Raspberry leaf--should it be recommended to pregnant women?

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2009 Nov;15(4):204-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2009.05.003. Epub 2009 Jun 13.


This review evaluates the safety and efficacy of raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) in pregnancy. The electronic databases PubMed, ISI Web of Science, AMED, EMBASE, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database and Cochrane Library were searched. Altogether 12 original publications with focus on safety or efficacy during pregnancy, pharmacology and in vitro tests explaining mode of action or constituents in Rubus idaeus were reviewed. Limited documentation exists and part of it is 50 years old or older. Only the latest animal study indicates an increased risk for the unborn child; however, all the studies are small and cannot rule out negative effects on pregnancy outcome. The efficacy of raspberry leaf is not convincingly documented. The use of raspberry leaf in pregnancy is a traditional herbal therapy and is recommended by some midwives. Due to the lack of evidence for safety and efficacy such recommendations are questionable. Suggestions for future work are given.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Obstetric Labor Complications / therapy*
  • Phytotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy*
  • Rosaceae*


  • Plant Extracts