Tag Archives: minerals

Red Raspberry Leaf: A “Miracle Herb” for Women

Red Raspberry Leaf: A "Miracle Herb" For Women from Beeyoutiful.com

This information originally appeared in a slightly different format in our Winter 2007-2008 Catalog.

My greatest passion in life is experiencing the birth of a child with parents who love children as much as I do. As a Licensed Midwife, it has been my privilege to advise many women during pregnancy, and to be present at thousands of births. I take it upon myself to care for my clients before, during, and after the birth, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Red Raspberry Leaf: A "Miracle Herb" For Women from Beeyoutiful.comFor thousands of years, midwives and Chinese herbalists have used herbs with very good results. This fact is not lost on the current medical community, as many of our allopathic medicines are derived from herbs.

As a midwife and herbalist, I use herbs constantly in my practice. I have found that certain herbs contribute significant amounts of nourishment necessary to our bodies. I believe that the female body was designed to give birth, and that with proper nutrition, it can usually do what it knows how to do, without much intervention.

I had one client who was worried about having her fifth baby. After a few prenatal visits, I was puzzled about her concern. I was thinking, “Fifth baby, what could she be worried about?” After some coaxing, she finally admitted that it was the after pains that had her concerned about her birth. Apparently the after pains were so incredibly intense after her fourth baby that she was not at all concerned about the act of actually giving birth to number 5, but was fearful instead about the pains to come later.

Now that I knew what was troubling her, I suggested that she increase her intake of Red Raspberry Leaf. She was skeptical that this would help, but was willing to give it a try. I advise all of my clients to take Red Raspberry Leaf through pregnancy, and I explained to her why.

The Woman’s Herb

Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) is a widely used herbal tonic that is especially beneficial during pregnancy. Brewed as a tea, taken in capsule form, or as an infusion, Red Raspberry Leaf is one of the safest and most commonly used tonic herbs for women wanting to get pregnant or for women who are already pregnant.

Taking this herb helps facilitate all the functions our bodies do for us on a daily basis. This is why Red Raspberry Leaf is considered a ‘tonic’ herb; it tones and supports the body in general. Red Raspberry Leaf tones the uterus, improves the quality of labor contractions, improves quality of sleep, decreases feelings of anxiety and nervousness, and decreases constipation.

It also contains the most easily assimilated form of calcium. Because Red Raspberry Leaf has calcium that is so readily available to our bodies, and most of us have a calcium deficiency, many people notice a change in how they feel right away. Since osteoporosis is related to a lack of calcium, daily use of Red Raspberry Leaf is highly recommended for all women.

Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf is easily absorbed by the body. All the necessary trace minerals and vitamins your body needs to easily assimilate the calcium are already right there, occurring naturally in the herb itself. Almost every trace mineral that our bodies use is available in Red Raspberry Leaf. This means no one in a lab had to figure out how to formulate something that might work as well as the real thing!

How to Use Red Raspberry Leaf

You can drink 1-6 cups of mild-tasting Red Raspberry Leaf tea per day, hot or iced. Or, you can take one to four capsules per day. Use more in the second half of the day if you tend to have trouble sleeping, since Red Raspberry Leaf encourages a deeper, more restful sleep.

It is almost impossible to overdose on Red Raspberry Leaf, but if you take very large amounts, you may experience either very loose stool or constipation. Either is a sure sign that you have more than reached your body’s threshold for calcium levels. Just back down on your dose by one or two cups of tea or one or two capsules, and your bathroom habits should return to what is familiar to you.Recipe: Nourish & Flourish Tea with herbs from Beeyoutiful. com

Tea recipe: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried Red Raspberry Leaf and steep for ten minutes. Steeping longer than ten minutes will only make the tea bitter, not stronger. For stronger tea, use more in the tea bag or tea ball. Sweeten with stevia, honey, or a bit of rapadura

I like to add Nettles, Alfalfa or Spearmint to my Red Raspberry Leaf tea. This combination makes for a very toning tea. Nettles has every trace mineral our bodies need and helps build up red blood cells as well. Alfalfa helps blood to clot well and prevents unnecessary blood loss. Spearmint is soothing to the stomach and adds a bit of flavor to these herbs for a little more punch to your tea.

Not up for making a tea blend yourself? Try a prepared version of Pregnancy Tea. Or if you’re just not a tea drinker, try Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf. Try one to six capsules per day, based on comfort and bowel tolerance.

Pregnancy and Red Raspberry Leaf

In addition to many vitamins and minerals, Red Raspberry Leaf also contains an alkaloid called fragrine which lends tone and strength to the uterus. There are several schools of thought on the subject with conflicting information about the use of this herb during pregnancy. (Talk with your care provider about what’s right for your body and pregnancy!)

