Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is cultivated and grows wild throughout temperate climates, including North America and Europe. For several centuries, midwives have used raspberry leaf to stimulate and ease labor. Tea made from raspberry leaves has been used for centuries as a folk medicine to treat wounds, diarrhea, colic pain and as a uterine relaxant. In Bulgaria, the leaves were used for stomach bleeds, diarrhea, vomiting, menstrual problems, and respiratory diseases. In traditional Tibetan medical practices, the fruit and leaves of raspberry are made into an extract or decoction and used as a cure for emotional disturbances, exhaustion, irritability, and chronic infections.
The raspberry fruit is also commonly used as a flavoring, coloring, or food, either fresh or processed into cordials, jams, or preserves. The fruit is also commonly consumed for its antioxidants. Raspberry flowers have also been used for pimples, hemorrhoids, malaria, and as a poultice for eye inflammations.
Raspberry leaf is used during pregnancy and labor today, but there are few studies supporting this use. Raspberry may also be useful in cancer treatment or prevention, or as an antimicrobial. More research is needed to confirm these findings.
In the early 1990s, raspberries imported to the United States from Guatamala were infected with the Cyclospora parasite, which caused adverse effects such as fatigue, muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea. Periodic outbreaks of the Cyclosporia parasite from imported raspberries continued throughout the next decade. In response to outbreaks, the Centers for Disease Control placed periodic bans on imported raspberries.
Alkalis, alpha-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, anthocyanin, aronia berry, ascorbic acid, berry phenolics, beta-carotene, calcium, casuarictin, copper, ellagic acid, ellagitannins, epicuticular wax, flavonoids, flavonol, framboise (French), furanones, hydroxycinnamate, iron, kaempferol, kaempferol 3-glucosides, linolenic acid, loratadine, lutein, magnesium, manganese, methyl gallate, miskominaga wunj (Ojibwe), omega 3, oo na joo kwa (Mohawk), omega 3, phosphorus, phytochemicals, phytonutrients, polyphenolic components, quercetin, quercetin glycosides, raspberry ketone, raspberry seeds oil, raspberry leaf, raspberry leaf tea, red raspberry, resveratrol, Rosaceae (family), Rubus, Rubus arcticus, Rubus arizonensis, Rubus deliciosus, Rubus discolor, Rubus idaeus, Rubus idaeus ssp. Strigosus, Rubus laciniatus, Rubus leucodermis, Rubus neomexicanus, Rubus occidentalis, Rubus parviflorus, Rubus spectabilis, Rubus strigosus, Rubus ursinus, salicylates, sanguin H6, tannins, vitamin B, vitamin B1, vitamin C, vitamin E, volatile compounds, western blackberry, xylitol, xyloside, zinc.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Antioxidant (free radical scavenging)
Raspberry contains antioxidants and has antioxidant activity. Raspberry juice may have beneficial effects on exercise recovery. Additional study is needed to make a firm recommendation.
Raspberry leaf has been traditionally used during pregnancy and childbirth to improve labor. Early study shows that raspberry leaf may be safe for both mother and child. More studies are needed to make a firm recommendation.