11 Herbs to Naturally Improve Lactation in Nursing Mothers: Alternative to GMO Baby Formulas
We know that breastfeeding is exceptionally more beneficial for any baby’s health, and we know that GMO soy and corn are primary ingredients in baby formula (along with countless other food products), but there is good news. Alternative and safe, natural ways of increasing a mother’s milk supply are readily available and inexpensive. Below you will learn of 11 herbs to naturally improve lactation in nursing mothers.
Many of the herbs below have been used for thousands of years, and their side effects (if any) are well researched while the longest study Monsanto has conducted on its GMO products is a mere several months. Furthermore, researchers in France and elsewhere throughout the civilized world have restrictions on GMO crops due to their questionable effects on the human body. So why ever feed GMOs to your baby?
A concerned mother can lower her stress levels and reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption to help produce more milk, and the following natural herbs may help mothers to breastfeed, in place of using GMO baby formulas. Breastfeeding has been shown to improve a baby’s developmental health and intellect, as evidenced in yet another study, of hundreds, published in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Here are 11 foods and herbs to promote lactation for mothers:
- Fenugreek – Also known as Trigonella foenumgraecum, fenugreek has been used as a remedy for increasing milk supply in nursing mothers for more than a thousand years. It can usually produce results in as little as 25-72 hours, though some women might require a longer wait before obvious results in milk production are noticeable. It is considered safe to take up to 3500 mg/day. Pregnant women should not take fenugreek because it can cause uterine contractions.
- Milk Thistle – Aside from being a great tonic for the liver, milk thistle has been shown to increase milk supply over a placebo in clinical studies. Silybum marianum, or milk thistle can help to reduce the toxic overload in a nursing mother as well as increase her baby’s milk.
- Shatavari – This Ayurvedic remedy is not only great for increasing breast milk production, but also is used as a fertility treatment. A little tongue in cheek information to boot – the Sanskrit word translates to mean, “she who shall possess 100 husbands.”
- Indonesian Torbangun – Also known as Coleus amboinicus Lour and used heavily in the Bataknese traditional cuisine, torbangun helps to increase milk production by up to 65%. It has been used throughout Indonesia for hundreds, if not thousands of years as a lactagogue – it has worked in clinical trials better than B12 supplements and even fenugreek.
- Turmeric – Many women either can’t breastfeed or cut the time they breast feed their babies short due to swollen breasts and clogged mammary glands, which can be very painful for nursing moms. Turmeric has been shown to reduce inflammation in nursing mothers’ breasts so that they can continue to breastfeed for a longer duration. Turmeric has been used as an Ayurvedic remedy for centuries in treating inflamed tissue throughout the body, not just the breasts. Check out some other health benefits of turmeric here.
- Ginger – Ginger is not only an overall blood tonic for the body, but it has also been shown to be helpful in aiding milk let-down and increasing flow.
- Goat’s Rue – Known as Galega officinalis and popularly used in France, this herb is incredibly efficient at helping to develop mammary tissue. The more breast tissue, often the more milk can be produced. Goat’s rue may also be helpful for mothers who have low milk supply as a result of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Alfalfa – This is another lactogenic herb used to increase mammary tissue and therefore, milk supply. It can safely be taken during pregnancy and after the birth of your child.
- Anise – Putting a few anise seeds into a cup of rum and drinking it was an age-old folk remedy for increasing milk supply, but you can probably just skip straight to the anise seeds and omit the rum for better milk production today.
- Fennel Seed – Taken throughout Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries as well as India for centuries, this herb has been shown to greatly enhance milk production in lactating women. Some women experience a doubling of breast milk supply with fennel seed.
- Blessed Thistle – Cnicus benedictus has been used to improve milk production, improve digestion and even elevate mood as to help with the ‘baby blues’ or post-partum depression after a mother gives birth.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.