Looking for natural ways to boost your breast milk production? Herbal remedies are a great place to start!
Doctors recommend breastfeeding during the first year of an infant’s life and breastfeeding alone as an infant’s exclusive source of nutrition until at least their sixth month.
However, not every mother is able to breastfeed without a bit of help.
A common obstacle for moms is the concern that they are not producing enough milk for their baby. This concern is certainly valid as between ten and fifteen percent of women struggle with low milk supply.
Starting even before the time of the ancient Greeks, women have been supporting lactation with all-natural herbal remedies. Substances that boost a woman’s milk supply are called galactagogues, and these substances come in many forms.
Herbs are a great way to get an all-natural boost of wellness. Herbal galactagogues can be a great way to support healthy lactation and help you feel your best while nourishing your little one.
Teas are a great way to ingest herbal remedies. They provide you with all the benefits of an herb while simultaneously boosting your hydration levels.
Staying hydrated while nursing can help you produce breast milk, too. The following nine teas, made with time-tested herbs known to support lactation, will help you and your baby get the most out of the nursing experience.
Fenugreek is a clover-like legume native to the Mediterranean region. Nursing moms have used this herb to boost milk production for centuries.
Researchers suggest that fenugreek might work by mimicking the effects of oxytocin, an essential female hormone involved in milk production and mother-child bonding. However, the exact mechanism of fenugreek’s action is unknown.
To maximize the effects of fenugreek, it is advisable to begin your consumption of the herb within a few days postpartum, when you will benefit most from its effects. However, if that time has already passed, don’t worry! Taking fenugreek can still help you towards healthy milk production.
How To Make Fenugreek Tea
Fenugreek tea is made with the seeds of the herb, which can be purchased at your local health food store or spice shop. It is also used as a spice in many cuisines and is known for its nutty, maple syrup flavor.
To make the tea, add three teaspoons of fenugreek seeds to a cup of boiling water, and allow the seeds to steep for at least three minutes. Allowing them to steep for longer will yield a bitter, more deeply-flavored tea.
Next, pour the liquid into another cup through a mesh sieve to remove the seeds. You may choose to flavor your tea with a natural sweetener such as syrup, honey, stevia, or sugar.
Enjoy! Drink up to three cups of fenugreek tea daily for optimal effects.
Goat’s rue is another legume that grows in many places worldwide but is native to Northern Africa, Europe, and Western Asia. This herb has been utilized as a galactagogue in Europe for many years.
Some believe that goat’s rue promotes the development and activation of mammary tissue in the breast, leading to increased milk production. However, there are essential considerations on using goat’s rue because the herb can cause low blood sugar if used in large amounts.
Therefore, if you use anti-diabetic medication or know that you have low blood sugar, exercise caution and speak with your doctor before using goat’s rue.
How To Make Goat’s Rue Tea
Goat’s rue is only safe for human consumption once it has been dried. Begin with two tablespoons of dried leaves and steep them in one cup of boiling water for up to ten minutes.
Strain the water and enjoy your tea! Drink goat’s rue tea up to three times a day to support healthy lactation.
Blessed thistle is a spiky plant with many medicinal qualities, including antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The dandelion-like plant’s leaves, stems, and blossoms have been used to treat low breast milk production since the middle ages.
Researchers suggest that blessed thistle works by stimulating greater blood flow to the breasts, leading to greater milk production.
When taking blessed thistle for lactation, consider its close evolutionary relationship to ragweed, a common allergen. If you are allergic to ragweed, it may be best to skip this tea. And if you notice stomach cramps or other side effects, speak with a doctor and discontinue use.
How To Make Blessed Thistle Tea
Blessed thistle grows naturally in regions adjacent to the Mediterranean. If you aren’t from that region and can’t hop on a jet to collect herbs, you will be pleased to know that dried, prepared blessed thistle can be purchased online!
To prepare tea, simply steep the dried herbs in boiling water for at least three minutes and up to ten minutes, then strain them out. Flavor or sweeten the tea if you so choose, and enjoy! You should drink only two to three cups of thistle tea per day.
Like blessed thistle, milk thistle is yet another herb that packs a valuable punch when it comes to lactation. The active ingredient that researchers believe gives milk thistle its galactagogue activity is silymarin.
Silymarin is known to have beneficial antioxidant qualities. Milk thistle might also aid in indigestion, liver disease, and diabetes, making it a great herb to adopt in your daily routine.
As with fenugreek, it is best to begin a milk thistle tea regimen soon following your child's birth to see maximum results. Consider making teas ahead of time and keeping them in the refrigerator so that you can access them easily, even when waking up for frequent feedings has tired you out!
How To Make Milk Thistle Tea
Tea of milk thistle is made with the plant’s seeds, which pack a lot of galactagogue activity. Milk thistle seeds can be found at your local natural foods store or herbalist’s shop. Steep them in boiling water for three to ten minutes, then strain. Drink up to three cups of milk thistle tea daily to support lactation.
