Tag Archives: red raspberry leaf

Foodie Friday: Kid-Approved Frozen Treats (Four Wholesome Summer Popsicle Recipes!)

#FoodieFriday- Kid-Approved Frozen Treats (Four Wholesome Summer Popsicle Recipes!)

It is almost officially summer in these beautiful rolling hills of Tennessee, and it is hot and humid. Pretty much all my kids and I want to do is eat popsicles and sit in the pool!

#FoodieFriday- Kid-Approved Frozen Treats (Four Wholesome Summer Popsicle Recipes!)As a family, we avoid food dyes, artificial flavorings and sweeteners, and other potentially toxic food additives. If you have checked the ingredient lists of most frozen treats these days, you’ll discover that you almost cannot avoid extra chemicals.

Instead of purchasing additive-laden frozen treats, we started making our own. It’s very easy, I have direct control over the quality of ingredients, and I have the added benefit of tailoring them to meet our specific nutritional needs.

Here are a few of the yummy and refreshing popsicle recipes that we love; try them for yourself and let us know which is your favorite!

Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles
(Makes one tray of 6 popsicles)

8 ounces of strong Lemon Balm Tea, brewed and cooled
1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Juice of 1 lemon
Drops of Liquid Stevia to taste

Blend all ingredients together and pour into mold. Freeze for at least 6-8 hours until firm.

Watermelon Mint Popsicles
(Makes 6-10 Popsicles)

2 Tbs Fresh Peppermint Leaves, steeped in 1/4 cup freshly boiled water and then cooled
3 cups Watermelon
Juice of 1 Lime
3 Tbs Honey
Optional: add a handful of blueberries and additional fresh mint leaves

Blend together and then pour into popsicle molds. Freeze until solid and enjoy.

#FoodieFriday- Chocolate Coconut Popsicle RecipeRaspberry Peach Pops
(Makes 12 popsicles)

1/2 cup Raspberries
1 cup Peaches
8 ounces Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, brewed and cooled
Optional: sweeten with honey or stevia if desired.

Blend together, pour into molds. Freeze until solid, and enjoy.

Chocolate Coconut Pops
(Makes 6 popsicles)

1/2 can (about a cup) of Full-fat Coconut Milk
3 Tbs Raw Cacao
3 Tbs Maple Syrup (adjust to taste)
2 tsp Shredded Coconut
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp of Grassfed Gelatin Powder
Optional: add mini chocolate chips into the mix for a bit more fun!

Mix gelatin powder into a small amount of warm water and let dissolve. Then mix all ingredients together and pour into molds. Freeze until solid. Enjoy!

Meet the Beeyoutiful Team: Tal Ewing

Meet the Team from Beeyoutiful.com

We’re always so glad to get to know our customers better, and learn a little about what’s important to you! We love to give you peeks behind the scenes here too. Today you’ll get to know Tal Ewing.

Meet the Team from Beeyoutiful.com

What are you in charge of at Beeyoutiful?

Working at a small business like Beeyoutiful means that we all make contributions to several areas of the business. I spend the majority of my time supervising the ordering, shipping, and receiving of all our products. I also produce our sales reports that let us know how our business is doing.Tal Ewing from Beeyoutiful.com

What do you do every day?

Every day is interesting here at Beeyoutiful. Some days you will find me talking to our manufacturers and staff about our products. Other days, I’m focused on creating reports that will help us keep up with the business side of things, or I’m helping our team plan our sales and marketing strategies. And every day, you will find me working with our team to troubleshoot problems that invariably pop up along the way.

What can customers count on you for?

My goal is to make sure that we make available the best products to our customers for the best price. If one of our products is ever out of stock, know that it simply means we can’t currently meet one of those criteria. Sometimes, a product is delayed because an essential ingredient didn’t pass our quality testing, and sometimes we have to discontinue a product for a time because it becomes too expensive for us and our customers.

What do you do to support your own health?

