Where is the best place to buy it? It is better to buy in bulk? What infussions and how much will you drink a day? Any cool stories from drinking it in previous pregnancies? Is there a difference between RED raspberry and raspberry leaf?
Anyone start on Red Raspberry leaf yet?
I just started this week. I know there is a debate over whether to wait until later in the pregnancy or to take it throughout, the CNMs at my birth center suggest taking it throughout, so I am going with that :)
I'm not sure if you have Vitamin Cottage in Iowa, but that's where I get mine in bulk and it is very inexpensive! I just use enough to fill my tea ball with for each cup. I also Have used the Pregnancy Tea from Traditional Medicinals, which has RRL as well as nettle leaf and strawberry leaf. The box says to have 4 cups a day, but I am only doing 1 a day, but might take more closer to the birth.
I used to by the pre-made tea bags, but they are so pricey so I am making my own tea using Red Raspberry Leaf, Nettle and a few other ingredients that I read in The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm. I'll find the recipe tonight and post it tomorrow if anyone is interested. (Actually, that book is very helpful if you are interested in what types of herbs & supplements are good or counter indicated for pregnancy. )
I bought a bunch of the bulk herbs from my local natural food store and I was surprised at how cheap it was. The jars all say $15 or $20 per pound on them, but since tea is so lightweight, it ends up being cheap. I think I spent about $15 all together and mixed it to almost fill a gallon size ziplock baggie. I use about 1/4c each day, and the bag lasts a couple of months.
As for the difference between the two, red raspberry leaf tea is the actual green leaf from the plant. When you buy plain raspberry tea (this is my favorite for iced tea), it is usually just black or another tea flavored with the actual raspberry fruit, which makes it that bright magenta color.
I drink a slightly diluted 20oz water bottle a day of tea made from 1part Nettle leaf, 1/2 part oatstraw, 1 part RRL and 1/2 part Alfalfa leaf. Although my midwife recommends starting it right away I waited until I was 10 weeks for so. I brew up a pot, steep it over night, drain into a pitcher and store in the fridge. I made a new batch every 3-4 days.
I've been drinking it on and off since the beginning of my pregnancy. I too buy from my local health food store and make up a mixture of RRL, nettle, alfalfa, and spearmint to lighten the earthy flavor.
I've read a good portion of the enormous thread in the Pregnancy forum. I guess Mountain Rose Herbs has good prices but are frequently out of stock and on back order.
There are also some really cool labor stories about making the final infusion as labor begins of 1 oz of RRL in x amt of water (I can't remember the exact amt) and letting it steep for 30 min. Those mamas said it brought on a pretty labor and delivery for them with very little effort.
It's all very interesting.
I need to be more consistent with it.
Whoah, I think I missed the memo. Is this something I should be drinking?!? I've been on a regular Snapple regimen, but can definitely switch ;)
Would someone mind please explaining the benefits of RRL tea? I was under the impression this was something to take if you were really overdue and needed to bring on labor?
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is helpful for muscle tone in the uterus. It is believed to help labor be more effective because of the improved muscle tone.
I buy it in bulk online. I use about 2-3 tablespoons to make one pot of tea and leave it to steep for about 10-15 minutes. I'll usually drink it hot, but if I know I'm going to be out a lot that day I'll make it up the night before and chill in the fridge then drink it like water. I started taking it within the first couple of weeks of finding out I was pregnant, but not every day. Now at 14 weeks I'm starting to take it every day. Last time I waited until 36 weeks before taking it daily and I didn't feel like it worked, but I had a malpostioned baby and 5 weeks probably wasn't long enough for any real benefit.
I just placed an order from a woman on Etsy for her custom RRL tea blend.
I contacted about ordering a bulk quantity and she came back with a bag that has enough loose tea for 150 cups of brewed tea. I can't wait to try it!
Here's the description of the tea from her site:
"(Organic Caffeine Free Herbal Tea) This tea blend is designed with Pregnant Mothers to be in mind! I use all organic ingredients and hand blend this tea in small batches to ensure quality. These herbs come together to aid the body in uterine support as well as alleviating nausea, calming the digestive system, soothing heartburn and many other herbal benefits! I am a mother of 2 children and currently pregnant with my third child and I drink this tea daily!
Raspberry Leaf brings many benefits to this tea including soothing leg cramps, easing morning sickness and acting as a uterine relaxant! Lemon balm is useful for treating nervous disturbances of sleep and chronic gastrointestinal disorders. This tea blend has an added benefit of peppermint. It has been written that peppermint sweetens the breath and calms the digestive system, plus it helps heartburn, stomach ache and nausea. I also add ginger for its numerous health benefits! Scientists have found evidence to support gingers wide range of medicinal actions including; the lowering of cholesterol levels, relief for allergies and asthma, arthritis, colds, and nausea; and protecting the digestive tract and liver against toxins and parasites...along with many other benefits. Alfalfa is one of the best natural sources of Vitamin K, and that is why I add Alfalfa leaves to this Pregnancy blend. This nutrient helps blood to clot by moving calcium into proteins that form microscopic net to capture red blood cells. Alfalfa also helps keep calcium in the bones and out of the lining of arteries. And for a little added pampering I add Oat Tops: Oats are known to help the body in the management of healthy skin, hair and nails!
This tea is not a commercial blend, but I personally hand mix it in small batches to ensure quality and uniformity of each and every custom tea tin.
Brew: Steep 1 teaspoon in 8 oz water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 5-7 minutes.
Organic Ingredients: Raspberry Leaf, Nettle Root, Lemon Balm Leaves, Oat Tops, Alfalfa Leaves, Strawberry Leaves, Rose Hips, Rose Petals, Ginger, Peppermint Leaves, Chocolate Mint Leaves
Taste: Warm and Peacefully calm with notes of soothing peppermint
Each tin contains ½ cup of loose tea and will make approximately 20 cups of brewed tea."
I've been drinking it pretty much since I got the positive---I'm a tea drinker anyway, so when I was buying tea a the co-op I just for the RRL jar, too.
I love it cold, and I've heard that RRL tea popsicles are wonderful in the summer! I had a late winter baby last time, but this time I think popsicles are in order.
I don't like it straight iced, but mixed it with my usual peach tea and like it this way. I made the equivilant of 2 cups and mixed it into a 2 quart pitcher (how much I drink/day).
I can't remember what the bagged tea tastes like, but I hear that the loose leaf tastes better. I've been thinking about adding some nettle to up my vitamin & iron content--anyone know how that tastes?