Many clinicians advise drinking one cup of Red Raspberry Leaf tea per day in the first trimester and 2 cups in the second trimester, then switching to an infusion (a stronger tea) for the third trimester to ensure a strong uterus and prevent miscarriage.

Other clinicians suggest that frequent use (3-4 cups per day of tea, or 1-2 capsules) just during the third trimester is beneficial to the uterine and pelvic muscles.

And finally, some clinicians advise not using Red Raspberry Leaf in the first trimester, particularly if you have a history of miscarriage. Some midwives in the U.K. claim an increase in early miscarriage rates associated with women who have used Red Raspberry Leaf, and it’s been noted that the herb may cause minor spotting in the beginning of a pregnancy.

What Red Raspberry Leaf does not do is start labor or promote contractions. It is not an emmenagogue (something that promotes a miscarriage) or an oxytocic herb (an herb or chemical that promotes uterine contractions). It does strengthen the pelvic and uterine muscles, allowing you to feel healthier throughout your pregnancy, and allowing labor and the muscles involved with birthing to be more relaxed and efficient.

Contact your midwife, herbalist, or physician for personalized input about your use of Red Raspberry Leaf. Do the homework yourself to feel good about your decision to use or not use this herb, and when to use it during pregnancy. This advice is good for any decision you might be facing about your pregnancy options or your own health and welfare in general!

Worries Put To Rest

Well, my anxious client faithfully took the Red Raspberry Leaf in the higher amounts we discussed for her. Her birth experience went so smoothly that I almost missed it! She felt just fine at her 24 hour check up, too, but said that the next day would be the real test to see if the herb had helped. I told her to call me if she experienced any after pains like she had in the past, and then scheduled a routine five-day postpartum check up.

I never received any phone calls from her, and wondered if she was going to tough it out rather than call. That was in my mind as I rang the door bell on the day of my visit, hoping to hear good news, yet fearing I wouldn’t. My face split into a huge grin as my client all but tap-danced to the door to let me in! She couldn’t stop telling me how great the first few days after the birth had been, and how they’d been nothing like her last postpartum experience.

My client was so excited that she wanted me to promise that I would tell every pregnant woman of this “miracle herb” that made all the difference for her. So, this is me keeping my promise and telling all of you this “big secret” to feeling good during and after your births! Red Raspberry Leaf truly is a miracle herb!

Written by Jenny West, LM, CPM, HBCE, TBMP, CST, CH; a midwife/herbalist who has been in practice for 18 years and delivered over 7000 babies.

Natural Energy for You and Your Little House

whole food supplements: natural energy for you and your little house, from Beeyoutiful.com

This article originally appeared in a slightly different format in our Spring 2013 catalog

Ma Ingalls and her girls gave their house a thorough scrub-down every spring.But if you’re like me, you’re exhausted at the mere thought of doing a Little House on the Prairie-style spring cleaning on top of the regular dishes and laundry. You may also wonder exactly why it seems so hard to accomplish the things on your to-do list.

whole food supplements: natural energy for you and your little house, from Beeyoutiful.comDo your hair and nails look as dragged out as you feel? Are seasonal allergies your excuse? Or maybe you’re pregnant and just counting down the months until you can feel like yourself again; who cares about clean windows anyway?

Off to a Super Start

Even if you’ve made great changes in favor of eating more nutrient-dense, whole foods, it also takes superfoods to help your body stay in top health. These days, pollution, stress, your past history of junky eating and pharmaceutical use all work against every glass of raw milk or organic veggies you consume. Superfoods, though, are super full of nutrition, and because they are nature-made, your body can easily absorb and use their goodness.

So where do you start with adding superfoods to your diet? Which one will jumpstart your system and help you feel like washing windows after folding four loads of laundry, cooking for a crowd, and/or a long day at the office? Spirulina!

This humble, algae-like plant (called a cyanobacteria) is one of the most potent protein and nutrient sources available. And boosting energy is just one of its many abilities. Spirulina also works to relieve congestion, sniffling, and sneezing caused by all types of allergies. It boosts the immune system, helps control high blood pressure and cholesterol, protects from cancer, and more.

How does spirulina come by this impressive resume? As a source of protein, it is 65 percent complete protein. (By comparison, beef is only 22 percent complete.) This also makes it a far healthier choice than those much-touted, dubious protein powders, especially when you consider all the other hidden goodies you get with spirulina.

Spirulina contains all the essential amino acids, plus some, and provides a healthy portion of Omega-3 (like in salmon) as well as Omega 6 and 9. Omega-6 is gamma linoleic acid (GLA), known to be anti-inflammatory (for arthritis relief!), to increase fat burn after exercising, and to make beautiful hair and nails.

