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Herbs and Breastfeeding


Herbs and Breastfeeding Safety

Most herbs are acceptable for use during breastfeeding, but a mother should be cautious about herbs that contain alkaloids.

The nourishing qualities of these plants and herbs are amazing, and have been used for centuries by breastfeeding mothers around the world. 


Table of Contents

Herbs and breast feeding information


Herbs that Decrease Breast Milk Supply

Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, menthol and spearmint, Sage (which is actually used for weaning or for healing mastitis), Sorrel, Thyme, Chickweed, Periwinkle and Cocoa. (Not a complete list)


Dangerous Herbs while Breastfeeding

Some herbs that can harm the baby via the breast milk

Rhubarb root, Evodia, Star anise, Sophora root, Ginseng, Bladderwrack, Angelica Root, Indian Snakeroot, Wormwood, Coltsfoot, Chaparral, Petasites root, Ginkgo, Kava, Valerian, Coptis, Aloe, Senna, Borrage, Licorice, Basil, Ephedra and Rue. (Not a complete list)


Safe to Drink while Breastfeeding

Herbal Teas that are safe to drink for mothers who breastfeed

  • Celestial Seasonings is a good make, that lists all ingredients. 
  • Avoid the pharmacologically active herbal teas.
  • Orange cinnamon, Lemon lift, Raspberry tea, Rose hips - contains a lot of Vitamin C.


Lactation Herbs for Increasing Breastfeeding Milk Supply

  • Raspberry leaf herbs increase milk supply, and are very subtle.
  • Goat's rue is great for lactation and is widely used around the world.
  • Brewer's yeast.
  • Anise seed.
  • Alfalfa.
  • Nettle tea.
  • Hops flowers.
  • Mothers milk tea: Can be taken 4 times daily. Mother milk tea contains fenugreek, fennel and blessed thistle.


Herbs and Breastfeeding
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Other Helpful Breastfeeding Herbs

  • Enchinacea for colds and flu; to boost your immune system and to heal breast infections.
  • Phytolacca Decandra helps heal breast infections, mastitis and cracked nipples.
  • Calendula cream can be applied topically for Cracked or bleeding nipples.
  • Garlic will increase your baby’s appetite, by improving the taste of the your milk.
  • Olive leaf extract can be used as a natural antibiotic, that is safe to use if breastfeeding.
  • Hops flowers has calming properties, but also promotes increased milk production.


Overall Healthy Herbal Tonics for Breastfeeding Mothers

Herbal drinks that will revitalize you, and give you strength for breastfeeding

  • Get together equal quantities (about a handful each) of Nettle leaves (gives you energy), Oatsraw (high in calcium) and Red Raspberry leaves (great for milk supply).
  • Put them in a jar (1 quart) Fill with boiling water, cover and seep for four hours.
  • Strain and drink (you can mix with fruit juice to taste).


Herbs for Weaning and Oversupply

Herb Robert, Red sage, Garden mint and Periwinkle.


Mastitis Herbs

Herbs that help heal mastitis

  • Cleavers: Keeps the swelling down (40 drops in warm water every three hours).
  • Calendula: Drink one cup every four hours, for drainage of lymph fluids.
  • Echinacea root: Fights the infection like an antibiotic.
  • Prickly ash: Increases your immunity against mastitis.


Herbs During Pregnancy

Herbs during pregnancy that are safe

Red raspberry leaf, Blessed thistle, Fenugreek, Nettle leaf (rich in calcium, magnesium and iron)

Nettle leaf decreases the risk of piles during pregnancy.


Herbs and Depression
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Safe while Breastfeeding

  • St. John’s wort: Should not be taken in conjunction with any other antidepressants.
  • Evening primrose oil.
  • Motherwort.
  • Blessed thistle. (Will also increase supply)

More about PPD here



Other pages on “breastfeeding problems” in connection with herbs and nursing

- Low milk supply

- Fenugreek breastfeeding

- Lactogenic foods

- Breastfeeding Thrush

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What Other Moms Have Said

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fennel oil and breastfeeding 
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Oregano, safe?  
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Hello, Is linden tea (te de tila) safe to drink while breastfeeding. I drank a cup of tea and now I'm worried about the effects. Thanks in advance …

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I was recommended to try organic milk maid tea because I'm mostly pumping due to the fact that my baby girl has nipple confusion, well I drink three cups …

what a fantastic informative site Not rated yet
Thank you! What a fantastic, informative site :)

Where to Buy Breast Milk Herbs - Increase Supply Not rated yet
For me I purchased from: http://www.breastmilkherbs.com Fenugreek worked wonders after a few days. Hops help me and the baby rest (really strong hops …

Herbs do work Not rated yet
Herbs have worked great for me. At the suggestion of my lactation consultant I started using them to increase my milk supply. She recommended using at …

A lot of essential, fantastic information! Not rated yet
Wow! Is what I can basically say for this amazing write up by whomever wrote this exert I just want to say that this has been a great help and a wonderful …

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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr. Currently studying through Child birth International (CBC, CBD). Also an accomplished author and Mommy of two.