The 7 Best Teas for Breastfeeding (Support Milk Production)
Many women are concerned about producing enough milk for their child and for centuries have used herbs called galactagogues to increase lactation and milk supply. A benefit of drinking these herbs in different types of tea is that it also helps increase your hydration levels. In this guide, we ranked and reviewed the best teas for breastfeeding.
If you want to get some for yourself, we have a collection of the best teas for breastfeeding right here in tea bags, loose leaf, or iced tea pouches.
What is the Best Tea for Breastfeeding?
1. Yaupon Tea
Yaupon is the only naturally caffeinated plant native to North America. It has unique properties that traditional teas lack. One of these benefits is Polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant that helps decrease oxidative stress. Another benefit is rutin, which is also found in apples and lemons. It’s an anti-inflammatory and Yaupon even has 4 times the amount of rutin as found in its popular cousin plant, guayusa.
- A boost for your immune system from antioxidant activity that remove free radicals in your body.
- Improve your mood thanks to l-theanine that increases GABA release in the brain and has a relaxing and anxiety-relieving effect.
- Decreased chronic inflammation via chlorogenic acid (CGA) that has anti-inflammatory properties.
- May cause sleeplessness due to caffeine if large amounts of yaupon are consumed all at once.
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Native to the Mediterranean area, this herb is part of the legume family though it can look similar to a clover. It has a taste akin to maple syrup. Some research has indicated that it has similar effects to oxytocin that naturally increases milk production and aids in bonding between a mother and her child. It’s been used for centuries as a method to increase lactation.
- Increased milk production shown by some studies as well as increased healthy body weight for the child.
- Help with healthy blood sugar levels as studies show it kept blood sugar lower in those without diabetes while maintaining better sugar levels in those with diabetes.
- Reduce heartburn as effectively as some medications according to one study.
- May increase uterine contractions so it’s advisable to avoid during pregnancy.
3. Milk Thistle
Part of the thistle family, this plant has purple flowers and white veins that some stories trace back to a drop of the Virgin Mary’s milk falling on the plant. Used for centuries for a host of conditions due to its antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, it has also been used to increase milk production. The active compounds in the plant are collectively known as silymarin.
- Increase breast milk production by increasing prolactin as shown by one study.
- Support healthy bones by stimulating bone mineralization which can be protective against bone degradation.
- Aid with neuroprotection due to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Increase estrogen production which can aggravate some hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer.
4. Fennel Tea
Made from dried fennel seeds, this tea has oils that relieve gas, bloating, constipation, and abdominal pain. It originates in the Mediterranean though it is now found all over the world. It's long been used to improve digestion and has a relaxing aroma. Tasting like licorice, this herb was even recommended by Hippocrates, the credited founder of modern medicine, to help women struggling to breastfeed.
- Increase milk production by increasing prolactin and estrogen-like compounds.
- Improve sleep by relaxing your muscles, thereby allowing you to relax and unwind at the end of the day.
- Antibacterial properties can help support healthy microbiomes.
- Some people may be allergic to Fennel so be sure and consult your doctor before trying.
5. Marshmallow Root Tea
Marshmallow is part of the malvaceae plant family which has the distinction of being mucilaginous. This means they have a gelatinous consistency and can be used in recipes to thicken up soups and broths. In the body, they can increase mucus production in mucous membranes. Marshmallow tea can contribute to the expansion of mucus in organs, relieving the inflammation and irritation.
- Increase mucus production to help line your digestive tract and improve digestion due to compounds such as mucilage.
- Ease pain as a study has found that marshmallow may have analgesic or pain-reducing properties, helping soothe sore nipples.
- Reduce risk of ulcers due to antioxidant properties that combat effects of inflammation.
- May cause an upset stomach and it should only be consumed for up to four weeks at a time.
6. Goat’s Rue
A legume found world wide, it has been used as a galactagogue in Europe for centuries. It’s said to have wide-spread beneficial effects in the liver, adrenal glands, and for lactation. It is also thought to be generally well-tolerated by people.
- Increase activation of mammary tissue which can increase milk production according to some limited studies.
- Improve digestion as well as activity in the liver and adrenal glands.
- May cause hypoglycemia and issues in women with low blood sugar.
7. Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Native to Europe and parts of Asia, this plant has a natural subtly sweet flavor and a tart fruity flavor. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to support the immune system and to help with labor during pregnancy. Many of the beneficial effects of raspberry leaf tea are anecdotal and research is still needed to confirm the effects.
- Increase milk production based on anecdotal evidence and stories.
- Antioxidant properties that help protect your cells and organs.
- High in vitamins and nutrients to maintain overall health.
- May have mild laxative effects and loosen stool when a lot is consumed at once.
The Bottom Line
Owing to their amazing healthy-boosting properties, these are some of the best teas and herbal remedies for breastfeeding. They can help increase milk production, give much needed relaxation, provide health benefits, and promote overall maternal wellness.
If you want to get our best tasting tea for breastfeeding, check out our organic, naturally caffeinated CatSpring Yaupon tea here.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. If you have serious health-related issues you should reach out to a medical professional. While we have studied the scientific research available, this is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.