knew, he was outside in the raspberry patch harvesting more raspberry leaves for me to use. Hmmm….

How to Harvest, Dry, and Brew Raspberry Leaf Tea

Step 1: Collect raspberry leaves before the plant blooms

Harvest mid-morning after the dew has evaporated and before it the sun is hot to preserve the oils and flavor. Wear gloves and long sleeves to protect yourself from the thorns.

Like most herb, once the plant begins to bloom, the leaves turn bitter. Select young, healthy leaves that have not been treated with chemicals or eaten by bugs, and clip them from the cane.

I grow Heritage raspberries, an everbearing variety that produces two crops each season, a light crop in July followed by a heavy crop in fall. I allow the canes to begin leafing out before pruning the raspberry patch in the spring. I cut whole canes and trim the young leaves off into a large bowl as I prune.

Step 2: Dry the raspberry leaves

You can either let the leaves dry naturally, or use a dehydrator to dry the raspberry leaves quicker. First, wash the leaves well with running water to remove dust and insects and lay them out on a kitchen towel to let some of the moisture evaporate. Then decide how you are going to dry the raspberry leaves:

Let the Raspberry Leaves Dry Naturally: Spread the leaves out on a screen and allow them to dry naturally away from dust and sunlight. Or you can gather the leaves by their stems, tie the ends, and hang them to dry. Depending on the humidity, drying usually takes 1-2 weeks.

Use a Dehydrator to Dry the Raspberry Leaves: The quickest way to dry raspberry leaves is by using a dehydrator. Spread the leaves out on the screens and dry at a low temperature. Check every 30-minutes until completely dry.

Step 3: Store dehydrated raspberry leaves

You can tell when the leaves are dry, by crushing a leaf or two. It should crumble easily. Once the leaves are dry, store leaves lightly packed in a glass jar away from direct sunlight. Try not to crush them to reserve the flavor until you are ready to brew your tea.

Step 4: Brewing raspberry leaf tea

Red raspberry leaf tea tastes like a mild green tea, but without the caffeine. To make the tea, use about 1-teaspoon of crushed, dried raspberry leaves per 8-ounce cup of boiling water. Steep for at least 5 minutes and drink like regular tea.

Want to learn how to use herbs as medicine? Check out the online courses at The Herbal Academy of New England: Introductory Herbal Course and Intermediate Herbal Course.

Resources and Further Reading:

  • Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Medicinal Plants. Portland, OR: Timber Press, 1998.
  • Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women. New York, NY: Touchstone, 1993.
  • Stein, Diane. Healing Herbs A to Z: A Handy Reference to Healing Plants. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2009.
  • White, Linda B. and Steven Foster. The Herbal Drugstore. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2003.
  • Purchase Raspberry Leaf Tea from Starwest Botanicals on Amazon.

I am not a doctor and the statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. It is recommended that you consult your medical care provider or herbalist prior taking or relying upon any herbal product.

You May Also Like These Herb Articles

  • How to Harvest and Dry Herbs for Storage
  • 13 Culinary Herbs that Grow in Shade
  • Foraging for Purslane

Red Raspberry Herbal Use – How To Harvest Raspberry Leaf For Tea

Many of us grow raspberries for the delicious fruit, but did you know that raspberry plants have many other uses? For instance, the leaves are often used to make an herbal raspberry leaf tea. Both the fruit and leaves of red raspberry have several herbal uses that date back centuries. Read on to find out how to harvest raspberry leaf for tea and about other red raspberry herbal uses.

Red Raspberry Herbal Use

Raspberries are suited to USDA zones 2-7. They are perennials that grow to their full height in their first year and then fruit during the second. While most of us know raspberries for their use in preserves, baking and eating fresh, Native American people used the leaves to make a tea to treat diarrhea.

Raspberry tea has long been used to treat menstrual symptoms and to ease childbirth. Aboriginal tribes of Australia used a raspberry decoction to treat morning sickness, menstrual cramping and the flu. The leaves are rich in potassium, iron, magnesium and b-vitamins, all good for female reproductive health.