My main health struggle has always been my allergies, so I try to be proactive in keeping them under control. I try to take one of our BerryWell products at the first sign of an itchy throat or runny nose. I’m even learning to like some of the herbal teas that my wife Mary makes for me when I’m sick. I downed a ton of red raspberry tea this winter when I had a cold, and it helped tremendously. I also try to stay active by working in the yard or garden and chasing after the kids.Tal Ewing from Beeyoutiful.com

When you’re not working on Beeyoutiful projects, what’s one way that you enjoy spending your time?

I’m learning to farm. In fact, that is one of the main reasons I’m working at Beeyoutiful. We wanted to move to Centerville so that we could enjoy a simpler, rural life with and work with friends. So, along with our co-worker Jeff and his wife Michelle, Mary and I have helped create a garden and raise pastured chickens. We are even going to grow out a few turkeys for the holidays!

Leave a message for Tal in the comments below, and be sure to stop by Duck River Naturals, Tal and Mary’s own online store. Meet the rest of the team here

Pre-Pregnancy Preparation- Fall 2010 Catalog

Pre-Pregnancy Preparation

For Mom’s to Be

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By Mary Ewing

When I married seven years ago, I was almost 26, and my husband and I knew we didn’t want to wait to have children. Although many women have children after thirty, we both wanted a large family and weren’t sure how long our “child-bearing years” would go on. Even so, we were slightly surprised when just six weeks after the wedding we found ourselves expecting our first child. Excitement filled our house! To add to our own joy, this would be the first grandchild for both his parents and mine.

At this time, I was a practicing registered nurse (I have since retired to be a mom). Although I did not work in obstetrics, I have always been fascinated with the study.  Yet despite the fact that I had scored a perfect 100 ranking among my peers that year in the OB/GYN nationals competencies. I understood little about the importance of preparing to be a mom. I knew I needed to take a prenatal vitamin once the pink line appeared on the pregnancy test. I knew the importance of Folic Acid. I knew I needed to generally take care of myself. But I did nothing to really prepare for pregnancy.

My pre-pregnancy diet consisted largely of fast food, meals from a box, and sodas. I had done nothing to eliminate my chronic gut problems, build nutritional storehouses, or make sure my body was in shape for the miraculous event. Due to work hours during pregnancy, my entire day’s nutrition consisted of an orange for breakfast, half a sub sandwich for lunch , and half for dinner (and when I say sub, I mean a foot-long white bread sandwich with nothing but processed cold cuts, American cheese and jalapeno peppers.) I washed that all down with the largest cherry limeade I could buy, because it had to last my entire shift-a healthier choice, I figured since it did not have caffeine. I often went an entire week without a real meat, fresh vegetable, and whole grains.

My bouts with morning sickness-to the point of throwing up-lasted from early in the pregnancy until three days after my baby was born. Along with my second pregnancy, came nine months of migraine headaches and then my son’s chronic health issues. I finally decided there had to be a better way to do pregnancy! The challenges have leg me to some fascinating ingredients that make for a healthier momma and, therefore, a healthier baby.

The 2-Way Gift of HealthMichelle

Our health is a gift, not just from the Creator, but also from our parents. The health of our parents when they brought us into the world plays a large role in determining what our level of health will be. Likewise, your health plays a major role in your children’s health.

People generally assume that most health issues depend on the genes we pass on-that they determine what makes us  more or less vulnerable to various diseases and health conditions. Typically, we do not make the connection that we directly pass on to our children a reflection of our own health. As a result, our children often suffer from the same digestive, immune, and chronic health issues that we do-not just because of genes but also because of how we care for ourselves. It should not be a surprise that your child is colicky if you have had problems with your digestion. So before you think about having a baby, you should first rebuild and restore your own health. Not only will you be passing on to them a head start in health, but the habits you develop will benefit them throughout life.

Getting Your Gift in Shape

The place to start building your health is with your diet-your nutritional lifestyle. Nutrients are the building blocks of cells, and it is vital to take in nutrients that build healthy cells. Diets full of healthy fats, grass-fed and organic proteins, fermented foods, properly prepared grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables are vital. While there are several very good diet suggestions out there, I recommend Diet for Pregnancy and Nursing Mothers (http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/311-diet-for-pregnant-and-nursing-mothers.html) , published by the Weston A. Price Foundation. It offers great guidance for nourishing your body and preparing the inner stores necessary for pregnancy.

