Herbs for Healthy Breastfeeding

Herbs are a natural, gentle way to support and nourish a breastfeeding mom and baby. Certain herbs, called galactagogues, actually help to encourage and increase breast milk. Many of these plants also provide essential vitamins and minerals to help keep mom healthy and relaxed through the stresses of breastfeeding and infant care.

The following herbs are well-loved galactagogues that can be used regularly for plentiful milk:

Blessed Thistle (Cnicus benedictus)

This herb, also called mother’s milk thistle, is known for its ability to increase milk supply and improve the vitality of a nursing mother. It is also helpful for easing depression. Herbalist, Susun Weed, recommends a dose of up to 20 drops of tincture, 2-4 times daily.

Borage (Borago officinalis)

The leaves of this plant can be made into a tea to help increase milk flow. Weed states,”Half a cupful of Borage infusion at each nursing insures an abundant supply of milk, acts as a mild laxative, and soothes jangled nerves.”

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

The seeds of this plant are especially nourishing. They can be made into a tea that helps to promote milk production.

Hops (Humulus Lupulus)

Hops increases production and enriches milk. It also helps promote sleep and relaxation.

Nettle (Urtica dioica)

This nourishing herb is an important source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which is important for lactation. It increases richness and amount of breast milk produced.

Raspberry leaf (Rubus)

This herb contains calcium in its most absorbable form. It has high amounts of vitamins and minerals that nourish mom and help to ensure plentiful milk production.


Aromatic seeds such as, anise, cumin, fennel, caraway, coriander, and dill, also increase milk production and additionally, tone the digestive system. Their benefits are passed along through the milk and can help to reduce colic and indigestion for baby.

Herbal teas are a great way to benefit from herbs while simultaneously increasing fluid intake. It is essential that breastfeeding moms drink plenty of water, around 12 cups daily. Drinking daily teas of vitamin & mineral rich herbs like raspberry leaf, nettle, alfalfa, and red clover will help to encourage an abundant supply of breast milk and provide important nutrients for mom and baby.

Herbalist, Susan Weed, recommends the following tea blend for breastfeeding mothers. This recipe is excerpted from her book, Herbs for the Childbearing Year.

Susun Weed’s Nursing Formula

•1 ounce dried Blessed Thistle or Borage leaves

•1 ounce dried Raspberry or Nettle leaves

•1 teaspoon of any one of these seeds: Anise, Cumin, Fennel, Caraway, Coriander, Dill

Place leaves in a half-gallon jar and fill to the top with boiling water. Cap tightly and let steep overnight. Strain out herbs and refrigerate liquid until needed. As you get ready to nurse, pour off one cupful of the brew and heat it nearly to the boil. Pour it over a teaspoonful of any of the aromatic seeds. Let it brew and cool for five more minutes before drinking.

This brew can be drunk freely, up to two quarts a day if you desire.

In her book, Herbal Healing for Women,

Herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, recommends regularly drinking one of the following tea blends to promote breastfeeding.

Rosemary Gladstar’s Mother’s Milk Tea

3 parts fennel seed

1 / 2 part fenugreek seed

1 / 2 part blessed thistle leaf

1 / 4 part hops

Blessed Thistle Tea

1 part blessed thistle

4 parts fennel seeds

2 parts nettle

2 parts raspberry leaf

To Make: Use four to six tablespoons of herb mixture per quart of water. Add herbs to cold water and bring to a slow boil over low heat. Remove from heat and infuse for twenty minutes. Strain. Drink three to four cups daily.

Herbalist, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, also recommends eating plenty of green herbs in salad to help produce milk, especially wild garlic leaves, spring onions, milk thistle hearts, comfrey leaves, chicory, mallows, dill, coriander, dandelion leaves, watercress, and alfalfa. She mentions that borage flowers and all the clovers are also beneficial.

Herbs are a great way to naturally increase milk production while breastfeeding. Many galactagogues are also nutritious and have other important benefits, such as soothing the nervous and digestive systems. If your a nursing mom, try adding a few milk boosting teas to your daily routine. Your body and your baby will thank you!


