My midwife came me a tincture that has: Red Raspberry leaf, Wild yam, Ginger, Partridge Berry, Catnip and False Unicorn. I am supposed to take it 3 times a day. It is rough going down.
Anyone else have a tincture they are taking?
Doing a bunch of research and there are just two sides. Some that really say, it helps prevent miscarriage and some that say it causes it. Susan Weed, well known herbalist says:
RED RASPBERRY LEAVES (Rubus spp.)
Brewed as a tea or as an infusion, raspberry is the best known, most widely used, and safest of all uterine and pregnancy tonic herbs. It contains fragrine, an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself.
Most of the benefits ascribed to regular use of Raspberry tea through pregnancy are traced to the nourishing source of vitamins and minerals found in this plant and to the strengthening power of fragrine - an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself. Of special note are the rich concentration of vitamin C, the presence of vitamin E and the easily assimilated calcium and iron. Raspberry leaves also contain vitamins A and B complex and many minerals, including phosphorous and potassium.
The benefits of drinking a raspberry leaf brew before and throughout pregnancy include:
~ Increasing fertility in both men and women. Raspberry leaf is an excellent fertility herb when combined with Red Clover.
~ Preventing miscarriage and hemorrhage. Raspberry leaf tones the uterus and helps prevent miscarriage and postpartum hemorrhage from a relaxed or atonic uterus.
~ Easing of morning sickness. Many attest to raspberry leaves' gentle relief of nausea and stomach distress throughout pregnancy.
~ Reducing pain during labor and after birth. By toning the muscles used during labor and delivery, Raspberry leaf eliminates many of the reasons for a painful delivery and prolonged recovery. It does not, however, counter the pain of pelvic dilation.
~ Assisting in the production of plentiful breast milk. The high mineral content of Raspberry leaf assist in milk production, but its astringency may counter that for some women.
~ Providing a safe and speedy pariuntion. Raspberry leaf works to encourage the uterus to let go and function without tension. It does not strengthen contractions, but does allow the contracting uterus to work more effectively and so may make the birth easier and faster.
I know I'm just a person, but I've used RRL through two other pregnancies in addition to this one and never had a problem. I also have never found evidence that rationally supports the RRL as dangerous theory. Wild Yam is a progesterone supplement. It's used, traditionally, in pregnancies with threatened m/c, or where progesterone levels are suspected/known to be low. Unicorn root is also a "fertility" herb, traditionally used to enhance fertility in order to *get* pregnant. Tinctures are stronger than teas or infusions. I'm not at all qualified to give an opinion, but I think I would ask her just to explain the why/how of the tincture. Not in a bad way, just to satisfy your curiosity! Also, I totally respect Susun Weed's knowledge, but I have, over the past little while, come to think of her as a little bit "old". Not age-wise, just research-wise. Aviva Romm is an herbalist I find to be more current, research-wise. Like I said though, totally personal opinion, not necessarily based in actual book learning.
So, the Canadian Pharmacists Association, in conjunction with the Canadian Medical Association, publish a book called, "Herbs: Everyday Reference for Health Professionals". The page on Red raspberry leaf is super brief. The summary actually says, "has not been extensively investigated scientifically". It has "no known risks", no documented adverse effects and no interactions. It is contraindicated in pregnant women with a history of precipitate labour, based on a single study from the Pharmaceutical Press in 1996. recommended dosage is 4-8mL/3 times a day. It has been shown to function as a uterine relaxant, AND as a uterine stimulant, and it had no effect on uterine strips from non-pregnant rats or women. Helpful and conclusive, hey?
In all honesty, I'd be more concerned with the yam (hormonal effects), and the unicorn root (fertility enhancers are often not friendly to actual pregnancies, just to establishing them, but I really know nothing about unicorn root).
Yeah, there doesn't seem to be a lot (or much of any) hard data supporting or denying the benefits of RRL. It seems to, mostly, fall under the category of "unknown so best to avoid" that so many things seem to. Just thought I would share that there is some concern. And as far as the yam, if my progesterone levels were low, I'd want blood work to back that up before I started supplementing with anything unnecessary.
In all reality, a chemical pregnancy could have been due to genetic factors or something else entirely. I've had losses myself, and I understand the feeling of wanting to do something to increase your odds, I really do.