Herbal Galactagogues

Herbal Galactagogues - Dreams of MilkMany women choose to use natural supplements to help increase their milk supply. These are some of the most common herbs for lactation induction that are traditionally used to boost milk production:


Fenugreek has long been used to increase milk supply.  Scientists do not know for sure how this happens, but it is believed because the milk-making glands are modified sweat glands it has positive benefits because fenugreek stimulates sweat production.

Goat’s Rue

Popular in European countries, this herb is often recommended to help increase the supply of breast milk. Goat’s Rue belongs to the same plant family as fenugreek.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is one of the lesser know/used galactogogues, but is often included in some proprietary mixtures promoted to increase milk supply.

Blessed Thistle

Blessed Thistle is a safe stimulant used to increase the production of breast milk. It is most commonly combined with either fenugreek, or goat’s rue to enhance it’s effects.

Brewers Yeast

Brewer’s Yeast a supplement used to support lactation and make more breast milk. Although, it is not known how or even why brewer’s yeast actually works to increase the breast milk supply.

Red Raspberry Leaf

This herb is frequently found in blends of nursing teas, and while the mineral content of red raspberry tea might help increase milk supply there is no hard evidence to support the claims.

Marshmallow Root

As a galactagogue marshmallow root doesn’t work on its own. It is usually combined with fenugreek, or other herbs to encourage milk production.

What to Look for When Shopping for Supplements

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The list above covers the most common/well-known herbs that have been to beneficial to help promote lactation. They are usually found in combinations in many ‘mothers milk teas’ and capsules. There are several popular brands that are frequently mentioned in relation to lactation and re-lactation:

Some Everyday Herbs to Avoid During Lactation

There are also some herbs that can have a negative effect on your lactation efforts, so they should be avoided (or taken only in moderation). These are some common ones that you might encounter on a regular basis:

Ephedra Ginseng (Siberian Ginseng aka Eleuthero is fine)
  • Lemon Balm
Licorice Root
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita)/Menthol
  • Spearmint

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