by Ling Wong, Thoughts For Foods Holistic Health www.thoughts4foods.com
Galactogogues are substances that increase milk supply. Some examples include anise seed, borage, blessed thistle, cumin, dill, fennel, fenugreek, nigella, nettle, and vervain. When you are purchasing herbal supplements, make sure it comes from a trusted source to minimize contamination, and if you are taking other medication or dealing with medical conditions, always consult a qualified herbalist before starting any new supplementation.
Here are some common galactogogues, most of them also preform “double duty” that are beneficial to new moms:
Borage – it can also relieve anxiety and stress. The plant loses much of its medicinal qualities when dried, so use it fresh whenever possible.
Dill – it has colic- and gas-relieving properties.
Fennel – usually the seeds are used. It is also a digestive aid and can help relieve colic.
Fenugreek – because of its bitter flavor, it has to be formulated with other herbs to make it palatable, or taken in pill form.
Nettle – it is a great tonic herbs with many nutrients, including iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and chromium. It can also help relieve fluid retention, which affects some women because of fluctuations in hormone levels.
Some herbs, when used in quantity much larger than that in normal cooking, may reduce milk production. These include: chickweed, lemon balm, parsley, peppermint, sage, sorrel, spearmint, thyme, and yarrow.
Gladstar, R. (2008) Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing
Ling Wong, founder and owner of Thoughts for Foods Holistic Health, specializes in preconception health and prenatal and postpartum wellness. She became passionate about the subject during her own fertility journey and decided to apply her knowledge and her personal experience to support women in various stages of their motherhood journeys. Walking her talk, Ling was able to recover very quickly from the delivery of her first child and is currently breezing through her second pregnancy. Learn more about Ling and her work at www.thoughts4foods.com, and her prenatal wellness program at http://thoughts4foods.com/super-pregger.