While most people recognize the need for protein, iron, and vitamins from fresh fruit and vegetables, it is only recently becoming known that healthy fats are needed as well. A British publication noted that for a healthy reproductive systems, a woman needs 25 to 30 percent body fat, and the American recommendation for women of child-bearing years is 21 to 33 percent. Healthy fats include coconut oil, whole milk, extra virgin olive oil, grass fed butter, avocados, and grass-fed meats (with healthy portions of the fat included). A great primer in the study of fats is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (found on page 14).NourishingTrad_1

Just as important as what you put in your body, is what you don’t put in. Fats to avoid are shortening, margarine, vegetable oils like corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil and the like. Other no-no’s include artificial sweeteners, white sugar, white flour, MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup, caffeine, and soft drinks (even cherry limeades!). Not only are they empty calories, they are often toxic to the body.file_5_11

Another crucial part of your lifestyle evaluation is your level of physical activity. At any time in life, exercise keeps the body feeling well, the joints moving, aches and pains dispelled, and there is an overall vitality. To “get in shape” for pregnancy, it’s important to incorporate into daily life activities and exercises that increase stamina, flexibility, and cardio function. If you’re wary of exercise because of pain, I recommend you read Pain Free (see page 14). I’ve followed its guidelines for almost a year now and have found incredible relief from aches and pains, while increasing my flexibility and balance.

When you exercise, it’s important that you not burn too much fat. High impact aerobics and long distance running often burn more than recommended amount of body fat for a healthy pregnancy. The key here is to research the regimen you will be participating in and maintain a level that’s right for you.

Our Food Doesn’t Always Cut It

Ideally, you would get all your nutrients from food, but that is just not possible these days with our nutritionally-depleted food supplies, busy lifestyles, and other deficiencies. That’s where the wonderful resources of Beeyoutiful are invaluable if you’re preparing for one of life’s greatest joys-and hardest tasks.supermom_superdad

Both parents should take a multivitamin derived from whole sources, easily absorbed, and one that works within the body to help build and restore. SuperMom and SuperDad are excellent multivitamins which also feature “bonus” nutrients such as spiralina and cholorella. Bear in mind, that dad contributes on the front end to the baby’s health, so he needs to take his vitamins to build his system as well.folicacid1_1

In addition to the multivitamin, Folic Acid is a must. A sufficient level of Folic Acid in both parents decreases the rate of several genetic problems including spina bifida and Down Syndrome. Although SuperMom and SuperDad offers 400 mcg of Folic Acid, most midwives and health practitioners advise 800 mcg per day for those anticipating pregnancy. For more on the benefits of Folic Acid in pre-natal care, check out Beeyoutiful’s Fall 2009 article “Pre-natal Peace of Mind” (available in the online archives at http://www.beeyoutiful.com/pre-natal-peace-of-mind).

To make sure your body can use the foods and supplements you’re giving it, you’ll need to do all you can to keep your digestive system working is best. Even if you are blessed with an iron-clad stomach, you have likely taken antibiotics sometime in your life or have been exposed to toxins that could wreak havoc on digestive flora. I’ve outlined below two key supplements to help build a strong digestive tract.tummy_tune_120_1

1.       Tummy Tuneup, taken daily, rebuilds good intestinal flora which will pass to the baby growing inside of you. It is also protecting against harmful bacteria. And a big plus I wish I had known during my first stomach-churning pregnancy: Daily use of probiotics can help decrease nausea while pregnant.

