What are Galactagogues?

If you think you have a low breast milk supply, first read our page on how breast milk production works …you might be able to increase breast milk supply without using a galactogue.

Before the use of galactagogues, mom can use other corrective measures that include latching on correctly , breast massage , breastfeeding diet and breastfeeding on demand.

Read our low milk supply page for reasons why some moms have a low supply and other things that can be done for increasing breastmilk supply.

There are lactation herbs and medications that are used to increase lactation or stimulate milk production in a lactating mother. It is mostly used for increasing breast milk supply, but is sometimes used to induce lactation by those mothers who want to breastfeed their adopted babies.

When is a galactagogue necessary

- Needed when mom has a very low milk supply and is using Galactagogues and pumping to produce more breast milk

- Used if mom is working and breastfeeding and trying to keep up her milk supply and for extra milk expressed needed for baby during the day when mom isn’t around.

- Inducing lactation ~ Used when a mother has adopted a baby and wants to induce lactation for breastfeeding.

- Mom has a premature infant that is incapable of breastfeeding at the moment – mom will need to pump and take Galactagogues until baby is strong enough to breastfeed

Always remember that a lactation supplement is most effective if mom is maintaining frequent breast stimulation in the form of preferably breastfeeding or if this is not possible…pumping.

Safe galactagogue herbs include:

* Fenugreek

~ Read more on increasing breast milk supply with fenugreek

* Blessed thistle

~ Three capsules three times per day.

~ May cause some digestive changes

* Alfalfa

~ Four capsules three times a day. Very mild and can be taken with another galactogue.

~ May cause some digestive changes

* Brewers yeast as a galactagogue

~ Has very few side-effects (should not be used if mom has a recurrent yeast problem or yeast infection)

~ Rich in Vitamin B, amino acids, minerals and iron.

~ Dosage: 3-5 capsules daily

* Fennel

~ May cause some digestive changes

* Anise

~ Not only will it increase milk production, but also decreases colic in baby through moms breast milk.

* Goats rue

~ Used to make a tea (1tsp dried leaves infused in 1 cup boiling water for 20 minutes taken twice daily)

~ Goats rue can increase breast milk production and increase the milk flow (let down)

~ Side-effects include sweating, increased urination and sometimes a drop in blood sugar levels.

* Hops (Humulus lupulus)

~ Best used fresh for increasing milk supply

~ Helps regulate hormonal productions which helps increase milk supply

* Mothers milk tea

~ Recipe:

2 parts fennel

1 part nettle

1 part blessed thistle

1 part fenugreek

½ part Hops

(grind the seeds before adding the boiling water to them – seep for 15-20 minutes)

* Milk thistle (not the same as blessed thistle)

* Nettle leaf or capsules

~(take two capsules three times a day)

~ This is another mild galactogue and will be more effective taken with other herbal galactagogues.

* Shatavari

* Flax

* Soapwort

* Marshmallow (althaea) root

~ This galactogue should be used with the other breast milk herbs to improve their effectiveness.

* Red raspberry leaf

* Burdock

* Chaste Berry

Combining two or three of the above-mentioned natural herbal galactagogue will work better than just using one.

Lactogenic foods “galactagogue foods”

- Carrot seeds, beet and yam

- Beet leaves, spinach, chicory and other dark green leafy vegetables

- Plain Oats and oat straw capsules or liquid extract.

- Raw nuts, flaxseed oil and sesame oil.

- Water, herbal root-beers, chicory coffee and barley water.

- Garlic ~ It has been found that if mom eats a lot of garlic it gives the breast milk a nicer taste which will increase the time baby spends on the breast therefore increasing breast milk production.

- Ginger (should not be taken with any other medication)

- Green papaya (simmered until soft)

- Dill ~ Can be used in tea or sprinkled on food. (two tsp of dill seed daily)

- Sesame seed

Increase breast milk supply with Galactogue drugs

Metoclopramide (Maxolon, Pramin, Maxeran)

- Side-effects on mom sometimes include: Tiredness, anxiety, cramps on stomach and diarrhea.

- Can increase breast milk production by 40%

- No documented side-effects on baby

Domperidone for breastfeeding (Motilium)

- Increases prolactin levels therefore increasing breastmilk production.

- Domperidone side effects ~ Very little side-effects found

- Is usually only needed for a short period of time

- You can buy domperidone online or over the counter…a doctor’s prescription is not needed. Don’t go for cheap domperidone…make sure the supplier is viable.


- Used in conjunction with metoclopramide and methyldopa


- Can be taken orally as a spray

- Helps with milk let down (milk ejection reflex) and producing breast milk


- Found in breast milk, but with no noticeable side-effects.

- Not available in some countries

Top of galactagogue breastfeeding page

Other pages on "breastfeeding problems" in connection with galactagogues

- Beer and breastfeeding

- Stimulating lactation for adoption

- Breastfeeding herbs

- Other breastfeeding concerns (sitemap)

- Fenugreek and breast milk production

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'Herbs of light' Goat's Rue? 
Hello, I have been looking for Goat's Rue locally and none of the health food stores in our area carry it. They don't carry the motherlove line …

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The Breast Crawl ~ Watch a baby crawl to the breast on their own immediately after birth!

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