Clinical Use

The therapeutic effects of raspberry have not been significantly investigated under clinical trial conditions, so most evidence is derived from traditional, in vitro and animal studies. UTERINE TONIC

Raspberry leaf is commonly used as a 'partus preparator' to prepare the uterus for delivery and to facilitate labour, as well as for morning sickness, dysmenorrhoea, leukorrhoea and menorrhagia (McFarlin et al 1999).

In vitro studies using pregnant rat and human uteri preparations suggest that raspberry may increase the regularity and decrease the frequency of uterine contractions (Bamford et al 1970). In a double-blind trial of 192 low-risk nulliparous women, raspberry leaf (2 ■ 1.2 g/day), consumed from 32 weeks' gestation until labour, was associated with a lower rate of interventions with no adverse effects for > 2007 Elsevier Australia

mother or baby (Simpson et al 2001). Raspberry leaf did not shorten the first stage of labour; however, it did significantly reduce the second stage. A retrospective, observational study of 108 mothers also found that treatment with raspberry leaf was associated with a lower rate of medical intervention (Parsons et al 1999). This study further suggested that treatment may shorten labour, and reduce the incidence of pre- and post-term labour. Some pregnant women commenced use of raspberry leaf from 8 weeks' gestation; however, most chose to start it between 30 and 34 weeks' gestation.

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