Raman spectroscopy allows visualization of 2D and 3D chemical distributions at high spatial resolution in a wide range of samples. It is insensitive to water, which makes it particularly attractive for applications in the biological sciences. At the same time, technical advances have allowed the laser excitation power to be reduced on thermally sensitive samples, without sacrificing acquisition times. This review highlights the analytical and diagnostic potential of Raman imaging techniques by reference to recent studies of red blood cells. In the case of red blood cells infected with low-pigmented forms of the malaria parasite, molecular images reveal sub-micron-inclusions of haemozoin, which suggests that the technique has potential for early-stage diagnosis of the disease.