Fallon, Sally & Thomas S. Cowan, MD. The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care.

Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women.

Kloster, Jethro. Back to Eden.

Levy, Juliette de Bairacli Levy. Nature’s Children.

Weed, Susan. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year.


{Cloth Diapering} DIY Cloth Baby Wipes & Non-toxic Baby Wipe Solution

Babies generate more than 2,000 dirty diapers in just their first year. So, for parents the decision about what kind of diapers they will use – cloth or disposable – will have a big impact on their finances, the health of their baby, and the environment.

Why use cloth diapers?

There are many good reasons to use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. If you wash your baby’s diapers at home, cloth diapers will cost about $1,000 less than disposables over three years. Cloth diapers are also more breathable and don’t contain harsh chemicals, making them more comfortable for baby and less likely to cause diaper rash and other issues.

Cloth diapers are also much more environmentally friendly. Disposable diapers use 20 times more raw materials than cloth diapers. Producing a one year supply of disposable diapers for one baby requires more than 300 pounds of wood, 20 pounds of chlorine, and 50 pounds of petroleum. Disposable diapers also generate 60 times more solid waste. Over 90 percent of disposable diapers end up in landfills, where they make up 4 percent of all solid waste. Estimates are that it takes 250 to 500 years for these diapers to degrade in a landfill.

Of course, cloth diapers need to be washed regularly, which requires energy (if you use a washing machine) and clean water. However, it is easy to recycle dirty wash water into a grey water system (the water from our baby laundry feeds a pretty little flower garden) and washing diapers by hand even eliminates the need for electricity. The negative environmental impact from cloth diaper usage is very minimal, and can even positively affect the environment if the nutrient rich wash water is utilized to feed plants (avoiding certain food/medicinal crops) and if diapers are hand washed to avoid electricity use.

Cloth baby wipes and cloth diapers go hand in hand. Like cloth diapers, cloth wipes save money, eliminate waste, and don’t contain harsh chemicals like packaged commercial wipes often do. Besides, if you’re using cloth diapers, you’re already doing laundry often so using cloth diaper wipes doesn’t really create more work for you.

Make Your Own Diaper Wipes

Making your own cloth diaper wipes and natural diaper wipe solution is really easy. Using homemade wipes can be just as convenient as the packaged wipes. I simply put however many wipes I’ll use over a day or two into a tupperware container and pour the solution over them so they are wet, but not dripping when used. I keep the container of wipes at our diaper changing area and take a little ziploc bag of them with me in the backpack when we’re out and about.

Cloth Diaper Wipes

Cloth wipes are easy to make. Use a soft fabric, like flannel. First, cut the fabric into wipes. I made 8×8 inch squares, but the wipes can be cut into any size/shape you like. Next, you’ll want to sew around the edges of your squares (or other shapes) to keep the fabric from unraveling. It’s quite easy just to do a zigzag stitch around the edges of each wipe, but if you want to get fancier with it you certainly can. If sewing isn’t your thing, you can also buy a package of thin baby wash cloths to use as wipes. You’ll want 24-36 wipes, depending on how often you do laundry. I made 36 wipes before my little one was born and that has always been plenty for us, even if I skip doing laundry for a day or two.

Diaper Wipe Solution

Thankfully, making the cloth wipes is the most time consuming part of this whole process. Once you have your wipes made, it only takes a few minutes to whip up a batch of diaper wipe solution. You’ll want to use this solution up in a week or two, so if you don’t think you’ll use a 500 ml in that amount of time, you can make a smaller batch.


  • 400ml of distilled or filtered water
  • 50 ml liquid castile soap
  • 50 ml sunflower oil 500 ml bottle

[Directions:] Add water to the bottle. Next add the soap & oil. Shake well. Pour over cloth wipes.

Using cloth diapers & wipes is good for your baby, your wallet, and the environment. However, there are times when using cloth diapers is definitely less convenient than disposables. When traveling, for example, cloth diapers can be difficult to manage if you don’t have a good place to wash & dry them. If you do need to use disposable diapers, try to use non-toxic, biodegradable brands, like Seventh Generation.

