Mother’s milk is best baby food. It provides all nutrients required by the baby. From birth till age of six months, it fulfils every nutritional requirement of little-one. In some cases, nursing mother does not produce enough milk. The reason for this can be stress, anxiety, fasting, exertion, lack of sleep etc. In modern medicine, there is no medicine that will help in improving breast milk. But herbs can certainly help in such cases. There are certain herbs which have galactogogue (Dudh badhanewali) effect on body and increases production of milk.
Here are some herbs to increase breast milk
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Common name: Saunf, Aniseed, Anisi
Take one teaspoon of fennel seeds and coarsely pound them. Now take 250 ml water in a pan and bring it to boil. Cook for 2-5 minutes. Strain and add honey as per taste. Drink few times a day.
Or soak 10 gm of fennel seeds in water at night and next morning, drink water and chew fennel.
- Cumin (Cuminum cyminum)
Common name: Zeera/Jeera, Kamun, Cheerakam
Take one teaspoon of cumin seeds and boil in cup of water. Cook for 2-5 minutes. Strain and drink few times a day. This also helps to improve digestion and appetite.
You can roast cumin seeds and pulverise them to make powder. Sprinkle this powder on salads, yoghurt etc.
- Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Common name: Methi, Vendhayam, Hulbaa
Take one teaspoon of fenugrek seeds and boil in cup of water. Cook for 2-5 minutes. Strain and drink few times a day.
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
Common name: Shataavari, Shatmuuli, Thanneervittan kizhangu, Sataavari Kizhangu, Indian asparagus
Take 3-5 gm of Shatavari powder, twice a day, empty stomach with glass of milk.
Common name: Papita, Papaya
Eat ripe papaya after meal to improve lactation.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Common name: Ashwagandhaa, Hayagandhaa, Asgandh, Amukkuramkizhangu
Take 1-3 gm of powder with milk to improve lactation.
- Castor oil (Ricinus communis)
Common name: Erand, Castor, Ammanakku
Apply and massage breasts with castor oil.
- Motha (Cyperus rotundus)
Common name: Nut grass, Musta, Naagarmothaa, Koraikkizhangu
Take rhizomes roots of Motha. Make a paste and apply externally on breast to enhance lactation.
Along with these home remedies for improving breast milk, try to drink adequate amount of lukewarm water throughout the day. It is also important to drink milk 2-3 times a day. Even if enough breast-milk is not produced, do not give up but keep trying as baby suckling stimulates mother's body to produce milk.