Product Type: Heath & Heather Tea
Newest Review: ... bags for £1.40 by Health and Heather. They just look like an ordinary rectangle tea bag. The smell of them isn't too pleasant and even when... more
Tea for two
Heath & Heather Raspberry Leaf Tea
Member Name: historywitch
Heath & Heather Raspberry Leaf Tea
Date: 22/07/09, updated on 23/07/09 (1176 review reads)
Advantages: Increased Braxton Hicks, more efficient contractions in labour, health benefits
Disadvantages: Taste for some people, not for use in 1st or 2nd trimester
When I was pregnant with my daughter I was an active member of pregnancy forums on the internet (oh for the time to do that with this pregnancy!) and raspberry leaf tea (or RLT) was constantly mentioned from about 30 weeks. Willing to try anything I bought a couple of boxes and took it regularly from 37 weeks until I went into labour at 41.
***What is it?***
There was a great deal of confusion about its actual purpose on the forums I visited, with many members actually believing it would bring labour on sooner. In fact it is a herbal infusion which helps to strengthen the muscles of the uterus to make contractions more efficient. Apparently it is something used by native Americans for many generations due to their belief in its efficacy. Most health food shops sell it in tea bag (mixed with other ingredients such as apple) or capsule form - or you can go to a NIMH herbalist where they will provide you with a stronger and less adulterated version of the loose herb.
My research on the internet also suggests it is useful for painful menstrual cramps (makes sense), as a fertility treatment which balances the hormones of men and women and as a treatment for diarrhoea/intestinal inflammation due to its high tannin content. It has high levels of Vitamins C, E and A as well as iron and manganese.
***When can I take it from and how often?***
A quick search on the internet reveals many differing opinions on this, ranging from early pregnancy to the last weeks of gestation. The box I bought bears a strict warning not to use it in early pregnancy and the majority consensus (including all the health food shops I have bought it in) is that you should start taking it from 36 weeks. With my daughter I started with one cup a day at 36 weeks, went up to two cups at 37 weeks and by 38 weeks was taking three cups a day. I then continued to take it after the birth for several weeks to speed up the shrinking of my uterus. If you aren't pregnant you can take it at any time of course!
***What does it taste like?***
I bought the NIMH teabags from my local health food shop for £1.35 for 20 bags (Heath and Heather brand). The ingredients list shows that in addition to the Raspberry Leaves (48%) each bag contains:
Natural Raspberry Flavouring (6%)
This combination of flavours after five minutes of infusion in a cup of hot water makes a refreshingly tangy liquid with a slightly sour taste. Certainly many women have complained that it is not to their taste but this is easy to rectify with a spoonful of honey or sugar. When it was too warm for me to want to drink a hot cup of tea (my daughter was a June baby) I left it to cool before drinking, or left it in a jug in a fridge to drink later.
***Where can I get it from?***
Most health food shops stock the teabags and can put you in contact with NIMH members if you fancy the stronger loose tea. Holland and Barrett and many other retailers including Amazon stock both the tea and the capsules. The capsules seem to be around £5- £8 for 60, although I have not tried them so cannot comment on how effective they are.
***Did it work for you?***
From the first cup I noticed an increase in the strength and duration of my Braxton Hicks contractions which frightened me at first but became something I got used to. When it came to the labour itself I had strong but not particularly painful contractions for most of a day before going to hospital where I was discovered to be 8cm dilated (out of ten for those who aren't familiar with childbirth). Even though my daughter turned back to back for the last half of the labour contractions were manageable with gas and air and a TENS machine and I only pushed for 5 minutes before my daughter was born. I believe that the speed and ease of my labour was at least in part due to the RLT which I took religiously in the weeks leading up to the birth.
For my second child I am definitely going to take the RLT again, although I have booked a homebirth as a precaution in case this one is in more of a hurry to arrive!
Summary: A useful drink
More reviews in the field of Tea
- Simply Pure Green tea,
- Another Lovely Fruit Infusion from Twinings
- An apple in your cup
- A powerful little herb.
- Rich tea at not such a rich price!
- Soothing and Calming
- Not sure about refreshing & revitalising but it cleared my airways :-)
- More Soul Than Your Average Ginger
- Quality Tea at Half the Price
- Help For IBS