Fennel has been used as a remedy for low milk supply since the ancient Greeks, who recognized its ability to boost milk production in nursing women. In fact, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine himself, recommended fennel to women struggling to breastfeed.
Today, fennel is used around the world to boost breast milk production. A tea made with fennel seeds is an efficient way to use this remedy.
Researchers suggest that fennel seeds boost a woman’s prolactin levels. Prolactin is an essential hormone for stimulating milk production, so this effect of fennel seeds may explain why drinking fennel tea is excellent for lactation.
How To Make Fennel Seed Tea
When using fennel for lactation – the fresher, the better! Look for fresh fennel seeds at a local natural foods store, spice shop, or online.
Crushing fennel seeds enables the medicinal qualities to escape into the tea and maximizes this remedy’s positive effects. Wait to crush the seeds until just before preparing your tea to maximize the tea’s benefits.
Steep half a teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds in a cup of boiling water for five minutes, then strain and serve.
Alfalfa is an herbal remedy thought to increase milk production through its similarity to estrogen, a female hormone.
The leaves and sprouts of the alfalfa plant contain compounds similar to estrogen and may therefore have a lactation-inducing effect. Alfalfa is used all over the world to enhance breast milk production.
How To Make Alfalfa Tea for Lactation
Dried alfalfa leaves and shoots are suitable for making a lactation-boosting tea, as these elements of the plant contain the most estrogen-like compounds. To prepare tea, pour one cup of boiling water over two tablespoons of dried alfalfa leaves and shoots. Allow steeping for five to ten minutes before serving.
Anise also contains chemicals that function similarly to the female hormone estrogen when introduced to the body in significant quantities. This is the mechanism by which anise is thought to aid breast milk production.
Anise is “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA, and its tea can be consumed a recommended two times per day to see its effects. It causes an upset stomach in some people, so begin with a small dose, and increase your tea intake if no adverse effects are noted.
How To Make Anise Tea
The seeds of the Anise plant are the portion used as an herbal remedy. These seeds are known for their licorice flavor and smell. To prepare a tea, brew one tablespoon of anise seeds in a cup of boiling water for five to ten minutes, and serve.
The seeds of the caraway plant are used across the world to increase breastmilk production. It is thought to increase a mother’s milk supply and reduce gas in the newborn when it passes to an infant through the milk.
Caraway is used as a tea in many cultures, and preparing it this way is a good way to get the nutritional benefits rather easily. However, caraway is also served to new moms as a pudding in some Middle Eastern cultures.
How To Make Caraway Tea for Lactation
Drop one tablespoon of caraway seeds into one cup of boiling water, and brew for ten minutes or more, depending on the strength of tea you desire. Strain and serve.
Marshmallow is a plant that grows throughout Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia. The root can be used to treat redness and swelling, making it a popular remedy for upset stomachs, skin rashes, and respiratory illnesses.
In addition, marshmallows can be used on the skin around the nipple to help moms whose breasts are sore from nursing.
Marshmallow, when ingested, is also thought to serve as a galactagogue, boosting the milk supply naturally.
How To Make Marshmallow Root Tea
Marshmallow root can be purchased dried at your local herbal supply, spice shop, or health food store. However, you can also purchase it online.
To prepare the tea, simply brew two teaspoons of dried, pulverized root in one cup of boiling water for at least five minutes. Strain and enjoy!
Mix and Match Lactation Teas for Optimal Results
You certainly don’t have to pick just one lactation-boosting herb. Experiment with different teas and try brewing herbs together to maximize their flow-boosting effects and support your lactation!
Many of these herbs work in different ways, and some may work better for your body than others. Try different combinations to discover what works for you.
Combine Herbal Remedies With Support and Self-Care To Support Healthy Lactation
In addition to herbal remedies, there are several things you can do to support your milk production. A great first step that many women struggle with is to ensure that you are properly hydrated.
Dehydration can cause severe problems with milk production. It’s essential to drink plenty of water while nursing. Supplement with an electrolyte beverage designed for new moms if you struggle to stay hydrated.
Furthermore, eating enough healthy calories and getting as much rest as you can manage can help boost your milk supply, too.
Make Greater Than a Part of Your Breastfeeding Journey
At Greater Than, we emphasize that nourishing your body is essential during this time. Eating healthy, whole foods will ensure that you can produce ample milk. And working with a support system to help you care for your little one is essential, too, to allow you to get the rest you need!
An exhausted body cannot produce milk. For your sake and your baby’s, it’s essential to take time for yourself. Now, armed with knowledge, you are ready to take steps to boost your milk supply and support healthy lactation with these delicious teas and electrolyte drinks!
Ready to give Greater Than a try? Try our Trial 6-Flavor Variety Pack and find your fave! Perfect for parched pregnant women and breastfeeding moms looking for a boost.