2.       Digestive Enzymes are crucial because enzymes are the tools your body uses to extract nutrients from food. Most people are deficient and unable to use well what their food offers. Without sufficient enzymes, many people experience fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, food cravings, and various stomach complaints. Eliminating these problems before pregnancy will help you feel better during pregnancy. And it will help maximize the “building blocks” or nutrients available to your child.DigestiveEnzymeWebProPillS

Cod Liver Oil, One of my new personal favorites. I wish I’d taken it prior to all my pregnancies, not just the current one. Cod Liver Oil provides the EPA and DHA required for proper brain development. I suggest using Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil along with Organic 3 Extra Virgin Butter Oil because between the two you get Omega 3’s and good amounts of Vitamins A, D, and K. These three vitamins work together to help build strong bones, maintain the cardiovascular system, keep skin clear and healthy, balance the clotting in your blood, reduce the chance of diabetes, strengthen the immune system, and a myriad of other great things. Taking these vitamins in the form of Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil helps you receive the greatest benefit. Since these are fat soluble vitamins, it is also crucial to take them with a meal containing a moderate amount of healthy fats.

RedRaspberryLeavesWebProPillS

Red Raspberry Leaves. This herb is invaluable to women of all ages, but specifically for pre-pregnancy, Red Raspberry Leaves are known to increase fertility in both men and women, prevent miscarriage and hemorrhage, and decrease morning sickness. Many midwives agree that Red Raspberry Leaves are safe to take throughout your pregnancy, but some advise against use during the first trimester, so (as always!) check with your preferred health care provider before continuing any supplement during your pregnancy.

A Matter of Timing

The plans I’ve shared here should be started six months to a year prior to pregnancy if at all possible. Certainly, if you are experiencing specific health concerns such as thyroid issues, extreme fatigue, chronic sinus problems, et al, it would be best to get control of them immediately-whether or not pregnancy seems to be in your future. Either by diet modification or through adding supplements or working with a naturopath: the more you work to restore your health now, the less work it will require to restore it in the future-and you’ll reduce the chances of passing on these problems to your children.

Whether your first or your tenth, pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in life! Every baby brings a wealth of expectations, joys, and new experiences. So as you contemplate bringing a life into this world, I hope you can learn a little from my bad choices and the subsequent better ones. For me, the most rewarding part of all has been my youngest child, who is by far healthier than my older two. We are so looking forward to our fourth addition in December and seeing firsthand how our hard work has paid off!

Mary Ewing is a part-time employee for Beeyoutiful as well as wife, mom and aspiring homesteader. She stays at home with her three children and enjoys exploring life with her brood as they cook, clean, garden, and play. Her passions are traditional cooking, essential oils, gardening, learning about raising livestock, and traditional art forms such as sewing, crocheting, knitting and smocking!

Winter 2010 Letter from Steph

Hello to all our Beeyoutiful friends!Steph

Another season change has arrived since our last catalog. Winter came nipping at the heels of Fall and took over-all too soon, in my opinion. The gorgeous leaves and vibrant colors are gone, leaving the bare limbs of trees reaching unadorned to the sky. Unlike some of you in other parts of the country, we rarely get snow around here so our winter months can be rather drab and colorless without a beautiful blanket of fluffy white. On the other hand, since we don’t have to deal with muddy slush and other snow-related complications, “drab” is not so bad when I stop to think about it.

Our lives seem to get busier with each passing month. Noelle is talking up a storm and has a strong opinion on just about everything. Her presence is a constant joy and humbling reminder of our shortcomings. One of her new favorite phrases is “I don’t wANt to!” in response to an instruction or request. It’s proving to be a tough lesson for her that life is filled with many things we don’t want to do but must do anyway. The difficult, the dirty, the mundane, and the frustrating are all part of life as well as the fun, exciting and enjoyable. Nevertheless, even though she is only two-and-a-half, Noelle’s learning to help with daily chores. She loves doing anything with water and has become quite the little dishwashing and rinsing marvel. This tops the list of her favorite household duties for which to volunteer. The floor is usually covered in water by the time she’s done, but she cheerfully helps clean it up, and I can count that as an impromptu mopping of the kitchen floor.Noelle

My wonderful husband and Beeyoutiful’s CEO, Steve, facilitated an incredible surprise for me and three ladies on our Beeyoutiful staff. As you may know, we sell the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I’ve had a lot of respect for the work of Sally and the WAPF for several years now although I’ve never been able to become a member or attend any WAPF conferences. But in November, Steve surprised us with a trip to Chicago to attend the 2009 WAPF Conference. One of our most valuable take-aways is that we interviewed some of the vendors at the conference who are excellent resources for healthy foods with difficult-to-find quality and safety sources. The interviews are posted on YouTube under the username stephtallent. They can also be found in the Education forum: www.merryheartmedicine.com.

