Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Frugal Experiment: Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Image Credit: Wikipedia
I had been hearing for years that red raspberry leaf tea can be good for "lady time."  And by "lady time" I mean your period. I started googling and found various anecdotes about how it helped women in pregnancy and was given upon the advice of midwives.* Most articles were about the benefits for pregnancy related issues, with afterthoughts about it's efficacy during menses. 

According to Wikipedia,
 "The red raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus), also known as garden raspberry leaf, is a pale-green leaf produced by the raspberry plant; an upright shrub with perennialroots and prickly, biennial canes. The leaf has been used in folk remedies, due to its rich content in vitamins, minerals, and tannins." 
Worth a shot, right?

Since I'm doing "No Pay May," I decided I would try to make some myself instead of buying this stuff that I see in the health food store:

I have a few small raspberry plants and decided to start there. While I've read that dried leaves are better (not sure why), my period already started and I was hurting (plus I'm not very patient when I am wanting to try something fun)!  So Monday night I went out to the garden, plucked a few leaves off the red raspberry bush and steeped a handful.  Within an hour my cramps had eased and I did not have to take ibuprofen.  Weird.

Tuesday morning - Typically my heaviest and most painful day, I did the same and my cramps were held held at bay and I still didn't need to take ibuprofen to get through the work day (Ibuprofen has been linked to liver damage among other things, so I try not to take it unless nothing else is helping).  Hmmm, could it be the placebo effect?

Wednesday - I noticed the past few days my bleeding has been lighter than usual. Started cramping a bit this morning.  Made some more tea. Cramps were mild enough that I didn't need ibuprofen.

Wednesday afternoon - cramps were a little stronger. Made another cup using the old leaves. - an hour later they were pretty much gone. Hmmmm...

Today is Thursday, and I'm at the tail end of my period.  My period was significantly lighter, and I did not have to take ibuprofen for cramps (probably the first time since I started my period at age 13 that I have not use ibuprofen).

Other things that I have done that could be affecting the outcome here is that I begun to take iron, Vitamin D, and B Vitamins consistently about a week ago. The brain is also very powerful, and it could be a combined mental effect of placebo and having a soothing tea. Who knows?

Bottom Line: I'll be harvesting more leaves to dry and make the tea the "right" way for next month. To me this was a successful frugal experiment!

Have you had success with red raspberry tea? Have you made it yourself?  Have you tried making any other kinds of tea?

*I am not, nor do I claim to be a healthcare professional.  Please consult your healthcare provider for advice on your particular situation.

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