is Galactagogues are synthetic or plant-derived substances that promote milk production and lactation and in humans and other animals.
According to Dr. Aviva Romm, galactagogues stimulate the production or flow of breast milk in lactating women. They may act hormonally, or may include herbs that are nutritive, to improve milk quality and quantity.
Galactagogues are a breastfeeding mom’s best friend because they are found in many common herbs, foods and spices that are easy to incorporate into your diet, and they may help support your milk production if you are breastfeeding.
Herbal remedies and foods have been used for centuries in nearly every culture to support mothers who are breastfeeding. These herbs and foods still exist today, so it makes sense that mamas might turn to some of these time-honored remedies for support.
Some well-known galactagogue herbs include:
- Marshmallow (Althea officinalis)
- Milky oats (Avena sativa)
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
- Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
- Anise seed (Pimpinella anisum)
- Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graceum)
- Chaste berry (Vitex agnes-castus)
Some well-known galactagogue foods include:
- Raw nuts (almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts)
- Grains and legumes (oats, millet, barley, rice, chickpeas and lentils)
- Green leafy vegetables (nettle, dandelion, spinach, kale and chard)
- Reddish-colored root vegetables (carrot, beets and yams)
- Sesame seeds
- Green papaya
Galactagogues may be ingested in raw or cooked foods, steeped and sipped as tea, or prepared as tinctures or capsules in dosages recommended by a clinical herbalist.
Birds & Bees’ Our Lady of La Leche tea blend was created with lactation support in mind. It’s packed with galactagogue herbs, including nettle leaf, alfalfa leaf, marshmallow root, fennel seed, fenugreek seed and astragalus root. And it tastes so good, you don’t even have to be breastfeeding to want to sip it.
Nursing mamas may experience a drop in milk production for any number of reasons, such as surgery, illness, returning to work or the overall stress (good and bad) that comes with caring for a newborn. It’s important to remember that if you have concerns about your milk production or are having trouble with breastfeeding, you should consult your doctor, a lactation specialist or a clinically trained herbalist before diagnosing and treating yourself with any herbal remedies.
For more information about herbal support in breastfeeding, we recommend:
If you are a breastfeeding mama, congratulations and we hope you are loving every last amazing moment of it!
Sources for this post include:
Pin this post!