Women who have problems with breastfeeding, especially if they fear they do not have enough milk to feed their newborn, should consider using Ayurvedic herbs and remedies. Medicinal plants have been known and used effectively for centuries before the modern medicine started producing drugs. Nature has many things to offer to those who care to listen and learn and benefit from its fruits.
There is a number of herbs that can help increase the milk flow for the nursing women. Two herbs that are the most effective and most popular for this purpose are fenugreek and blessed thistle.
This plant is a known galactogogue, which is a substance that promotes secretion of milk. It has been widely used in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. It basically works by stimulating the sweat glands, and because the mammary glands are basically sweat glands this herb increases milk production as well.
The part of this plant that is used for increasing the milk flow is its seed. It is usually ground into powder and packed into capsules. The recommended dosage is three capsules three times a day.
It works best if the breasts are completely emptied out, either by breastfeeding or by using a breast pump.
This herb is considered to be one of the best when it comes to increasing the milk flow. It works best when combined with fenugreek. It simulates the mammary glands directly.
Blessed thistle can be used in capsules just like fenugreek, three capsules three times a day. It is also sold as a tincture, which should be taken in 20 drops three times a day. Some people worry about the use of tinctures during pregnancy and breastfeeding, because they contain alcohol, however the amount of alcohol is usually very low so there is no danger it might harm the baby.
Along fenugreek and blessed thistle, there are many other herbs that can be effective when it comes to increasing the milk flow.
Fennel seed, which promotes menstruation, can also increase the milk production in the breasts.
Chamomile, used primarily for relaxation and for some infectious diseases, can also be used for this purpose.
Alfalfa is rich in amino acids, of which some mothers can be deficient due to the diet. It is important that the mother’s overall health is good, otherwise it will reflect on the milk.
Shatavari and goat’s rue also promote lactation, as well as the growth of mammary glands.
Most of these plants come in capsules or as teas.
Women who are breastfeeding or have problems with milk flow should avoid black cohosh, buckthorn, cascara sagrada and cocoa.