Spirulina is replete with vital minerals most of those pretty veggies at the store can’t provide any more, thanks to being grown in depleted soils. Spirulina is high in chlorophyll, which removes toxins from the blood and boosts the immune system. Chlorophyll and iron are a great friend to pregnant mamas, as the tendency for anemia at this season of life is significant. That’s why spirulina is a main ingredient in Beeyoutiful’s SuperMom multivitamins. The easily absorbable, non-constipating iron content of spirulina is 58 times that of raw spinach and 28 times that of raw beef liver.

(But don’t let these facts keep you from taking cod liver oil daily and eating liver weekly as well. Liver, also a superfood, contains full-blown vitamin B12 and vitamin A, not just the precursors present in spirulina. The precursors are generally usable in the body, but young children and many adults with even mild digestive issues may have trouble converting beta-carotene into vitamin A. Also, since it is disputed whether or not the body is able to absorb the B12 found in spirulina, animal products are necessary, too.)

Better Off Teeth, Nerves, and Both Brains

 If weeds get the best of your garden, or your kids (or you!) don’t like vegetables, or you simply wish you could juice but just can’t swing it, then handy, mineral-rich spirulina is the way to get your cancer-fighting daily quota of greens.

Calcium and phosphorus are two of the major mineral players in this fantastic superfood. If these minerals are lacking or out of balance in the blood, tooth decay is in your near future. So spirulina is also recommended as part of a tooth remineralization program. And because the calcium content is more than 26 times that of milk, spirulina is excellent for children, the elderly, and pregnant women, and especially for folks who are casein- or lactose-intolerant.

If your nerves are on edge or your digestion is off, you need spirulina for all the B complex vitamins it contains. The gut is our “second brain,” and it needs the B’s to work well. Do you have candida? Most people do these days, and spirulina has been shown to encourage and support the growth of healthy bacterial gut flora, which helps keep candida overgrowth under control. Because candida will cause and worsen symptoms, this is especially important if you have an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s, chronic fatigue, lupus, or fibromyalgia.

Yet another feature of spirulina is its ability to chelate arsenic from the body. Hair analysis on one of our daughters showed her to be loaded with arsenic, which mystified me until I learned of the many places she might have encountered it in her young life. Arsenic is often present in well water, in pressure-treated wood like that at playgrounds, and in insect and rodent poison (used in public places even if not at your house). In the past few years, news came out that it can be present even in rice, which especially impacts the gluten-free crowd. Yet the good news for my family was that after taking spirulina for six months, repeated tests showed the arsenic had cleared from my daughter’s body!

“But wait….There’s more!”

Spirulina’s antioxidant ability ranks 24,000 on the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), right up there with weird spices we might use only in teeny amounts, and four times the ORAC score of blueberries. Feed your eyesight with spirulina’s antioxidant-rich carotenoids (nutrients found in green and brightly-colored vegetables) including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. The high antioxidant amounts in spirulina also lower risk of strokes, inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, and regulate blood pressure. They also normalize extreme cholesterol levels without the need for dangerous statin drugs. The Weston A. Price Foundation says “young and middle-aged men…who have cholesterol levels just below 350 are at no greater risk than those whose cholesterol is very low. For elderly men and for women of all ages, high cholesterol is associated with a longer lifespan.”

Although the sixteenth-century Aztecs harvested and ate spirulina that grew wild in Mexico’s Lake Texcoco, spirulina is now often grown in protected, organic ponds. Spirulina from polluted sources can cause excess levels of lead, mercury, and cadmium in the body. Beeyoutiful does multiple-sample mass spectrometer testing on each and every batch harvested to assure that no environmental, pesticide or heavy metal contaminants are present in the end product they offer their customers. So you can have peace of mind knowing it is truly pure and safe!

Spirulina does wonders for almost everyone, but if you are prone to gout, have hyperparathyroidism, PKU, or a seafood or iodine allergy, you should avoid it. Because it does have some carbs, you should also consult a physician before using spirulina if you have Type 2 diabetes.

So how much spirulina do you need to get you going? A therapeutic serving size is between three and five grams, preferably broken up throughout the day. Since six tablets of Beeyoutiful’s Spirulina equal three grams, a bottle will last one person approximately one month. For more serious health conditions, take the higher amount, but build up slowly to this dose to avoid detox reactions. Once you re-energize with spirulina, you’ll be ready to tackle that makeover spring cleaning—and to give Ma Ingalls a run for her money!

Nancy Webster is a mother of eight and leads the Southern Middle Tennessee chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. [LINK] Nancy and her family write online about their “partially working” farm where she is the resident researcher on nutrition and alternative approaches to good health.