Top 10 Galactagogues
Galactagogues are foods, which enhance lactation. When you are a breastfeeding mother, it helps to know about the factors that will help to increase your milk supply. These include foods as well.
Here is a list of top 10 galactagogues to help you lactate better:
• Alfalfa: Alfalfa is a popular galactagogue, which can be consumed in the form of sprouts or capsules or even seeds, after a prescription from your physician. The galactagogue is not advisable if you are allergic to alfalfa . There are no known side effects of the herb if taken in moderate dosage.
• Aniseed: A cup of boiling water is poured over one-two teaspoon of crushed aniseeds and allowed to stand 10-15 minutes. One cup of the concoction can be had 2 -3 times a day.
• Blessed thistle: Hailing from the daisy family, crushed blessed thistle leaves can be steeped in tea, by pouring one cup of boiling water and allowing it to steep for 10-15 minutes. Have one cup of tea 3-4 times in a day. As one of the popular galactagogues, the herb can also be taken in combination with fenugreek, marshmallows and alfalfa.
• Dill: A commonly used culinary herb, dill, has proved its utility as a galactagogue, where dill seeds can be consumed by sprinkling them over your dish(2 teaspoons) or dill leaves steeped in tea.
• Fennel: Fennel helps to increase the milk ejection reflex (let-down) as compared to the other galactagogues, which enhance lactation. Nearly ½ - 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds can be added to a cup of boiling water and allowed to stand for 10-15 minutes. The recommended dosage is 2- 3 cups a day. However, it is important to keep in the mind that fennel oil should be avoided.
• Fenugreek: Ancient lore has hailed fenugreek as the most effective galactagogue, where scientific studies have proved that fenugreek seeds increase milk production substantially. The seeds can be taken as capsules or fenugreek powder can be mixed with water or juice before drinking it in.
• Milk thistle: Enriched with silibinin, silydianin, and silychristin, which offer a coat of protection to the liver, milk thistle has been used as a galactagogue since ancient times with 1 tablespoon of seeds recommended for daily intake. There can be a mild laxative side-effect in some individuals though it usually subsides within 3-4 days
• Oatmeal: Oatmeal is an all-rounder galactagogue, when it comes to maternity. This attributes to many factors from the fact that oatmeal is enriched with iron to the “mindful” aspects of oatmeal – oats is believed to soothe and relax the mind and a relaxed mind can enhance lactation. No wonder it is a comfort food for women. And the best part about this galactagogue is that oats doesn’t have any known side effects.
• Vervain: A traditional technique to increase milk supply Vervain has been popularized as a galactagogue since ancient times. The herb is also referred to as common vervain, American vervain, Wild hyssop, Indian hyssop, Simpler's joy, Traveler's joy, Purvain, or False vervain and can be taken in as an infusion.
• Nettle: High in vitamin K and iron, nettle is a highly popular galactagogue and is a chief ingredient in mother’s milk tea (synthesized galactagogue) and other such products. Nettle leaves can be steeped in boiling water or can be drunk as tea. The herb is mild diuretic.
As a nursing mother, over and above the medicinal prescriptions, it is important to keep your mind calm to enhance the effectiveness of any galactagogues you take, so that the best essence gets infused into your body leaving you to overflow with the milk of love for your baby!