Wondering how to use herbs safely while nursing?

Botanicals can be a beautiful addition to the breastfeeding years and help you shift into each season with grace and ease.

In this post, I’m going to share my favorite herbal remedies to help you navigate the various symptoms you’ll experience while breastfeeding and which botanicals are safe for you.

So, the #1 question moms always want to know is…

What do I drink to increase my breastmilk?

  • Galactagogues are the main category of herbs you’ll want to include to boost your milk supply.
  • But, keep in mind, that you’ll also want to address your stress as this can also decrease your milk supply.
  • So, if you’re experiencing a decrease in milk consider adding in the botanicals I suggest AND work on decreasing your stress.

The first 12 botanicals are to boost your milk supply.

12 Galactagogues Herbs To Increase Your Milk Supply

  1. Marshmallow Root  (Althea Officinalis)lactation
  2. Dill  (Anethum graveolum)
  3. Oats (Avena sativa) A cup of oatmeal every morning may help soothe digestion and increase milk supply!
  4. Caraway  (Carum carvi)
  5. Blessed thistle  (Cnicus benefictus)
  6. Fennel Seed (Foeniculum vulgare)
  7. Goat’s rue (Galega officinalis)
  8. Barley (Hordeum vlugare)
  9. Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  10. Anise seed (not Star anise) Pimpinella anisum
  11. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
  12. Chaste berry (Vitex angus castus)

{Pin the image to make the recipe}

How do you boost your milk supply naturally?

Here are 4 little steps…

  1. Try eating oatmeal in the morning
  2. Make Lactation cookies.  Recipe here  or Bars here
  3. Drink tea of stinging nettles and milky oat tops or purchase our lady of la Leche here https://amzn.to/3ArnZRL
    1. or Earth mama milkmaid tea here>https://amzn.to/3R5DNPN
  4. Allow time for YOU.  I know, I know.. don’t laugh.  It’s important to try to figure out HOW you can relax while raising children:)

Too much milk? Try these herbs to decrease your milk supply.

This is a lot to take in.  Are you wondering which botanicals are safe for breastfeeding and how to recover from pregnancy – naturally?  Grab this freebie to get started.

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Adaptogens while breastfeeding

  • Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help us “adapt” to stress. They are life-changing for the momma struggling with the baby blues or PPD or just the daily stresses of raising a family.
  • The #1 Adaptogen that is safe to take while breastfeeding is Ashwagandha. {along with Tulsi and Stinging Nettles as well}
  • For a complete list of adaptogens while breastfeeding see this post: https://taragregorio.com/8-must-have-adaptogens-for-breastfeeding-moms/

——–

Ashwagandha while Breastfeeding

#13 Ashwagandha Tincture (Withania somnifera)

  • Known as a Category 1, safe adaptogen during breastfeeding, Ashwagandha can help reduce stress and ease the anxiety that mothers often experience.

Read more about it here:

Ashwagandha while breastfeeding

Mastitis is another common challenge moms have when nursing. My favorite remedy for mastitis is a homeopathic remedy called Phytolacca.

5 Symptoms of Mastitis

  • fever as high as 104
  • local redness, hard tender inflamed area
  • chills
  • achiness
  • exhaustion

#14 Phytolacca for Mastitis

Phytolacca 30C 

  • Phytolacca Symptoms: “For sore, cracked nipples, which hurt when the baby nurses. One of the most commonly used remedies for mastitis, especially where the pains radiate from the affected area and the breast is hard and lumpy.  The patient may feel heavy with flu-like symptoms, or may have a breast abscess threatening.” ¹
  • Along with Echinacea, this helped resolve the inflammation within minutes when I had mastitis.  If you’re having these symptoms, consider Phytolacca as a remedy. Click here to purchase. 
  • Dosing: Take 2 tablets, wait 20 minutes, take another 2 and you should see improvement.

Read this post for natural remedies for mastitis:

5 Natural remedies for mastitis

The next two botanicals you can use EXTERNALLY to heal ANY skin cuts, scrapes or wounds; even for your children!

