Known interactions

No interactions found.

Info about Raspberry Leaf

Scientific Name: Raspberry Leaf

Other Names: Red Raspberry, Rubus idaeus, Rubus strigosus

Who is this for?

Note: During pregnancy, raspberry leaf should be used only under the recommendation of a medical professional.

Raspberry leaf is best known for its use during pregnancy and childbirth. When its use is supervised by a doctor or midwife, it is promoted to help relieve pregnancy-associated nausea and to ease delivery. In women who are not pregnant, it is used to regulate menstrual periods and it can help to control diarrhea for either men or women.

As a mouthwash, raspberry leaf tea is used to soothe mouth and throat irritation. It also acts as an astringent on irritated skin. An astringent shrinks and tightens the top layers of skin or mucous membranes, thereby reducing secretions, relieving irritation, and improving tissue firmness .

When should I be careful taking it?

In studies of laboratory animals, very large amounts of raspberry leaf extract caused unpredictable contraction or relaxation of the uterus. Miscarriage could result from either. Although no reports of miscarriage in humans have been published, pregnant women should not use raspberry leaf without the supervision of a medical professional.

Women with hormone-dependent conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or cancers of the breast, ovaries, or uterus should not take raspberry leaf due to its possible estrogenic effects. Men with prostate cancer should also avoid taking raspberry leaf.


Very little is known about how raspberry leaf may affect infants, therefore women who are breast-feeding should limit their use of raspberry leaf tea.

Individuals with diabetes should also avoid using large amounts of raspberry leaf because it might lower blood sugar levels, potentially resulting in hypoglycemia (blood sugar that is too low). Symptoms of low blood sugar include shakiness, sweating, confusion, distorted speech, and loss of muscle control. If not corrected, low blood sugar can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

What side effects should I watch for?

No side effects have been associated with using raspberry leaf. Since few reliable studies of its use have been conducted in humans, however, it may have side effects that are not yet known. If you experience unexplained side effects while taking raspberry leaf, you should stop taking it and tell your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects.

What interactions should I watch for?

Prescription Drugs

Raspberry leaf contains a high percentage of chemicals called tannins. Because tannins shrink and tighten the top layers of skin or mucous membranes, they reduce secretions, relieve irritation, and improve tissue firmness. If tannins affect stomach and intestinal tissue, they could keep other drugs from being absorbed properly. If you use raspberry leaf tea, you should drink it at least 2 hours before or after taking prescription drugs by mouth.

Treating laboratory animals with blackberry leaf, which is similar in chemical composition to raspberry leaf, caused blood sugar levels to decrease. No similar results have been reported using raspberry leaf in either animals or humans, but it is possible that raspberry leaf may have a slight lowering effect on blood sugar. Therefore, it may interfere with insulin and oral drugs for diabetes.

Non-prescription Drugs

In theory, the tannins in raspberry leaf tea could interfere with the absorption of non-prescription drugs such as vitamins. If you use raspberry leaf tea, you should drink it at least 2 hours before or after taking non-prescription drugs by mouth.


Although no interactions have been reported between raspberry leaf and foods, the tannins in raspberry leaf may interfere with the absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium from foods. A dietary deficiency of these minerals is very rare in the U.S., but it might be possible if large amounts of raspberry leaf are used.

Some interactions between herbal products and medications can be more severe than others. The best way for you to avoid harmful interactions is to tell your doctor and/or pharmacist what medications you are currently taking, including any over-the-counter products, vitamins, and herbals.

Should I take it?

Raspberry bushes are common in most parts of the world that have a moderate climate. They form thick, thorny masses called brambles. Raspberry brambles are perennial, but they produce berries only once every 2 years. Even though the berries contain many seeds, they are used widely for food.

For use in medicine, the leaves of raspberry brambles are gathered before the fruits ripen. The leaves are dried and made into tea or other oral dose forms. Occasionally, a wash or poultice made from raspberry leaves is applied to the skin.

Dosage and Administration

Raspberry leaf tea is made by soaking 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried, chopped leaves in 5 ounces to 8 ounces of boiling water for about 5 minutes. The solid particles are then strained out before the tea is ingested. Typically, stronger teas are used by midwives to induce labor. Raspberry leaf should not be used in the last 3 months of pregnancy, however, without the supervision of a health professional.

Occasionally, the cooled tea is applied topically to relieve minor skin irritation or used as a mouthwash to relieve sore throat.


Under the supervision of a health professional, raspberry leaf tea is used mainly to relieve nausea during pregnancy and to assist in the birthing process. By mouth, it is sometimes used to treat diarrhea. It can be applied topically to soothe inflamed skin.


In high doses, raspberry leaf may cause muscles in the uterus to contract or relax, therefore a miscarriage could occur. Because raspberry leaf is thought to have a slight effect like the female hormone, estrogen, it should not be used by women who have endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or cancers of the breast, ovaries, or uterus. Men who have prostate cancer should also avoid using it.

Women who are breast-feeding should not drink large amounts of raspberry leaf tea due to unknown effects on infants. Individuals who take insulin or oral drugs for diabetes should also limit their use of raspberry leaf by mouth, because it may reduce blood sugar levels.

Side Effects

No side effects have been associated with using raspberry leaf either by mouth or on the skin.


The tannin content in raspberry leaf tea might interfere with the absorption of drugs and nutrients from food. Its possible lowering effects on blood sugar levels may interfere with insulin and oral drugs for diabetes.


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(Note: The above information is not intended to replace the advice of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It is not meant to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you.)

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