I seriously think Red Raspberry Leaf Tea was big factor. (Besides Eating Dates).
I drank it sporadically during my first pregnancy and had very few Braxton Hicks Contractions. The second time? I had a crazy amount of Braxton Hicks. My uterus was revving up for the Big Show.
According to Susun Weed (herbalist extraordinaire and writer of the book Herbal for the Childbearing Year )....
Rubus is the best known, most widely used, and safest of all uterine/pregnancy tonic herbs. It contains fragine, an alkaloid which gives tone to the muscles of the pelvic region, including the uterus itself. Most of the benefits ascribed to regular use of Raspberry leaf tea throughout the pregnancy can be traced to the strengthening power of fragine or to the nourishing power of the vitamins and minerals found in this plant.
She lists the following; vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron, vitamin A and B complex, phosphorous and potassium. That sounds like an awful lot of goodness, doesn't it?
A few years back, when I was subbing at my local Baltimore City school, one of the teacher assistants was having awful cramps. I lived half a mile away, so during my lunch break I went home and brewed up Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. She drank it and later asked me what was in it, her pain stopped so quickly.
Infusions are different than brewing up a cup of tea. The magic number is 7. If you are using tea bags, the ratio should be 7 teabags to 1 cup of water.
If I don't grow the herb, I usually buy it from Mountain Rose Herbs. They come in plastic bags, so I generally store them in mason jars or other glass jars.
How to Make an Infusion with Leaves....
1. Take two handfuls of cut-up leaves or three handfuls of whole leaves.
2. Put in large glass jar.
3. Fill to top with boiling water.
4. Put lid on
5. Steep for four hours or overnight in the fridge.
6. Pour into a mug, using a tea strainer to catch any loose leaves.
***I reuse the leaves 2-3 times by just filling up the jar again with boiling water.
Another method is to put several handfuls in a clean towel, tie up the towel with a string or rubber band and steep it in a large stock pot. (The second photo illustrates what I mean).
I've used this method during my pregnancy because I was going through so much tea. I frozen several OJ bottles full to drink during Labor. I ended up only drinking one of the OJ bottles but drank the rest during my Post-Partum recovery.
Can you tell I love my Red Raspberry Leaf Tea?
**** A Reminder, please check with your Doc first and get the okay, okay?