How To Make Fenugreek Tea at Home
Breastfeeding Is the Healthiest Choice for You and Your Baby
Doctors agree that breastfeeding is the healthiest start to life that a baby can get. No formula on the market rivals the nutritional value of breast milk, which naturally changes as your child grows to suit their evolving dietary needs.
In addition, breast milk gives an invaluable boost to a baby’s immune system.
Considering all this positive press for breastfeeding, it may be surprising to learn that only a quarter of all infants born in the U.S. is exclusively breastfed for the entire six-month period recommended by healthcare groups like the World Health Organization and the CDC.
Low Milk Supply Is a Common Obstacle to Breastfeeding
Common factors might prevent women from exclusively breastfeeding their children through six months of age.
Many women cite low milk supply, which affects between ten to fifteen percent of women. Babies drink a lot of milk: a six-month-old drinks about a quart of milk daily! Keeping up with your little one can sometimes be a challenge.
Herbal Remedies To Help Support Healthy Lactation
Are you worried about a low milk supply? Good news: in addition to lifestyle changes, there is an assortment of natural, herbal remedies which can help support healthy lactation.
One of the oldest of these natural remedies is an herb called fenugreek.
Fenugreek is an annual herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is thought to be one of the oldest medicinal plants used by humans and is still widely used today.
Herbal remedies are used less frequently in the United States than in other regions of the world. However, two-thirds of the world’s population primarily use herbal remedies to deal with health issues.
Fenugreek is thought to have many other beneficial qualities in addition to its milk-boosting activity–including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities. These extra benefits make incorporating fenugreek into your diet an easy change to say yes to.
How Does Fenugreek Promote Healthy Lactation?
Though fenugreek’s mechanism of action in humans is yet unproven, some studies have provided insight into how the herb causes its milk-boosting effects in animals. Researchers suggest that when your digestive system breaks down fenugreek, it forms chemical compounds very similar to the hormones insulin and oxytocin.
Oxytocin plays an essential role in the female reproductive system. It does many things, including stimulating contractions during childbirth and promoting mother-child bonding.
One of the essential functions of oxytocin is the stimulation of milk production.
Researchers propose that when nursing mothers ingest fenugreek, the herb acts as a sort of beneficial oxytocin impostor in the body, triggering the same effects as the hormone itself.
Therefore, a regular intake of fenugreek can lead to all the same benefits as an oxytocin boost, including–importantly–increased milk production.
Where to Buy Fenugreek
Though fenugreek is a leafy herb, the part of the plant utilized as an herbal remedy is the seeds. Fenugreek is sold for its use as a spice, and its herbalism uses, so try a local spice shop or natural herb supplier first. Otherwise, you can always find fenugreek seeds online.
Make sure that you are buying fenugreek seeds that were grown organically, without pesticides or other potentially harmful chemicals.
Making Fenugreek Tea at Home
Now, you’re ready to prepare the tea! Making fenugreek tea is very simple.
Begin by bringing some water to a rolling boil in a pot or teapot. You may choose to make a large quantity of tea to save time or simply prepare one cup at a time; either way, make sure to measure the water you use so that you can add the right amount of fenugreek seeds to achieve a tea that is the perfect concentration and flavor.
While the water is heating, measure your fenugreek seeds. For a perfect cup of tea, use three teaspoons of fenugreek for every one cup (8 ounces) of water.
When the water is boiling, add the seeds and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the tea to simmer for at least three minutes. Steeping the tea for longer will produce a stronger, more bitter flavor.
Now, the water should be a golden yellow color. Take the pot off the stove and strain the hot tea into a waiting mug or basin using a mesh sieve or filter to catch the seeds. Be careful when handling hot liquids!
Flavoring Fenugreek Tea
Fenugreek is known for its nutty, maple syrup flavor, making this tea a unique and enjoyable experience. You may choose to sweeten or otherwise add flavor to your fenugreek tea. Consider natural sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, or stevia, to add sweetness and cut any bitterness in your beverage.
Keeping Fenugreek Tea Fresh
Consider making a bulk batch of fenugreek tea to save time and make it easier to maximize your fenugreek intake. Pour the extra tea into a lidded pitcher, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week!
How Much Fenugreek Tea Should I Drink To Promote Lactation?
A dose of between one to six grams of fenugreek seeds per day, or two to three cups of fenugreek tea, is enough to support healthy lactation in most women.
When you first begin to supplement your diet with fenugreek, make sure not to exceed the recommended daily dose (two to three cups of tea per day). In addition to its milk-boosting properties, fenugreek has blood-sugar-regulating effects and is even used as an antidiabetic medication in some cases. Ingesting too much fenugreek could lead to low blood sugar, which can be dangerous.
Who Should Not Drink Fenugreek Tea?
People who are allergic to certain legumes, such as peanuts and chickpeas, should not consume fenugreek in any form. This is because the herb has certain similarities to those foods, which might cause someone with a peanut or chickpea allergy to react to fenugreek.
In addition, because of the blood-sugar-regulating effects described above, people who already take medication for diabetes should consult their doctor before beginning a fenugreek regimen.
Ultimately, make sure to speak with your doctor before adopting an herbal remedy into your lifestyle.
Fenugreek Tea Is an Easy, Natural Way To Boost Milk Supply
Making fenugreek tea at home is as easy as heating water and steeping the seeds–and the benefits of this tea are plenty!
Drinking two to three cups of fenugreek tea every day while breastfeeding a baby will support your ability to nurse while affording you the other benefits of fenugreek, too – ranging from lowering your blood sugar to supporting healthy hair growth.
If you are concerned about low milk supply, herbal remedies are a great idea.
However, make sure to consider the possible causes of your condition as you begin to look into treating it. Low milk supply is often due to dehydration, so make sure you’re staying hydrated; teas, water, and electrolyte-fortified hydration drinks specifically designed for nursing mamas can all help. Fatigue and stress can play a role, too–so enlist your support system, and try to take some time to yourself!
Make Greater Than Part of Your Journey
With some self-care, delicious tea, and rest, you’ll be well prepared to give your baby the healthy start to life that nursing provides.
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