Does raspberry leaf tea induce labour?

For hundreds of years, pregnant ladies have sipped tea constituted of the leaves of a raspberry plant in preparation for start and a sooner, simpler labour, and at this time’s moms-to-be are maintaining with that custom. “Many individuals ask me about it,” says Carly Beaulieu, a midwife in Edmonton. “It’s undoubtedly standard.”

We checked in with Beaulieu, in addition to naturopathic physician Erica Nikiforuk and OB/GYN Nirmala Chandrasekaran to get the lowdown on this often-used treatment.

What are the advantages of raspberry leaf tea?

Lengthy utilized in Europe and North America, this conventional natural treatment is alleged to strengthen and tone the uterus, enhance the effectiveness of contractions and shorten labour. “It’s a really nutritious factor on your physique that has plenty of nutritional vitamins and minerals,” says Beaulieu. “It makes contractions extra environment friendly and is nice on your milk provide.”

Can raspberry leaf tea induce labour?

No, says Beaulieu. It’s a false impression that raspberry leaf tea can truly begin labour. “It’s only a tonic for the uterus,” she says. “It doesn’t have any impact on hormones or the exercise of the uterus. You drink it purely for the vitamins.”

How do I take it?

Beaulieu recommends consuming 4 to 6 cups of raspberry leaf tea a day within the third trimester. “I often inform individuals to make a litre or two at a time and drink it with a little bit of honey,” she says. The tea, which tastes extra like black tea than fruit tea, might be bought from well being meals shops in tea baggage or as leaves.

What’s the proof?

Sadly, there may be little scientific proof to indicate that there are advantages to the tonic. “Its results aren’t clearly supported within the medical literature,” says Nikiforuk. She factors to at least one research, carried out in Australia in 1999, that confirmed that ladies who consumed raspberry leaf tea had been much less prone to ship their infants pre- or post-term and fewer prone to want caesarean sections. “The issue with the research is that it was small, with simply over 100 ladies,” she says. “We will’t successfully draw conclusions from a research that dimension.” One other small Australian research discovered a shortening of the second stage of labour by about 9 minutes.

Is there any hurt in taking raspberry leaf tea?

It’s onerous to say as a result of, once more, there was little or no scientific analysis. Chandrasekaran says there may be proof from one research that it doesn’t have any hostile results on ladies or their infants, but it surely was a small trial. Nikiforuk doesn’t usually suggest it to her purchasers. She factors to a different Canadian research in animal fashions that confirmed various results: Typically the tea elevated oxytocin, whereas different occasions it elevated after which inhibited it. “The take-home message from the animal research is that it gained’t work each time, and it’s not all the time doing the identical factor in each case,” she says. “It’s undoubtedly one thing that ought to be mentioned with the doctor or midwife who’s overseeing the being pregnant.” Whereas Beaulieu agrees that scientific proof is missing, hundreds of years of use by totally different tribes and cultures is proof sufficient for her.

Is there the rest I can do to shorten labour?

Whereas it will be good to have a magic system for a straightforward labour, it doesn’t exist. Chandrasekaran says she recommends that her sufferers keep energetic and wholesome. Whereas she acknowledges that raspberry leaf tea has been used for hundreds of years, as a physician, she says that she types her opinions primarily based on proof. “There simply aren’t plenty of research on it,” she says. “I don’t inform sufferers not to take it, however I don’t advise it.”