Avoid in individuals with a known allergy to raspberry (Rubusidaeus). Occupational asthma (hay fever symptoms, wheezing, and shortness of breath) occurred in a 35 year-old, after chewing gum coated with raspberry powder. Use cautiously in patients with asthma.
Side Effects and Warnings
Side effects of raspberry appear to be minimal, although the lack of clinical trials investigating raspberry makes it difficult to assess its safety. Raspberries are likely safe when used in amounts normally found in food in healthy individuals.
Most adverse effects appear to arise from contaminated fruits, which can cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, paralyzing fatigue, and fever. Symptoms appear to come on suddenly, last up to a month, and resemble signs of severe stomach influenza. Cyclosporiasis associated with contaminated raspberries has been reported. Always thoroughly wash raspberries before ingestion.
Contaminated raspberries may also carry Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs), estimated to be the most common causes of foodborne disease in the United States and accounting for two-thirds of all food-related illnesses. NLVs are a principal cause of outbreaks of acute onset vomiting and diarrhea in all age groups.
Raspberry roots and leaves may be mild laxatives. They may also increase urine flow or have sedative effects. Methadone diluted with contaminated raspberry syrup may be a potential source of candidiasis in drug abusers.
Raspberry leaf may induce labor. However, a clinical trial using raspberry leaf tablets reported no adverse effects.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Raspberry leaf may induce labor. However, a clinical trial using raspberry leaf tablets reported no adverse effects. More study is needed in this area before a recommendation can be made.
Adults (over 18 years old)
Based on scientific evidence, raspberry leaf tablets (2 x 1.2 grams per day) from 32 weeks gestation until labor has been used, and appears safe for childbirth. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, before making decisions about dosing.
Traditionally, raspberry leaf tea (1 ounce of the dried leaves infused in a pint of boiling water) and gargled has been used for sore mouth, sore throat or wounds. Dehydrated raspberry fruit, crushed and made into a tea, has also been taken for viral infections. For diarrhea or dysentery, 1 cup of strong tea of raspberry leaves or root at body temperature ingested every hour until symptoms decrease has been used.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for raspberry, and use in children is not recommended.
Interactions with Drugs
Raspberry may have antibiotic activity and interact additively with clarithromycin. Caution is advised. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, before combining therapies.
Raspberry contains antioxidants. Use with caution when taking other medications that also have antioxidant effects.
Raspberry roots and leaves may be a mild diuretic, and increase the flow of urine. Patients taking medications that increase the flow of urine, such as bumetanide (Bumex®) or chlorothiazide (Diuril®), should use raspberry with caution. Raspberry may also have laxative properties, and care should be taken when using with other laxatives.
Certain extracts of dried raspberry leaves may relax muscles. Use caution in patients taking medications that may have sedative, relaxing, or antispasmotic effects.
Raspberries may contain salicylates. Caution is advised when taking medications that contain high amounts of salicylates, such as aspirin.
Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements
Raspberry may have antibiotic activity. Raspberry also contains antioxidants. In theory, raspberry may interact additively with herbs and supplements that also have antibiotic or antioxidant effects. Caution is advised.
Raspberry roots and leaves may be a mild diuretic, and increase the flow of urine. Patients taking herbs and supplements that increase the flow of urine should use raspberry with caution. Raspberry may also have laxative properties, and care should be taken with other herbs and supplement with these effects, such as psyllium.
Certain extracts of dried raspberry leaves may relax muscles. Use caution in patients taking other herbs and supplements that may have sedative, relaxing, or antispasmotic effects.
Raspberries may contain salicylates. Caution is advised when taking herbs and supplements that contain high amounts of salicylates, such as willow bark.