Raspberry Leaf use while Breastfeeding
Raspberry Leaf Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) leaf is a purported galactogogue; however, no scientifically valid clinical trials support this use. Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production. It is generally without side effects when used as a tea, but no data are available on the safety in nursing mothers or their infants.
Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to prove the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does not certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed information about dietary supplements is available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.
Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Possible Effects on Lactation
Sixty-six postpartum mothers (22 in each of 3 groups) with no concurrent illnesses were randomly assigned to receive an herbal tea, placebo, or nothing after delivering healthy, full-term infants. Mothers in the herbal tea group received at least 3 cups daily of 200 mL of Still Tea (Humana-Istanbul, Turkey; containing hibiscus 2.6 grams, fennel extract 200 mg, fennel oil 20 mg, roobios 200 mg, verbena [vervain] 200 mg, raspberry leaves 200 mg, fenugreek 100 mg, goat's rue 100 mg, and, vitamin C 500 mg per 100 grams, per manufacturer's web site November 2011). A similar-looking apple tea was used as the placebo. All women were followed by the same nurse and pediatrician who were blinded to what treatment the mothers received. Mothers who received the Still Tea produced more breastmilk with an electric breast pump on the third day postpartum than mothers in the other groups. The infants in the Still Tea group had a lower maximum weight loss, and they regained their birth weights sooner than those in the placebo or no treatment arms. No long-term outcome data were collected. Because many of the ingredients in Still Tea are purported galactogogues, including raspberry leaf, no single ingredient can be considered solely responsible for the tea's effects, although the authors attributed the action to fenugreek.
An herbal tea containing raspberry, fenugreek, hibiscus, fennel, rooibos, vervain, goat's rue, and vitamin C (Humana Still-Tee, Humana GmbH, Herford, Germany) or water was randomly given to nursing mothers in a dosage of 3 cups daily beginning on the day of delivery. Several markers of antioxidant capacity were measured in breastmilk on day 1 and again after 7 to 10 days. No difference was found in the markers between mothers who received the tea and the water.
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2. Petrie KA, Peck MR. Alternative medicine in maternity care. Prim Care. 2000;27:117-36. PMID: 10739460
3. Westfall RE. Galactagogue herbs: a qualitative study and review. Can J Midwifery Res Practice. 2003;2:22-7.
4. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee. ABM clinical protocol #9: use of galactogogues in initiating or augmenting the rate of maternal milk secretion (First revision January 2011). Breastfeed Med. 2011;6:41-9. PMID: 21332371
5. Turkyilmaz C, Onal E, Hirfanoglu IM et al. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and short-term catch-up of birth weight in the first week of life. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17:139-42. PMID: 21261516
6. Kavurt S, Bas AY, Yucel H et al. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on oxidant and anti-oxidant status of human milk. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013;26:1048-51. PMID: 23363373
Raspberry Leaf Identification
CAS Registry Number
- Complementary Therapies
- Plants, Medicinal
LactMed Record Number
Information from the National Library of Medicine's LactMed Database.
Last Revision Date
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