Product Type: Heath & Heather Tea
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Blowing raspberries in labour!
Heath & Heather Raspberry Leaf Tea
Member Name: jo1976
Heath & Heather Raspberry Leaf Tea
Date: 01/07/10, updated on 10/09/13 (273 review reads)
Advantages: Supposed benefits for labour, pleasant refreshing taste
Disadvantages: Not very strong flavour or fragrance
I am currently in the later stages of pregnancy with my third child so, as my maternity leave is fast approaching, I am finally starting to think about the imminent arrival of baby number three!
With both of my previous pregnancies, I drank raspberry leaf tea from around the 32 week mark purely for the supposed benefits that this stuff is alleged to have around labour.
Raspberry leaf tea has apparantly been taken for centuries and there are various claims made about its properties although these aren't necessarily backed up by any real scientific evidence. Anecdotally, though, many women believe that drinking this infusion on a regular basis either helps to speed up the duration of labour (supposedly by 'toning' the uterus and making the contractions more stronger and more effective) and/or ensuring that the baby arrives more or less around its due date, avoiding that dreaded experience of going 'past your dates' and potentially being induced.
My midwives have always been a little ambivalent about the actual efficacy of raspberry leaf tea but the tea clearly does have the potential to affect the womb and it is not recommended during the early stages of pregnancy, due to fears that it can cause miscarriage because of its effects on the uterus. Most midwives seem to agree that, certainly in the later stages, the herbal tea will not do any harm and it might have some postive effect on labour, even if it is only a placebo effect. I think that most pregnant women will take anything that they think might make the whole process shorter, particularly a natural remedy such as this tea.
I can only go on my own personal experiences during previous pregnancies. I actually liked the taste of the tea so was quite happy to drink increasing quantities of the stuff during the last month or so. My oldest son arrived a respectable four days ahead of his predicted due date and my youngest son came ten days early. I can't honestly say that the labour itself was particularly quick although second time around was quicker than the first. I did end up giving birth last time without any pain relief too, which was not my intention. Who knows how differently, if any, things would have been had I not drank the raspberry leaf tea though?!
Recommendations around when to start taking this stuff vary according to different sources, with anywhere from around 30-37 weeks being suggested as the appropriate and safe time to drink this, gradually increasing the quantity over the course of a few weeks. Obviously, check with individual midwives as advice changes over time but mine has agreed that starting this at my current stage of pregnancy (34 weeks) should be fine.
I'm a PG Tips drinker by choice and, much as I like the idea and (usually) the scent of herbal and/or fruit teas, I'm generally let down by the actual taste so don't drink them as rule. Having said that, this tea is actually one of my favourite herbal teas and I do find the taste quite palatable, even quite refreshing. The scent of the unused tea-bags is not particularly appetising though and anybody expecting anything resembling a raspberry fragrance or taste will be sorely disappointed. Despite the attractive images of raspberries on the box, the clue is in the name and just under half of the infusion is made up of raspberry leaves. It's perhaps not as odd as it seems, then, that the smell of the unused bags resembles tobacco and the scent of the prepared drink reminds me mainly of straw!
Despite the dubious fragrance, the taste is pleasant enough although, as stated, not at all fruity. The mix does contain other ingredients, including natural raspberry flavouring, apple pomace, rosehips and, surprisingly, it does actually contain raspberries. The raspberry content (as opposed to the leaves) is only 1% so it is not that surprising that it doesn't make any impact on the actual flavour. I tend to leave the tea-bag in a mugful of boiling water and wait for a good ten minutes before drinking. This way the drink is cooler, more refreshing and I hope that I get more out of the infusion. It's certainly not a drink that I find unpleasant to drink which is a relief. For anybody who does find this totally unpalatable then the leaves can actually be purchased in a tablet format although I haven't tried these.
I picked up my box of 20 tagged Heath & Heather tea bags from a local independent health food store for £1.40 and certainly feel that they are worth the money and worth giving a shot. I'm hoping baby number three will also be making a relatively early, (but not overly so), speedy (yes please!) and painless (if only!) entry into the world. Wish me luck!
Summary: Worth a try!