Galactagogue And Lactation Herbs For Increasing Breast Milk Production

17 09 2012

Galactagogue and lactation herbs are useful to increase breast milk production. These help to promote the supply of milk and help the baby to get proper nutrition. These are great herbal supplements for breast feeding mothers.

Some Other Related Terms:


Galactagogues: Galactagogues are those herbs or supplements or drugs that can increase the secretion or production of milk.

Hypogalactia: It is the condition where galactogue & lactation herbs are helpful. In this condition, there is inadequate secretion of breast milk.

Agalactia: This condition refers to loss of or complete lack of secretion of breast milk. One should consult a qualified herbalist or doctor for this condition.

Galactophyga: Herbs which diminish milk-flow and arrest the secretion of milk.

Galactopoiesis: The secretion and continuing production of milk by the mammary glands beyond need of the baby.

Galactorrhea: The excessive flow of milk from the breasts during lactation; spontaneous milk flow, such as when happens when a nursingmother hears another infant cry and her own breasts spurt milk.

Common Conditions Where Galactagogue And Lactation Herbs Are Required:

Galactagogue and lactation herbs are needed in certain normal physiological conditions and after some medical and surgical procedures.

  • In obese or overweight ladies, the prolactin response to suckling is low so that there will be inadequate milk supply.
  • It can also arise when the mother doesn’t let the baby suckle as frequently as she may need.
  • If the weaning or adding the nutritional supplements is too early.
  • If mother is breast feeding from one breast only.
  • When the mother is on poor nutrition.
  • This is found in women who undergo Caesarian section surgery.
  • When there had been previous breast issues, abuse or previous breastsurgeries.

Galactagogue And Lactation Herbs For Increasing Breast Milk Production:

Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus)

Blessed thistle or milk thistle stimulates milk production, especially in combination with red raspberry leaves. Milk thistle is also an antioxidant that is equal in potency to vitamins C and E. Besides it can help to boost up liver function.

Fenugreek Or Trigonella foenum-graecum Or Methika:

Fenugreek is the most common galacagogue and lactation herb. Fenugreek can be taken as herbal tea twice or thrice a day.  Fenugreek is considered a uterine stimulant, so do not use this herb if you are pregnant.

Fenugreek also works on the digestive system. It helps to expel the gas or flatus out that is why it might appear as causing gas in some individuals. On regular use the problem of flatulence will disappear.

Insulin-dependent diabetics should use the herb with caution or not at all, as it may affect their blood sugar readings and insulin needs. This herb, along with other therapies, has even been used successfully by non-birth mothers to help them produce breast milk for their adopted babies!

Fennel Or Foeniculum vulgare:

Fennel seed stimulates milk flow and relieves gas and colic. It increases breast milk production, but also helps to expel gas and aids in digestion and relieves colic.

Shatavari Or Asparagus racemosus:

This ayurvedic herb is greatly reputed as a galactagogue and lactation herbs. This provides nutrition to mother as well as baby. Shatavari can even be used during pregnancy. Shatavari can be used as first line herbal remedy for increasing breast milk.

Anise seed:

Anise seed aids in digestion and promotes mother’s milk production for nursing mothers.

Cumin seed (Cuminum cyminum):

Cumin seed is a good digestive and galactagogue. Cumin seed can be used with jaggery.

Goat’s Rue or Galega officinalis :

Goat’ Rue stimulates milk production.


Borage is also an effective galactagogue and lactation herb, but it should not be used for longer than a week at a time as it contains an alkaloid that may be harmful to the liver. It is a great herb for cooling fevers and balancing the adrenals, and its beautiful purple flowers are edible and are a lovely addition to any salad!


Hops has been used to increase mother’s milk (which is why they say to drink beer while nursing), but can cause depression when used over an extended period of time. It may also make you sleepy! The beer in some countries contains Hops that are helpful like galactagogue and lactation herbs, but the beer in the United States doesn’t seem to have the same content or quality.

Caraway (Carum bulbocastanum):

Black Caraway aids mother’s milk production and helps in digestion disorders. It is helpful for post-partum ladies (after child birth) as a galactagogue and lactation herbs.

General Nutrient Herbs Supporting Galactagogue And Lactation Herbs:

These herbs supplement galactagogue and lactation herbs as they are rich in minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.

Raspberry leaf:

Red raspberry Leaf is high in vitamins and minerals and will also help the uterus to recover and regain its size and shape quickly.


Alfalfa is rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and Vitamin K (the blood coagulant vitamin). Alfalfa is already a reputed tonic and rejuvenative herb.


Nettle or Stinging nettle is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and Vitamin K (the blood coagulant vitamin) just like alfalfa.

Herbs Supporting Galactagogue And Lactation Herbs & Used In Common Abodminal Conditions:

These herbal supplements help galactagogue and lactation herbs. Additionally these are useful in common abdominal conditions like gas formation, flatulence.

  • Oatstraw
  • Dandelion
  • Vervain
  • Marshmallow root
  • Lemon balm or Melissa officinalis is helpful for relieving gas and colic pain. Lemonbalm is calming as well.
  • Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)  is calming and is  useful in colic or spasmodic pain for both mother and baby. Besides Chamomile helps with teething pain.
  • Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis) is useful in the form of  cream or ointment externally on sore nipples between feedings. Pot Marigold keeps the skin of nipple in healthy condition.



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