Breastfeed is the right of every baby. It is the purest form of milk, with right temperature, correct proportion of nutrients, and loaded with medicinal properties that a tender baby requires.
Unfortunately not all mothers have sufficient supply of milk for their babies. It is recommended that one should depend only on tried and tested herbs for lactation. At times the one herb may not remain effective after using it for some time, in such case one can change to another herb.
List of Herbs for Lactation
The Greeks, the Egyptians and the people of Indian subcontinent have been using this herb since ages. Its tender stem, leaves and seeds have culinary and medicinal value. It is best to drink the tea made with the seeds of fenugreek, though it is slightly bitter but highly valuable and safe if taken in moderation. Soak 1 tsp seeds of fenugreek seeds in half a cup of water. Add a cup of milk and let it boil for 5 minutes. Strain, add honey and consume this tea once a day.
You may make it without milk or you can make a paste of its powder and eat that. Your sweat will smell of fenugreek and your baby may fuss over changed taste of feed. But the child will get over it soon. Stop taking fenugreek when sufficient milk is produced. It is considered the best herb for lactation.
Shatavari contains zinc, calcium and vitamin B complex, all these help a lactating mother in enhancing milk in breasts. Not only it increases the quantity of milk but also improves the quality as well. The recommended dose is two tbsp of shatavari powder added to hot milk. It should be taken twice a day.
Alfalfa is a powerful herb to promote milk in nursing mothers. It is a general tonic because it is loaded with nutrients. One should use only leaves of alfalfa. 1 tsp of dried powder should be infused in a cup of water for a little while, the strained liquid can be taken for its milk increasing qualities.
One cup each thrice a day is the recommended dose. The result is usually seen within two or three days.
Fennel seeds are popular ingredients of kitchens in many parts of the world. There are many ways to consume this herb, eat two tsp seeds after every meal or soak them in water and make tea. Drink this tea thrice a day. One will have to take fennel over a long period. It does not have side effects.
Dill seeds are used in India and some other countries to promote lactation, if it is insufficient and also to hasten the onset of lactation, if there is a delay. Its seeds and leaves can be taken for treating problems in lactation.
Dandelion roots are used as a herb to treat lack of milk lactation. If there is dandelion in your garden take the root out and chop it into small pieces and store it when it dries. You can make a decoction of one tbsp of dandelion roots in three cups of water. The root could be either fresh or dried and powdered. Take a cup of this infusion half an hour before each meal. The tea should not be boiled for a long time, otherwise it will be bitter in taste.