Research: PARSONS and colleagues, W

Listed in Issue 55


PARSONS and colleagues, Westmead Hospital, Australia studied the safety and efficacy of raspberry leaf products consumed by a group of mothers during their pregnancy, by comparison with a group of mothers who did not.



The authors conducted a study using a retrospective observational design. Recruited were 108 mothers who gave birth to their babies at Westmead Hospital between January – July 1998. 57 (52.8%) of the women consumed raspberry leaf products and 51 (47.2%) were in the control group.


The findings suggest that the raspberry leaf herb can by consumed by women during their pregnancy for the purpose for which it is taken, namely to shorten labour with no identified side effects for the women or their babies. The results also suggest that ingestion of the herb might decrease the likelihood of pre and post-term gestation. An unexpected finding in this study appears to indicate that women who ingest raspberry leaf might be less likely to receive an artificial rupture of their membranes, or require a caesarean section, forceps or vacuum birth than the women in the control group.



Parsons M et al. Raspberry leaf and its effect on labour: safety and efficacy. Australian College of Midwives Incorporated Journal 12(3): 20-5. Sep 1999.

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