Looking ahead to the next few months: You’ll see various resources become available in several forms, one being articles from experts that participated in the conference.This month we feature an article from one of my favorite vendors: a delightful couple I dubbed “The Sprouted Grain Folks.” Co-owner of To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. (www.organicsproutedflour.net), Peggy Sutton graciously agreed to write an article for our customers to teach them step-by-step how to sprout grains and prepare them for grinding. We also have a companion article written by my sister-in-law, Stephanie Kuvik-Tallent, sharing her story on soaking (un-sprouted) flour and also her step-by-step recipe with pictures. Articles like this get me excited and make me want to run to the kitchen and create something nutritious for my family!

Someone at the conference asked me who and what Beeyoutiful is as a company and why they should trust us. The question startled me because I frequently take for granted that our customers have a relationship with us and know the work and quality control that goes into each and every product we carry. I also assume people know they can trust us to always try to do the right thing, whether we succeed or not. I realize, though, that both of these assumptions are very wrong. We have new customers coming to our metaphorical doors all the time. Questions about quality control and why a company should be trusted are both trademarks of a wise consumer. I ask them myself before trusting the integrity of a new company or giving my hard earned dollars to purchase a new product.

So, Quality Control: How well is the quality of the manufacturing processes managed for Beeyoutiful products?

I could bombard you with a lot of nitty gritty manufacturing details but in a few paragraphs, your eyes would glaze over, and you would skip to more interesting parts of the catalog. So I’ll stick with the bottom line version.

For any of you who want some particular nit or grit detail that I don’t cover here, please, as always, feel free to write us. We are what the industry calls a “full disclosure company” (the rare breed that seems to be ever more endangered). That means if you ask us, we’ll tell you. It also means that each product label tells exactly what is in the product. The law allows that, if any ingredient is less than 1% of the whole of a product, a company is not required to report it in the nutritional facts. At Beeyoutiful, though, we know that for consumers this is a terrible thing. Sometimes even trace amounts of an ingredient make a difference. So in the spirit of doing unto others what we would like done unto us, we are committed to disclosing every single component of every single product, no matter how tiny the amount may be.

Our supplements are all made at facilities with a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification. GMP is a quality control check of every step of the manufacturing process. It ensures the final product is safe for consumption, is not contaminated, and that every unit is produced with consistent care. What’s more, our primary manufacturer goes above and beyond the basic GMP requirements. The company takes 11 random samples from each individual raw ingredient shipped to their facility and runs them through a mass spectrometer. If there is any trace of a pesticide, heavy metal, or any other harmful compound, the shipment is refused and not even allowed into the facility. The detection capabilities are so refined that in examining the raw materials, they can detect the equivalent of one grain of sand in a five-mile beach. This is significant because, even in certified organic shipments, they’ve found contaminants and refused to use the materials.

We also like to support home businesses. Most of our skincare products are made by cottage industries. We’ve found that large companies often cut corners to reduce expenses, and the quality of the products intended for external use suffers. It can also be difficult for large companies to consistently locate enough high quality ingredients. Small manufacturers, on the other hand, can usually buy raw herbs, beeswax, and other components locally and can personally check out the quality of the sources to ensure purity.

We’ve seen how several “natural” body product companies that we respected changed policies as they grew, letting in what we consider inferior ingredients once they had won the publics’ trust. This is something small, home-based manufacturers do not have the luxury of doing. They see their customers face to face at farmer’s markets and use their products on their own children, family, and friends. This provides a highly personal element of accountability that can be missing in large-scale skincare production.

