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Rubus idaeus medicinal use: Relaxant activity of raspberry (Rubus idaeus) leaf extract in guinea-pig ileum in vitro

Relaxant activity of raspberry (Rubus idaeus) leaf extract in guinea-pig ileum in vitro

. 2002 Nov;16(7):665-8.

doi: 10.1002/ptr.1040.

Janne Rojas-Vera 
, Asmita V Patel, Christopher G Dacke



  • 1 School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, PO1 2DT, UK.
  • PMID:


  • DOI:


Janne Rojas-Vera et al.

Phytother Res.

2002 Nov.

. 2002 Nov;16(7):665-8.

doi: 10.1002/ptr.1040.


Janne Rojas-Vera 
, Asmita V Patel, Christopher G Dacke


  • 1 School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, PO1 2DT, UK.
  • PMID:


  • DOI:



Tea made from the leaves of Rubus idaeus L. (raspberry) has been used for centuries as a folk medicine to treat wounds, diarrhoea, colic pain and as a uterine relaxant. Extracts of dried raspberry leaves prepared with different solvents, (n-hexane, ethyl acetate, chloroform and methanol) were tested in vitro for relaxant activity on transmurally stimulated guinea-pig ileum. The methanol (MeOH) extract exhibited the largest response and also indicated that the active compounds are of a relatively polar nature. Hence the bulk of the leaves were extracted with methanol and the dried extract fractionated on a silica gel column, eluting with chloroform, mixtures of chloroform and methanol and finally methanol. Each fraction was examined by thin layer chromatography and tested for relaxant activity in an in vitro transmurally stimulated guinea-pig ileum preparation. The fractions eluted with chloroform (CHCl(3)) lacked relaxant activity. Samples eluted with CHCl(3)/MeOH (95:5) had moderate relaxant activity, while a second distinctive peak of activity eluted with a more polar solvent mixture (CHCl(3)/MeOH 50:50) provided strong dose dependent responses. Evidence was obtained that there are at least two components of raspberry leaf extract which exhibit relaxant activity in an in vitro gastrointestinal preparation.

Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Publication types

MeSH terms


Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews


Red raspberry (Rubus idaeus) plant produces the widely eaten, sweet fruit. Red raspberry fruit and leaf have been used as medicine for centuries.

The chemicals in red raspberry might have antioxidant effects and help relax blood vessels. They might also cause muscles to contract or relax, depending on the dose and the muscle involved. This is the theory behind red raspberry’s use in easing labor and delivery.

People use red raspberry for labor, diarrhea, diabetes, and many other purposes, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Don’t confuse red raspberry with black raspberry, blackberry, or raspberry ketone.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Ineffective for

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Red raspberry fruit is commonly consumed as a food. It is possibly safe when taken in larger amounts as medicine. Red raspberry fruit is usually well-tolerated. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if red raspberry leaf is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Red raspberry fruit is commonly consumed as a food. It is possibly safe when taken in larger amounts as medicine. Red raspberry fruit is usually well-tolerated. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if red raspberry leaf is safe or what the side effects might be. Pregnancy: Red raspberry fruit is commonly consumed as a food. Red raspberry leaf is possibly safe when taken by mouth as medicine during LATE pregnancy under the direct supervision of a healthcare provider. But don’t take it on your own. It is likely unsafe to take red raspberry leaf as a medicine earlier in pregnancy. It might act like the hormone estrogen. This might harm the pregnancy.

Breast-feeding: Red raspberry fruit is commonly consumed as a food. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if it is safe to take red raspberry leaf when breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or uterine fibroids: Red raspberry leaf might act like estrogen. If you have any condition that might be sensitive to estrogen, don’t use red raspberry leaf.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Insulin decreases blood sugar levels in the body. Red raspberry leaf might also decrease blood sugar levels in the body. Taking raspberry leaf along with insulin might cause blood sugar levels in the body to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your insulin might need to be changed.

  • Red raspberry leaf might slow blood clotting. Taking red raspberry leaf along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.


Red raspberry fruit is commonly eaten on its own and processed into jams and other foods.

As medicine, there isn’t enough reliable information to know what an appropriate dose of red raspberry fruit or leaf might be. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult a healthcare professional before using.

View References

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.

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Common raspberry (Rubus idaeus) – description, useful properties


Biennial shrub of the Rosaceae family 1. 5–
2 m. Perennial rhizome. Shoots of the 1st year are green-gray,
stems of the 2nd year lignified, brown. After
fruiting shoots dry up. Leaves consist of three
five or seven petals. They are dark green above, below
white felt. Blooms in June – July. Flowers small, white,
collected in a slightly drooping inflorescence. The fruit is complex, yellow
or red, incorrectly called a berry, consists of
small drupes. Ripens in July – August. Abundant
fruiting is observed by 3-4 years.
Raspberries in the wild are common in the European part
Russian Federation, Western Siberia, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, the Urals and
Caucasus. It grows along the edges of forests, in clearings, burnt areas, in
windbreaks and damp ravines. Introduced into culture
represented by numerous varieties. propagate
cuttings and dividing the bush.
Used in dietary and baby food. From fruits
prepare jam, compotes, marmalade and other confectionery
products. Wild raspberries have more fragrant berries than
cultural. It is an excellent honey plant.
Medicinal raw materials are fruits, leaves, sometimes
roots. The fruits are harvested as they ripen in dry weather,
when they are easily removed from the receptacle, slightly dried and
dried in the sun, scattering a thin layer, or in an oven with
temperature 50–60 °C. Finished raw materials are sorted out, removing
blackened. The leaves are dried under a canopy, in the attic or in
dryer. The roots are cleaned from the ground, washed with cold water
and dried in the same way as the fruit. Store in bags up to 2 years.

Pharmacological and medical properties

Berries contain sugars, organic acids (malic,
citric, ascorbic, caproic, salicylic, etc.),
B vitamins, essential oil, beta-sitosterol, pectins,
tannins and dyes, carotene, salts of copper, iron and
potassium, catechins, flavonoids and anthocyanins. The seeds have
fatty acids, and in the leaves – vitamins C, E, carotene,
phenolcarboxylic acids, catechins and flavonoids.
Preparations from various parts of raspberries have
minor diuretic, anti-inflammatory,
hemostatic, antipyretic, diaphoretic,
astringent, anti-sclerotic, wound healing,
antibacterial, antiemetic and pain reliever
action. They lower blood sugar.
The fruits are used for colds and pneumonia as
addition to antimicrobials. They are essential
accelerate the healing process in case of gastrointestinal disease,
accompanied by vomiting, inflammation, pain,
bleeding. Raspberries are recommended to be used as
antisclerotic agent.
In folk medicine, the fruits are used for diarrhea,
anemia, chronic rheumatism, measles, eczema, sugar
diabetes and as a sobering agent for alcohol

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