While raspberry tea is good for those with menstrual ailments, it is also just plain good. It tastes much like a mild green tea and can be used alone or combined with other herbs. Raspberry leaves and roots have also been used to heal oral sores, treat sore throats and even burns.

If you have raspberry plants in the backyard, I’m sure you’re ready to start harvesting raspberry leaves. The question is, when to pick raspberry leaves for tea?

When and How to Harvest Raspberry Leaves

There’s no trick to harvesting red raspberry leaves for tea, it just takes a little patience. Harvesting red raspberry leaves for herbal use should be done before the plant blooms in mid-morning, once the dew has evaporated and while the leaves’ essential oils and flavor are at their peak. Be sure to wear some protection from the thorns, such as long sleeves and gloves.

Leaves can be harvested any time of the year or just towards the end of the season. Choose young, vibrantly green leaves and snip them from the cane. Wash the leaves and pat them dry. Lay them out on a screen and allow them to air dry, or put them in a dehydrator. If you have a thermostat on your dehydrator, dry the leaves at 115-135 degrees F. (46-57 C.). If not, set the dehydrator to low or medium. The leaves are ready when they are crisp but still green.

Store the dried raspberry leaves in glass jars in a cool, dry area out of the sun. When ready to make tea, crush the leaves by hand. Use 1 teaspoon or so of crushed leaves per 8 ounces of boiling water. Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes and then drink up.

Raspberry Leaf Tea: Benefits, Side Effects, and Flavor Profile

Raspberry leaf tea is a popular herbal remedy for women. It’s been used for centuries as an herb to help improve women’s health and decrease problems associated with menstruation and pregnancy.

Today, medical research on the benefits of red raspberry leaf is still ongoing. Some research indicates the herb and its tea form may be beneficial for human health. Read on to find out more about this tasty herbal tea and its health benefits.

What Is Red Raspberry Leaf Tea?

Raspberry leaf is known as a woman’s herb. It has been researched for years and demonstrated some potential health benefits when it comes to women’s health.

The herbal tea is made from the leaves of the raspberry plant known by the botanical name Rubus idaeus. The plant is widely cultivated in European countries and the Americas and wild plants can be found in rocky, mountainous regions. Raspberry leaves are characterized by a slightly silver lining that features delicate hairs.

This tea can be brewed using fresh raspberry elves from your organic garden. You can also find loose leaf tea packages and tea bags to make brewing simpler and faster. The tea can be purchased online, in grocery stores, and at local health food stores.

Flavor Profile

The flavor of raspberry leaf tea is similar to a fruity black tea such as Earl Grey. It boasts a full body and notes of fruity and earthy tastes. This herbal tisane features a flavor profile similar to rose hips and hibiscus tea. It is slightly sweeter and bolder than chamomile tea.

Health Benefits of Raspberry Leaf Tea

Packed With Nutrients

Red raspberry leaf tea contains vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to human health, the immune system, and cellular processes. Red raspberry leaves contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and B vitamins. These vitamins help support health by preventing oxidative stress and improving cellular processes such as energy expenditure (1). The leaves also contain calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals help to promote healthy digestion and strong bones.

In addition, raspberry leaf tea contains antioxidants known as polyphenols and tannins. These antioxidants help protect against free radicals that can cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the human body’s form of rust and can cause a host of issues from increased risk of serious disease to premature aging (2).

May Reduce Menstrual Cramps

Red raspberry leaves are chock full of fragarine — a compound that is known to inhibit uterine activity (3). This can be beneficial for people who have difficulty controlling bowel movements and urination. In particular, the herb is used by pregnant women to reduce the frequent urge to urinate.

A study published in Planta Medica found that ingredients in red raspberry leaf including fragarine help to tighten muscles in the pelvic region. This can result in a decreased sensation of cramps and the urge to pee (4). Researchers also found that plant may help to alleviate other menstrual symptoms including nausea.

Raspberry leaves also contain iron, which may have benefits during menstruation (5). Women who experience heavy periods are more susceptible to anemia. Increasing iron intake can combat this increased risk and prevent side effects such as fatigue and irritability.

May Shorten Labor

Midwives and alternative health practitioners use raspberry leaf tea to shorten the duration of labor. The idea is that compounds such as fragarine help to strengthen the pelvic area and lead to an easier labor.