Looking to find out more about cloth diapering? This great post from Wellness Mama will take you through the basics.



Fallon Morell, Sally and Thomas S. Cowan, MD. The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care.

100+ Natural Gift Ideas for New Moms 

If you’ve looked for a baby shower gift lately, you know that there are tons of baby clothes, body care products, and toys on the market these days. But, while many of these items are created for babies, not all of these items are necessarily safe for them. Unfortunately, many conventional baby products are made with toxic materials and ingredients that can cause a variety of health issues, including allergies, developmental problems, and cancer. Selecting the right gift for new moms and their little ones can be a difficult task if you are trying to find natural alternatives to these commercial products. Fortunately, this massive round up offers over 100 baby-safe gift ideas for the new mom in your life.


The following gift ideas are for the crafty folks. For those of you who prefer to buy a gift, keep reading, there’s lots of ideas for you too.

DIY Baby & Mama Personal Care Products:

  1. Bottoms-Up Salve adapted from Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health – This salve is great for healing and soothing diaper rash, cuts, scrapes, and irritated skin making it a great addition to any new mom’s diaper bag or changing table.

Photo Credit: The Nerdy Farmwife

  • 1 part calendula flowers
  • 1 part comfrey leaf
  • 1 part comfrey root
  • 1 part St. John’s wort
  • Olive oil
  • Beeswax pastilles


Combine 2 ounces of herb mixture with one pint of oil and let steep in a double boiler over very low heat for several hours. Check often to make sure that the oil isn’t overheating and burning the herbs. This will make about 2 cups of herb infused oil.

Strain the herbs from the oil and compost the spent herbs. Return the herbal oil to the double boiler and 1/4 cup grated beeswax per cup of herbal oil.

When the beeswax has melted, place a tablespoon of the mixture in the refrigerator for a few minutes until cooled. This will allow you to check the consistency. If the salve is too hard, add a little more oil. If it is too soft, add a little more beeswax.

When the salve is finished, pour it into a glass jar or tin. Spruce up your container with a label or other decorative touches. The salve does not need to be refrigerated, but should be stored in a cool place, as it will melt if overheated.

Photo Credit: Mountain Rose Herbs
2. Cloth Baby Wipes from Evergrowing Farm – These cloth wipes are easy to make and are safe for baby and the environment.


3. Mama & Baby’s Massage Oil from Mountain Rose Herb – This gentle massage oil is perfect for soothing baby’s delicate skin and is also the perfect gift to pamper a new mama.

Photo credit: The Herbal Academy




4. Child’s Herbal Bath Sock from The Herbal Academy – Herbal baths are a great way to nourish and heal baby’s skin. These cute bath socks are easy to make and allow baby to benefit from an herbal bath without any extra clean up for mom.




5. Three Nursing Balms for New Moms from the Nerdy Farmwife – These three nursing balm recipes vary in complexity and are all wonderful, safe options for sore, dry nipples.

Photo credit: Mountain Rose Herbs




6. For more DIY gift ideas, check out these 5 Calming DIY Gifts for Moms from Mountain Rose Herbs





The following gift ideas include some lovely natural body care products that you can buy for baby & mom if you’re short on time or if DIY just isn’t your thing.

Natural Baby & Mama Personal Care Products:

7.  Natural Baby Powder from Wild Blossom Herbals – Conventional baby powders can contain ingredients that are toxic and potentially cancer causing. This baby powder is a wonderful alternative as it is made with only natural, baby safe ingredients.

Photo credit: Wild Blossom Herbals










8. Baby Massage Oil from Wild Carrot Herbals – This massage oil is made with gentle ingredients that are safe for baby’s delicate skin.

Photo credit: Herbal Revolution
9. Mother Lovin’ Tea from Herbal Revolution – Help nourish and uplift a new mama with this lovely tea blend that is specifically formulated to provide extra nutrients and minerals, balance hormones, and support the nervous system.







Photo credit: Mountain Rose Herbs
10. Baby’s Balm from Mountain Rose Herbs – A soothing salve that’s perfect for baby’s skin and bottom.






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