You may have heard red raspberry leaf recommended numerous times for pregnancy without ever knowing why. This herb has many benefits, making this a great herb for women whether they are pregnant or not.
Red raspberry leaf tones the uterus, which is one of the main reasons women are advised to consume it. Red raspberry leaves contain an alkaloid called fragrine. Fragrine tones the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus.
Why should a uterus be toned?
Imagine a bicep that never gets used. It's scrawny and unable to lift much. When you try to lifting more than a few pounds, it has to work harder and becomes easily exerted. It hurts and you feel sore for a while afterwards.
Now, imagine that you begin lifting weights to exercise this bicep and over time it gets stronger. You can steadily increase the amount of weight you can lift because the muscle has made is more adept at doing its job. In short, it's become easier for it to do what it was designed to do.
The uterus is a hollow organ with lots of muscles that stretch and contract. Keeping it well toned makes it easier for it to do its job - with less pain, too.
Preventing miscarriage and hemorrhage - Think of that scrawny arm holding up a weight it is not used to holding. The arm quickly drops because it isn't strong enough. A uterus that isn't toned is too relaxed to perform its main functions - carrying a baby to term and contracting after birth to prevent hemorrhage.
Easier and faster birth - Now imagine those arms pumping iron. They've become used to working out regularly and can now do many reps with ease. During pregnancy and labor, the uterus is constantly contracting. For a uterus that hasn't been properly toned through physical exercise and with herbs like red raspberry leaf, it is difficult to do all of those repetitions, making it less effective and prone to exertion.
Reducing labor and afterbirth pain - Now the baby is delivered and the uterus needs to return to its original size, which is much smaller than it's been for the last several months. It does this by contracting - the same kind of contracting that it did during labor. Yes, this hurts too, just like labor. However, if it's been toned, the contractions are more efficient and don't take as long to return the uterus to the size of a pear.
Drinking plenty of red raspberry leaf tea from the second trimester until after your baby is born will help tone your uterus and prepare it for delivery. It also helps keep postpartum and menstrual cramps under control. So drink up and get toned!