Is it that time of the month again? Hey, you don’t have to read it with such dread you know (that is I’m assuming your tone changed in your mind as your read that first sentence, did it not?). The truth is, many of us women folk have experienced PMS symptoms at some point in our lifetime. The cool thing is, it’s totally avoidable. Read my ‘Holistic Guide to Help Resolve PMS‘ for starters.
In the meantime, I want to share two easy peasy recipes you can enjoy that serve as sort of a simple home remedy you can make at home for that time of the month. It’s best to start about 10 days before you know your cycle is supposed to start. If your cycle is irregular, you can start drinking this 10 days after you started ovulating. If you aren’t sure when you ovulate, then you really need to read my post; ‘Holistic Guide to Help Resolve PMS‘ and hopefully get your hormones straightened out a bit first. My recipe contains a well known herb great for overall uterine and hormone health, raspberry leaf. Let’s learn a bit more about it first before I share the recipes.
Raspberry Leaf Benefits
- Tones and strengthens the entire female reproductive system. Feeds and nourishes, restores vitality and balance to the system.
- Contains fragarine, an alkaloid that tones and nourishes the uterus and pelvis region. (source)
- Has been shown to reduce menstrual cramps and may help to regulate the flow of menstruation due to its effects on the uterus. (source)
- Helps to detoxify excess hormones which is very helpful during times of hormonal shift such as menopause or in the second half of the menstrual cycle (the two weeks before starting your period, which is when most women experience PMS). (source)
- It is incredibly rich in iron. A good source of niacin and manganese, a trace mineral used by the body to produce healthy connective tissue such as bone matrix and cartilage (source)
The nice thing about raspberry leaf tea is that it is a balanced food and broad spectrum herb. Making it safe for virtually everyone at every stage of life. Herbal experts may suggest that a cup daily can be very safe for anyone of any age. This is great because my kids want to drink this tea when I make it for myself. I’m happy to know it brings them benefits too, albeit for different reasons than my own.
My own herbalist reminded me that raspberry leaf has astringent properties and to be sure to drink plenty of water in addition to the tea. This is good advice especially if you are taking the tea prior to your cycle. Drinking plenty of water will also helps to flush excess hormones, toxins and support the liver. I find my liver always needs extra support right before my cycle. The reason this is the case is likely due to hormones not being properly eliminated from the system. If one’s liver is not functioning well, hormones will not be processed effectively.
The fact that raspberry leaf is rich in iron is another reason it’s a good herb choice prior to that time of the month. It is very common for women to find themselves low in iron or even anemic during menstruation due to the blood loss. I much prefer to obtain iron from food sources than supplements. Plant sources of iron is known to be less bioavailable than animal sources. The nice thing about this tea blend, however, is that it contains some vitamin C from the hibiscus. Vitamin C helps to make iron more absorbable, so the pairing of the two should be quite complementary. It will still be important to consume sources of heme iron during this time of the month (such as liver, beef, lamb). Caution: If you have high iron levels or hemochromatosis this herb may not be a good choice for you, check with your practitioner or herbalist.
Have you ever made plain ole raspberry leaf tea? The color is not all that enticing. You might just mistake it for a glass or jar of urine or dirty water due to the color that it yields (yeah that’s appealing). I like my beverages to have more than just health benefits, I want them to be tasty and visually stimulating as well. Plus, shouldn’t raspberry tea be raspberry in color? Okay, maybe not but when you are a woman with PMS you usually want a ‘fun drink’ that is a bit more enticing than straight ole herbs (or is that just me?). Besides colorful foods contain health benefits too, so I’ve paired raspberry leaf with hibiscus for the hot tea blend to make it pretty. My Razzle Dazzle Raspberry Iced Tea is colorful and fun, in addition to the hibiscus I add some cherry juice and a few fresh or frozen raspberries if desired.
I personally like to avoid excess sugar or honey, especially in beverages. So, in most of my herbal tea blends, I choose to use green leaf stevia. Perhaps you are someone who thinks you do not like stevia – give this recipe a try anyway. I just recently shared one of my tea recipes with a friend visiting from out of town. This friend had proclaimed her deep detest for stevia many times to me prior to her visit. She willingly tried the tea and liked it. The thing was, she had never had green leaf stevia in anything before, only the powder or the liquid. I have to say I used to feel the same way, but I am so glad I gave the green leaf a try. It’s a great way to lightly sweeten up herbal teas so you do not need any added sugars, including honey (also saves you a little money too).
- 1 scant cup red raspberry leaf (or try a mixture of ½ cup raspberry leaf and ½ cup of either nettles or oat straw for some added calcium and minerals)
- ⅓ cup hibiscus flowers
- 2 pinches green stevia leaf (scant 2 teaspoons)
- 1 cup Organic Black Cherry Juice (cold pressed, not from concentrate) or if you like Tart Cherry Juice (optional)
- Scant 2 quarts water (1 cup less to save room for the cherry juice, if using)
- For the Iced Tea Recipe:
- Place your herbs in a 2 quart mason jar or large glass measuring bowl.
- Add 4 cups boiling water. Stir.
- If using a mason jar, place a lid on tightly. If using a bowl cover with a towel or plate.
- Steep 30 minutes. Strain. (Reserve the herbs to do a second batch. Only 1 quart and ½ cup cherry juice.)
- Add in 1 cup of cherry juice, if using.
- To Serve: Pour into glasses filled with ice and top with a couple raspberries.
- For the Hot Tea:
- Place the herbs in a bowl and toss well to blend. Store in a glass jar with airtight lid.
- For each 8 ounces of tea use a heaping teaspoon of the blend.
- Steep 5-10 minutes.
- Add honey if desired.
- Drink 2-4 cups daily as needed. Remember to drink plenty of water in addition.
My kids love this tea. Everyone I’ve served this tea to, has loved it. They have no idea they are getting a nice hit of nutritional support when they drink it, to them -it just tastes good! I’m thrilled by this because it proves that real foods and beverages can be made easy and delicious for anyone to enjoy. Making this herbal tea concoction a very affordable way to get create a home remedy rather than choosing drugs. I also recommend picking up a copy of Rosemary Gladstar’s book, ‘Herbal Recipes For Vibrant Health‘ if you want to learn about more natural recipes for your family. I’m finding it to be an invaluable reference in my home.
Want To Read More About Raspberry Leaf?
Here are a few posts from other holistic-minded blogs that I thought you might enjoy. A couple recipes too!
- Red Raspberry Leaves
- 5 Natural Morning Sickness Remedies
- Easy Red Raspberry Tea Infusion
- Just For Women
- Red Raspberry Leaf – A Woman’s Herb
- Tinctures For ‘That Time of Month’
- Herb Profile: Raspberry Leaf
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