[Rubus idaeus] Raspberry leaves have a time-honoured reputation for assisting “female conditions” , most notably enhancing fertility and childbirth, as well as being applied to menstrual discomfort. Raspberry leaf has been used as an alternative to hormonal (drug) therapy for mares with oestrus problems and the attendant behavioural disturbances. For mares who have had, or are likely to have, difficulty conceiving it can be given for a period prior to mating. Generally, raspberry leaf is used to tone the uterine muscles, encourage an easy labour, and prevent/reduce haemorrhaging during and after foaling, as well as assisting in expelling the afterbirth.
Raspberry leaf’s astringency also sees it applied to cases of diarrhoea, mouth ulcers/inflammation and conjunctivitis (externally).
NOTE: When being used to assist breeding… Once a mare is pregnant some owners/breeders continue to give small amonts of raspberry leaf regularly throughout the pregnancy, however it is more usual to cease using raspberry during early and mid-term (as a precaution, due to the uterine stimulating properties of raspberry) and then re-introduce it in the final couple of months of pregnancy, continuing until a week or two after foaling.
ACTIONS include: astringent (having a contracting and toning effect on mucous membranes and tissues), tonic, toning the gravid (pregnant) uterus, parturient (assisting childbirth), digestive remedy.