#15 Calendula Externally

Botanicals For Sore, Cracked Nipples

  • Calendula is a beautiful botanical for sore, cracked nipples and for diaper rash!.
  • Calendula is used topically and EXTERNALLY for the treatment of minor inflammations of the skin. Typically used as an oil or salve. Apply to cracked, dry nipples to prevent infection and soothe inflammation and wipe thoroughly before breastfeeding.
  • Caution: The oil or salve may stain clothing and although there are no known risks with minimal ingestion, wipe off your nipple before breastfeeding again.

#16 Chamomile Externally

  • The German Commission E. approves chamomile for the use of skin inflammation and bacterial skin diseases. Chamomile Matricaria oil has demonstrated activity against Candida albicans at the concentration of .7%.¹ {think thrush!}
  • Taking preventative steps to support your immune system, rest, and applying an herbal salve will prevent cracked nipples which may increase your risk of mastitis.
  • Chamomile is safe to drink as tea as well to help soothe your nerves and help reduce bloating that may occur for you and your baby.  Keep in mind, if you or your baby’s father has an allergy to Chamomile you’ll want to avoid this botanical.

>>>Euphorical Herbals has amazing products for your time of breastfeeding. 

Additional tips to reduce cracked nipples

  • Ensure proper latching
  • If nipples are sore or cracked, gently rinse and pat dry after each feeding
  • Avoid the use of breast pads, when possible, and spend time without a bra
  • Wash nursing bras regularly to avoid infection
  • Treat oral thrush in the newborn with yogurt and probiotics to prevent the spread to the nipple.  You can coat the inside of your baby’s mouth with yogurt or offer them an infant probiotic.  Mom can take one as well!
  • Apply an herbal salve several times a day after nursing and wipe off before nursing again
  • When there is an infection, use an antimicrobial – like Echinacea internally – to support the mother’s immune system

Herbs For Plugged Ducts & Mastitis

Milk ducts can become inflamed, tender, and distended creating a ‘plugged duct’.

In mastitis, the plugged duct is accompanied by infection and fever. 

 

Bonus: Breastfeeding and a natural remedy for the common cold

Echinacea Tincture Internally breastfeeding remedies

Boost your immunity with Echinacea tincture.  In Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years, Susan Weed recommends a dose of a 1/2 drop for every pound of body weight (so a 130 lb woman would take 65 drops/day) for mastitis, but you can also take Echinacea for the common cold, flu, and sore throat as well!

 

Conclusion

Botanicals can provide great support during the breastfeeding years to reduce medications and save your child’s gut health. I found great comfort in these remedies when I was trying to breastfeed twins!

Stress is one of the most overlooked pieces of the puzzle during the postpartum time. It’s important to learn how to soothe your nervous system now, so when you begin weaning you have many botanicals to reach for to help you through the transition of motherhood.  I teach you how on my Youtube channel @tarajgregorio.

I’d love to know if you’ve tried any of these botanicals.  Write in the comment area if you have any questions at all and I’ll be sure to get back to you. 👇 {looking for references? see below 💕}

xo

Tara

P.S. Are you looking for a complete resource for mastitis, boost milk supply, the common cold, and more? Grab this template for just $11 to get started. 

 

 


References

  • https://www.homeopathycenter.org/breastfeeding
  • https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Breastfeeding/Pages/Benefits-of-Breastfeeding.aspx https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/115/2/496.full
  • https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/fenugreek/
  • Romm M.D., Dr. Aviva; Hormone Intelligence pg. 34
  • Winston, David & Maimes, Steven (2007); Adaptogens Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief.  Healing Arts Press.
  • Romm, Aviva, (2014): Botanical medicine for women’s health. Churchill Livingston. Upton, Roy; Bear, Soaring, Winton, David; Gagnon, Daniel; Romm, Aviva Jill; Low Dog, Tieraona; Hardy, Mary; Craker, Lyle. Botanical Safety Handbook, Second edition (2013).  CRC Press.
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