Raspberry leaf tea Menstruation
Women who are struggling every month with the symptoms and pains of pms (pre-menstrual syndrome) are looking for alternatives to the usual medical remedies. Some of the issues that woman have to deal with every month include menstrual cramps, heavy menstrual bleeding and period pain.
The usual medical remedies for these maladies come in two forms – physician prescribed pharmaceuticals and over the counter medical remedies. The two best known over the counter medical remedies for all sorts of menstrual cycle issues are Pamprin and Midol. Midol has been around since the early 1900’s. Midol actually started life as a headache remedy, then a hiccup remedy then a menstrual cycle remedy competing with a drug by Kotex called Kotex Kurbs. Midol was initially advertised to fight cramps, headaches, and “the blues”. Today’s Midol comes in a variety of types. There is Midol Complete, Midol Extended Relief, Midol Teen, Midol PM and Midol Liquid Gels. Most Midal compounds contain caffeine which can have a negative effect on some women.
Pamprin came along to challenge Midol in 1962 replacing a previous pms product called Wine of Cardui. Pamprin was very popular in the 60’s and 70’s in the United States as a “new” product in competition with the “old” Midol. Both of these products are available over the counter today. Pamprin’s parent company also produces Premsyn PMS. Together with Pamprin is gives Chattem Pharmaceuticals 40% of the over the counter menstrual cycle products market.
None of these products are completely effective for all women. Many women find that these remedies will help with bloating or headaches but not cramping or mood swings. Perhaps they help with mood swings but not nausea and vomiting. Women with multiple pms symptoms and a lot of pain have not found the answer in these over the counter medication. Women can also choose to use an over the counter analgesic like Tylenol, Advil or Motrin. The other choice is these same non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) in prescription strength. These drugs are pain relievers as well as having the ability to calm inflammations. Inflammations and prostaglandins are major villains in the pms syndrome.
All of this leads women with severe or moderate pms symptoms to look for alternatives and Red Raspberry Leaf is such an alternative. The scientific name for this is Rubus idaeus L. and Rubus strigosus Michx. It is in the family of Rosaceae (roses). Red Raspberry Leaf can be taken in any of the following forms: tea, extract, supplement and as a seed oil.
What does Red Raspberry Leaf do for pms and does it help with menstrual cramps?
Many herbalists and old medicine women have named Red Raspberry Leaf as “the woman’s herb” because it contains fragarine and tannins which together are known for treating pms symptoms of cramping, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
It is also known to help with heavy and irregular bleeding during the menstrual cycle. Fragarine is known to help tone and tighten muscles in the pelvic region thereby assisting with the cramps caused by spasms of these muscles. In order to benefit from this you need to drink Red Raspberry Leaf tea on a regular basis.
You should take it for pms at the very least a week or two before your period starts. Red Raspberry Leaf can be purchased as a tea pack or dry leaf. Place it in boiling water and steep it for about 15 minutes to make a tasty tea. Drink it up to three times per day. Taken daily Red Raspberry Leaf will slow down the blood flow during menstruation and will build up the immune system. If taken daily over the course of several months, you will begin to forget about cramps, heavy blood flows and period pain.
Actually Red Raspberry Leaf is a multi-tasking herb and can deal with many symptoms at once. One major function of Red Raspberry Leaf is to clean the blood of excess hormones. This is really important to women suffering from pms as one of the major culprits in pms is the hormonal imbalance experienced in the Follicular and Lateal phases of the menstrual cycle. At one point in the Follicular phase the body is flooded with estrogen and then in the Luteal phase it is flooded with progesterone. The overwhelming majority of all pms issues begin with this hormonal imbalance. Being able to overcome that makes Red Raspberry Leaf a critical remedy for pms.
There are not many medical or clinical studies regarding Red Raspberry Leaf and pms, but an animal study done in 2000 indicates it does have the ability to act as a relaxant agent thereby able to help with spasms and cramping. “In 2002, researchers from the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom tested dried raspberry leaf extract for relaxant activity on animal models. The researchers analyzed the effects of the herb combined with chemicals designed to highlight specific compounds. They found that at least two components of the extract exhibited relaxant activity. The study was published in the journal “Phytotherapy Research.”
Most studies that have been conducted have been around pregnancy more than pms. “The study published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health in 2001 found that women who drank raspberry leaf tea had shorter labor, and fewer of their babies were delivered by forceps. The other study, published in the Australian College of Midwives Journal, cited in The Natural Pharmacist as saying there was “no” benefit to the herb for pregnant women, actually stated: “The findings also suggest ingestion of the drug might decrease the likelihood of pre and post-term gestation.