Herbs are a safe and natural way to increase milk production in moms who choose to breastfeed. The group of herbs known for boosting milk supply are called galactagogues. These herbs can be taken in tea or tincture form and can often help with more than just lactation support. Here is a list of some of the top galactagogues and a note about other ways they can help new moms.
Fennel is definitely the best tasting when it comes to herbs for milk supply, so you can enjoy it in tea or tincture form. Fennel is also a carminative, meaning it helps with gas and bloating. It stimulates digestion, neutralizes excess acid in the stomach and intestines, and clears uric acid from the joints. Fennel passed to baby through breastmilk can help little ones with gas and colic.
Blessed Thistle, also referred to as our lady’s thistle and holy thistle, is an excellent tonic for the liver and digestion. It also helps to balance hormones. This herb works by stimulating blood flow to the mammary glands to increase and enrich the flow of milk. It is quite bitter in taste, so most people prefer to take it in tincture form.
Hops is a valued nerve tonic and digestive sedative. It can help with insomnia, stress, and tension, as well as regulate and balance hormone production. It is also very bitter and best taken as a tincture.
Raspberry Leaf is a pregnancy tonic that can continue to be taken postpartum for its high amount of vitamins and minerals along with its ability to aid in milk production. When taken during pregnancy, raspberry leaf is a strong uterine tonic. This plant helps to tone and relax the pelvic and uterine muscles in preparation for childbirth. It is high in calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins B, C, and E. Raspberry leaf has a pleasant taste and can be taken as a tea.
Shatavari is an Ayurvedic herb used as an overall tonic for the reproductive system. It is known for increasing vital fluids in the body and like Raspberry Leaf, it is considered a uterine tonic. Most people prefer Shatavari in tincture form.
Nettle is another pregnancy tonic that can continue to be taken during the postpartum period and beyond. This herb helps to restore and rebuild energy after birth and is high in vitamin K, iron, calcium, vitamin A, and chlorophyll. Nettle is nice as a tea when mixed with other mild tasting herbs.
Goat’s Rue has been shown to increase milk output by up to 50% in some cases and may also stimulate the development of the mammary glands. This herb is also used for reducing blood sugar levels. Most people prefer it as a tincture.
If you’re looking for other ways to boost your milk supply in addition to taking herbs, consider incorporating the following foods into your diet: apricots, asparagus, carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens. You’ll also want to drink plenty of fluids and get as much rest as you can with a new baby in the house.
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