Research published in the Austrian College of Midwives Incorporated Journal examined the impacts of red raspberry leaf on labor. The study consisted of a total of 108 mothers who were divided into two groups: an experimental group who took red raspberry leaf and a control group.

Researchers found that the participants who took raspberry leaf had a decreased risk of artificial rupture of their membranes and were less likely to require a C-section. Additionally, the results showed a decrease in preterm labor and a shorter labor duration overall (6).

A second study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health found that red raspberry leaf tea did not decrease the time of first-stage labor. It had some moderate improvements in shortening the duration of second-stage labor. The researchers concluded that more studies are needed to investigate and establish the benefits of this tea on labor duration (7).

May Decrease Childbirth Risks

Some research shows that drinking red raspberry leaf tea may help to decrease complications during childbirth. The uterine tonic works to strengthen uterine muscles and may help prevent complications such as eclampsia. Research shows that taking red raspberry leaf may reduce the risk of needing forceps during childbirth. Overall, the tea may also reduce the risk of interventions during the childbirth process. This allows for a more natural birth and decreases the chance of serious problems such as excessive bleeding (8).

Side Effects of Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry leaf tea is considered safe for moderate consumption among the general population. Most experts, including the American Pregnancy Association, agree that the tea is safe to consume, but it’s important to note that the FDA has not approved the tea as a treatment for any health problems (9).

It’s important to talk to a healthcare professional before consuming red raspberry leaf tea. A healthcare provider can help you understand potential side effects including medication interactions. The beverage has a few side effects that are worth noting.

Braxton Hicks Syndrome

Anecdotal evidence shows that drinking red raspberry leaf tea may increase the risk of Braxton Hicks in pregnant women. Braxton Hicks contractions occur as early as the second trimester but are more common in the third trimester.

The contractions occur in the uterus and can last anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes. They are irregular, infrequent, and cause uncomfortable pain. They are not real contractions and are often referred to as “false labor”. If it’s your first pregnancy, you may experience these contractions more frequently.

To encourage contractions and induce childbirth, some midwives recommend drinking the tea two weeks before your due date. Avoid drinking the tea during early pregnancy — in the first trimester — as the uterine strengthening properties may increase the risk of miscarriage.

Gastrointestinal Upset

Red raspberry tea has natural laxative properties that can cause digestive upset. Taking high doses of the plant as a supplement or drinking too many cups of the tea can cause problems including diarrhea and vomiting. Limit intake to one or two cups of red raspberry leaf tea per day.

Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

The jury is out on whether red raspberry leaf tea is effective as a women’s herb. however, the leaves are packed with vitamins and minerals that are good for human health. Plus, the tea has a tasty fruity and bold flavor that makes it the perfect afternoon cup of tea. Drink this herbal tea for its delicious flavor and toast to your health.











What is black raspberry?

Black raspberry originates from the eastern parts of North America. Black raspberry is a deciduous shrub growing up to 3. The thorny stems have leaves consisting of three leaflets (on flowering branchlets) or five leaflets (on first year stems). The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insects. Fruiting only occurs on two-year old stems. The typical round shaped berries are eatable and delicious, however many people do not like the numerous seeds inside the berry. The black cranberry differs from the more popular red raspberry by their more thorny stems and darker colour. Black raspberries fruits looks more like blackberries. Black raspberries detach easily form the carpel, whereas blackberries are firmly attached to the carpel.

Parts used

Black raspberry fruits (raspberries), stems and leaves.


These are typical phytochemicals found in black raspberry: the black raspberry contains high levels of nutrients and chemopreventive vitamins and phytochemicals, including beta-carotene, coumaric acid, ellagitannins, anthocyanins, ferulic acid, ellagic acid.