A last comment on quality control but certainly not the least important: All of our products are manufactured in the US. While quality products can be found overseas, it’s much more difficult to personally check up on the consistency of quality controls. And it’s almost impossible to enforce any special requests. We would be at the mercy of the discretion and trustworthiness of local management, a situation complicated by the potential miscommunications due to language barriers.

Many people wonder how we go about adding products. Do we design them ourselves, or do we have a professional do it? How do we come up with the blends we carry?

Our goal is to make available the most affordable and highest quality products for families that we can. As we learn and expand the range of natural living products we use for ourselves, we try our best to make them available for our customers. Sometimes this means going to the manufacturer/designer of a particular product that we think is amazing and asking if they will allow us to private label it. Other times, this means we come up with the idea of a product and propose it to a formulator and manufacturer, having a custom product made just for us. A classic example is our Organic Red Raspberry leaf capsules.

We’ve always offered a 30-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee to our customers. If you order something and don’t like it for any reason at all, you can return it, and we will refund the full cost of the product (I would say “no questions asked” except that we do usually ask for the reason because feedback helps us learn how to improve our products in the future). Recently, though, we’ve increased the 30-day policy to a 60-day policy in order to give even more time for folks to try a product and decide if it is beneficial or not. It’s another way for us to underscore just how important your satisfaction is to us.

Finally, the most compelling assurance I can offer that we always strive to have the highest quality products is that we take these products ourselves on a daily basis and use them with our children and loved ones. Our personal best interest mandates that we  maintain the integrity of our products.

In a way, we hope that someday a company like Beeyoutiful will no longer be needed. The ideal would be for our society to offer genuinely nourishing, beneficial, and affordable foods as well as education for food preparation methods that deliver the nutrients needed to maintain good health.

In striving to learn for ourselves and pass this knowledge on to others, I recommend an amazing educational resource: the video documentary Food Inc. Request it at your local library, borrow it from a friend, or rent it. The education it provides as to why our nation has reached its current food and nutritional crisis is priceless.

I hope you enjoy this Winter Catalog. Snuggle up in front of a fire, or curl up under a blanket, get a hot cup of whatever beverage makes you happy, and enjoy! May you and your families be warm, well nourished, and healthy this winter.

As always, if there’s anything I can do to help or encourage you or your family, please write to me anytime at steph@beeyoutiful.com

Blessings,

Steph Tallent

Red Raspberry Leaf- Winter 07-08 Catalog

By Jenny WestRedRaspberryLeavesWebProPillS

My greatest passion in life is midwifery and experiencing the birth of a child with parents who love children as much as I do. And 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 birthing, physically, mentally and emotionally. 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 giving birth to number 5, but the after pains. Now that I knew what was troubling her, I suggested that we up her dosage. 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 because it does so many fantastic things.

Red Raspberry Leaf Information: For thousands of years midwives of old and Chinese herbalists have used herbs with very good results. This fact is not lost on the current medical community as most of our allopathic medicines have come from herbs. As a midwife and herbalist, I use herbs constantly in my practice. 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, if any intervention. I have also found certain herbs to contribute significant amounts of nourishment necessary to our bodies. Red Raspberry leaf is a widely used herbal tonic that is especially beneficial during pregnancy.

Brewed as a tea, 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. Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) tones the uterus, is the most easily assimilated form of calcium, improves the quality of labor contractions, improves quality of sleep, decreases feeling of anxiety/nervousness and decreases constipation. Since osteoporosis is caused by a lack of calcium, daily use of Red Raspberry Leaf is highly recommended for all women.

Almost every trace mineral that our bodies use is available in Red Raspberry Leaf. 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 or tonifies and supports the body in general. Because Red Raspberry Leaf has calcium that is so readily available to our bodies; and most of us have a calcium deficiency, most people notice a change in how they feel right away. Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf is easily assimilated by your body. All the necessary trace minerals and vitamins your body needs to easily assimilate the calcium are already right there, occurring naturally in the Red Raspberry Leaf itself. This means no one in a lab had to figure out how to formulate something that might work as well as the real thing!

