Galactogogues are substances that can help increase milk production in lactating individuals. Many women have used them for centuries in various cultures. Here are some medicinal herbs that are commonly used as galactogogues:
- Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum): Fenugreek seeds are one of the most well-known galactogogues. They can be consumed as capsules, tea, or added to food. Some studies suggest that fenugreek may increase milk production, possibly due to its phytoestrogen content.
- Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus): Blessed thistle is often used in combination with fenugreek. It is believed to stimulate milk flow and promote lactation.
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare): Fennel seeds or tea are used by some nursing mothers to increase milk supply. Fennel is thought to have estrogenic properties that may stimulate lactation.
- Goat’s Rue (Galega officinalis): Goat’s rue has a long history of use as a galactogogue. It is believed to stimulate the growth of mammary tissue and increase milk production.
- Anise (Pimpinella anisum): Anise seeds are sometimes used to promote lactation. They can be brewed into a tea or added to foods.
- Alfalfa (Medicago sativa): Alfalfa sprouts or supplements are used by some nursing mothers to increase milk supply. They are a good source of nutrients and phytoestrogens.
- Nettle (Urtica dioica): Nettle is rich in minerals and support lactation by providing essential nutrients.
- Dill (Anethum graveolens): Dill seeds or dill weed are occasionally used as a galactogogue.
- Chaste Tree Berry (Vitex agnus-castus): Also known as chasteberry or vitex, this herb is sometimes used to help balance hormones and increase milk supply.
Remember that individual responses to these herbs may vary. Additionally, proper breastfeeding techniques, frequent nursing or pumping, and adequate hydration and nutrition are also essential factors in maintaining a healthy milk supply.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): https://www.nccih.nih.gov/
La Leche League International (LLLI): https://www.llli.org/
Herbal Medicine for Lactation Support – A Review: Journal of Human Lactation, 2013: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23514231/
Medications and Mothers’ Milk by Dr. Thomas Hale: https://medsmilk.com/
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): https://www.aap.org/
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