Benefits of black raspberry

Traditionally, the North-Amercian Indians made tea from black raspberry roots used to treat stomach aches. The leaves are highly astringent and used to treat bowel complaints Black raspberry fruits have high levels of anthocyanins, as indicated by their very intense dark colour. The high levels of phytochemicals have initiated many studies into the potential health benefits, such as improving vision, controlling diabetes, preventing cancer and retarding the effects of aging. Most research is focussed on its potential anticancer properties.
In vitro studies have shown that black raspberry phytochemicals inhibit tumor development. A study by Chuanshu Huang and colleagues (Cancer Research, December 1, 2002) have shown that black raspberry methanol extract inhibited the development of esophageal and colon cancer cells. Also Laura Kerty and colleagues (Cancer Research, August 15, 2001) found that intake of lyophilized black raspberry by rats resulted in the progression of the cancer process.

Other names

Virginian raspberry, black-cap berry, black thimble berry

Research Reviews

  • Chemoprevention of esophageal tumorigenesis by dietary administration of lyophilized black raspberries.


  • Anticancer Effect of Black Raspberry
  • Anticancer Effect of Black Raspberry (2)

I’m a coffee girl no doubt. But occasionally the need for a nice glass of tea arises. Quite often the occasion is a crampy uterus set on world destruction. That’s when I turn to my stash of raspberry leaf tea.

FYI this is going to get into TMI territory. And I’m not really sorry about that, if you’re lucky enough to skip out on painful monthly cramps you can skip this post. If you don’t want the background but you’re always up for some herbal remedies skip down a bit to the raspberry leaf tea recipe.

I AM NOT A DOCTOR! This is not intended as medical advise, it’s purely anecdotal based on personal experience. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions. Now that that’s out of the way let’s get to the good part.

Ever since they started I have had terrible periods. Like vomiting, crippling pain, dizziness, migraines, misery. I started taking birth control pills fairly young and they did a lot to keep it in check. Then we decided to have a baby… I stopped taking the pill in October 2012.

Each period was worse than the last, February was the worst. Then March hit and I ended up really sick. I brushed it off thinking it was my hateful uterus out to get me. Instead I had 103+ fever, bronchitis and a baby.

The last part was awesome, the rest not so much. I’m still breastfeeding (after 8 months) but sadly I wasn’t one of those lucky women who hold off their periods through some hormonal miracle.

Even after giving it a baby my uterus is still angry with me about it’s empty status. Pre-baby I used to take enough painkillers to make my LPN husband really nervous just so I could function and you know, not throw up. So I needed a better method. I wanted a better method.

Somewhere along the way I read that red raspberry leaf tea could help increase milk supply. I was pretty sick of drinking that awful lactation tea (in it’s defense it does work, I just can’t stand the taste of licorice) so I figured I’d try it.

I don’t have any red raspberries, and all the teas seem pretty clear about the color of the berry, but I figured the gold and black raspberry bushes couldn’t be that different so out a plucking I went. I pulled off a few leaflets and took them to work where my awesome boss has a giant dehydrator and got to work.

The same article also mentioned the tea ‘tones the uterus’ which I’m guessing has something to do with it’s pain killing properties.

This also happened to be right at the beginning of my period (TMI ahead) when I wanted to eat everything and if I couldn’t eat it I wanted to sleep on it. I noticed an appreciable drop in my milk supply so I figured it was a great time to try out the raspberry leaf tea.

The first time I made it I didn’t have any dried leaves yet so I plunked about 6 or so fresh leaves in a mini french press with a few mint leaves, filled it with hot water and let it sit. And sit. And sit. I was waiting for some color change but I never got one.

After a sniff I could really smell the mint so I pressed the plunger and poured out the tea. I added a little spoonful of honey and ate some pound cake in preparation for the acetaminophen I was going to down in response to the cramps I could feel taking root in my lower back.

Then a funny thing happened. I drank the tea and the rumbling of pain beginning to form stopped. No more cramps. And it wasn’t bad tea either.

I could taste a little something green behind the mint but nothing bad, certainly nothing as bad as the lactation tea. I didn’t even realize it at first, sort of how you forget about breathing through your nose until you’re sick, I forgot I was supposed to be in pain. The next day I had a cup of tea first thing when I got to work and no cramps. It was magical.

The day after my period I thought I was off the hook so I didn’t bother adding raspberry leaves to my tea (at this point I was just putting them in the french press with the loose leaf black tea I was drinking, more on that at the bottom).