When to Use Red Raspberry Leaf: Use Red Raspberry Leaf every day! It is almost impossible to over dose on Red Raspberry Leaf. You can drink 1-6 cups of Red Raspberry Leaf leaf tea per day, hot or iced-it’s a very mild tasting tea. Or, you can take one to four capsules per day. Take or drink more in the second half of the day if you tend to have trouble sleeping. Red Raspberry Leaf encourages a deeper, more restful sleep. Now, as for symptoms of taking too much Red Raspberry Leaf, you will experience one or the other… 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. Your bathroom habits will return to what is familiar to you.

 

Pregnancy and Red Raspberry Leaf: As for pregnant women using Red Raspberry Leaf, there are two schools of thought on the subject with conflicting information ‘floating around’ about the use and safety of this herb. Many clinicians agree that in the 3rd trimester, frequent (3-4 cups per day of tea OR 1 – 2 capsules) use is beneficial to the uterine and pelvic muscles. Red Raspberry Leaf contains many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and calcium. It also contains an alkaloid called fragrine, which lends tone and strength to the uterus.

Other clinicians agree that drinking one cup of tea per day in the 1st trimester and 2 cups in the 2nd trimester and switching to an infusion (an infusion is just stronger ‘tea’) for the 3rd trimester ensures a strong uterus, is good for you nutritionally and prevents miscarriage. And finally, some clinicians advise no use of Red Raspberry Leaf in the first trimester, particularly if you have a history of miscarriage. Midwives in the U.K. claim an increase in miscarriage rates during that time by those women who have used Red Raspberry Leaf. It has been noted that Red Raspberry Leaf can possibly cause minor spotting in the beginning of a pregnancy. Some advise to use it especially if you have a history of miscarriage. None of the above studies were done with an herbalist’s input.

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 in order to help you feel better throughout your pregnancy (something we all need, right?) It also allows your labor and the muscles involved with birthing to be more relaxed and efficient. Who doesn’t want a shorter, more comfortable birth?

Contact your midwife, herbalist or physician for more information about your personal use of Red Raspberry Leaf . You always have the option of doing enough ‘homework’ yourself to feel good about your decision to use or not use this herb. This advice is good for any decision you might be facing about your pregnancy options or your own health and welfare in general!

 

Tea recipe: To make tea, pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons of herb 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 or honey.

For pregnant women, during the first two trimesters, drink 1-2 cups per day. You can drink up to four cups a day as there is no known overdose of this herb. During the final trimester, drink 2-4 cups per day, especially before going to bed for the night; you’ll sleep much better. If you’re just not a tea drinker, try Beeyoutiful’s encapsulated organic Red Raspberry Leaf! One to six capsules per day, based on comfort.


Making your own dry tea:
You can harvest your own Red Raspberry leaves or purchase them dried from your local health food store or organic grocery. To dry harvested leaves quickly, lay them on a cotton sheet in the back of a vehicle on a hot day with the windows closed.

I like to add Nettles, Alfalfa or Spearmint to my dry 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 bit more punch to your tea.

Just a note about ‘sun tea’. Feel free to make the above tea as sun tea, but know that boiling water is hotter then sun-warmed water, and will extract more of the botanical properties you are drinking the tea for in the first place. You can always brew your tea with boiling water and serve over ice. Make a quart or two and drink throughout the day. Start with a fresh brew at least every three days, as herbal teas will allow mold to begin to grow after three days, even if stored in the refrigerator. Your best option is to make a daily amount, one to two quarts. Remember, you still need to be drinking plenty of water. Tea does not count as part of your daily water intake even though it has water in it.

Well, my client faithfully took the Red Raspberry Leaf in the higher amounts discussed and her birth experience went so well that I almost missed it! She felt just fine at her 24 hour check up too, but said the next day would be the test to see if it had worked. I told her to call me if she experienced any after pains like she had in the past and scheduled a routine five-day postpartum check up. I never received any phone calls from her and started wondering if she was going to tough it out rather than call. With all of this going through my mind, 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 last few days had been! It had been nothing like her last postpartum experience. 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! Enjoy your amazing body every day. Bee well, bee happy!

 

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.
Edited by Jean Kuvik.

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