And then the cramps started again. By the time I finished what I was working on and went to make some tea I was having hot and cold flashes, nausea and cramping; 15 minutes after drinking a cup of tea I was fine. Great even. AMAZING!

I’ve started adding a few leaves to my tea every morning in an attempt to never ever plan a self-hysterectomy using pliers and a seam ripper. We will see how that goes in a month.


Of all the plants I have growing, red raspberries are not on the list yet. I have black raspberries and Fall Gold ever bearing raspberries. I didn’t get them pruned last year so the black ones are a tangled mess that I’ll butcher once the berries are gone. Until then I’ve been pulling leaves off the older canes.

Fresh leaves work great while you can get them but once the winter hits it’s going to be a problem. My plan is to cut back the ever bearing bushes this fall and turn them all into tea. I have a lot of main crop summer berries so I’m ok with skipping the first set of berries in favor of a bigger fall harvest.

Raspberries in general are vigorous growers that benefit from heavy pruning. You could drink tea all day long and you won’t hurt the bushes.

How to Make Raspberry Leaf Tea:

1. Pick fresh leaves, I go for the bright green ones near the tips. They are prickly so be careful, you might want to wear gloves and don’t try it at night like I did.

2. Wash them and dry in a salad spinner or roll up in a dish towel or paper towels. If you plan on using them fresh that’s it, if not read on

3. Dry on the herb setting in a dehydrator. Depending on the dehydrator and how many leaves you’re using it might take 8 hours or 2 days.

OR hang up in a warm dry place. Summers in the north east are pretty humid so it’s not a great method here, things tend to get moldy. OR dry on low in your oven, houses are hot enough in the summer so this would a last resort here.

4. Once the leaves are crisp store them in an air tight container. A mason jar with a plastic screw on lid works great. You don’t have to break them up, it’s easier to just grab two leaves than scoop out crumbles.

Brew (steep?) Tips: Herbal teas are usually brewed at higher temps and longer than tea-leaf teas so they are probably your best bet if you want to get the most out of your raspberry leaves. Like I said before I thought it was pretty good with a few mint leaves and some honey.

If you want to mix it with regular tea I’d go with a black tea, it can take a higher heat than green tea. I drink loose leaf black tea that I make in a mini french press. I add the tea, drop in a few leaves and add the water. Honestly it doesn’t taste any different than usual.

When you’re desperate:

Toss some leaves in a small pot of water and heat until you see bubbles. Remove from the heat and drink when it’s cool enough to tolerate. Burning your mouth won’t make your cramps go away!

For more information on growing raspberries:

More Old School Healing:

7 Amazing Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

How Much Should I Drink to Induce Labor?

If you want to strengthen and tone the uterus before giving birth, experts recommend 2-3 cups of tea per day, starting in the third trimester. When starting out with raspberry leaf tea, it is best to start with 1 cup per day and see how your body reacts. If you don’t experience any side effects, you can gradually start increasing that amount up to 2-3 cups daily. The active compounds will build up in your body, your uterine wall will be supported, and when you go into labor, it should be a quick process, with effective contractions and relatively short delivery time.

Drinking raspberry leaf tea may not be a wise choice for those who have had unusual pregnancies or delivery experiences in the past, as the tea might exacerbate or complicate some of those issues.

  • Overdue Birth – If your baby is already overdue, the contractions during a vaginal birth will already be quite intense; making them even stronger with raspberry leaf tea could put a lot of stress on the baby.
  • Bleeding or Spotting – If you have experienced any sort of bleeding or spotting in the second or third trimester, stimulating the uterus with raspberry leaf tea may not be wise.
  • Cesarean – If you are planning to have a Cesarean birth, this tea is not recommended before the procedure, although it can help the uterine wall to recover after the delivery. If you have had a Cesarean in the past, but want to have a vaginal birth later in life, raspberry leaf tea may be helpful, but it is strongly recommended that you speak to your doctor first.

Finally, some people have reported laxative and diuretic effects of raspberry leaf tea, as well as the relaxing, sedative nature of the tea. If you are taking other anti-anxiety or sleeping medications, speak to a medical professional before adding this tea to your daily diet, as there could be complications.

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