A Comprehensive Guide to Ayurvedic Remedies to Increase Breast Milk
In the luminous journey of motherhood, where every drop of nourishment becomes a vessel of boundless love and vitality, "Ayurvedic Remedies to Increase Breast Milk" emerges as a sanctuary of ancient, yet evergreen, wisdom. Encapsulating the gentle whispers of Mother Nature, and the echoes of millennia passed, Ayurveda extends its invisible, nurturing arms towards every nursing mother, promising a bounty of milk, enriched not merely with nutrients, but with the unsung verses of well-being and holistic care. Join us, as we tread softly through the verdant paths of Ayurvedic mastery, unveiling treasures that promise to cascade through generations, ensuring every drop of maternal milk becomes a timeless elixir, suffused with health, love, and vitality.
Breast milk is the best nutrition for newborns. It nourishes both the mother and the baby. Breastfeeding is the care given to the neonate. Besides creating bonding, it serves as a nutritional food for the babies. It contains nutritional components such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, immunoglobulin IgA, lymphocytes, antibodies, and water. Breast milk is essential for the healthy growth and development of the baby.
Breastmilk in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, breast milk is known as sthanya. The food consumed by the pregnant woman serves three purposes, matrupushti (maternal nutrition), garbhapushti (fetal nutrition), and sthanyapushti (breast milk formation). Sthanya is said to be the byproduct of Aahara (food) and the upadhatu (supporting tissue) of Rasa dhatu. The rasa dhatu circulates throughout the body with the help of vyana vata and when reaches the breasts forms sthanya (breast milk).
In some other texts of Ayurveda, it is quoted that when the woman gets conceived, the vessels carrying the menstrual blood get blocked and start moving upwards to form apara (placenta), and the remaining blood gets localized in the breasts and increases their size. After the birth of the baby, in association with kapha dosha, it gets transformed into breast milk by the nourishment of the food that the woman consumes. As per the references in Ayurveda, breast milk or sthanya gets ejected in the post-labor period due to the sight/thought/ touch of the baby.
Ayurvedic Remedies to Increase Breast Milk
- Soumanasya: Happiness is the key factor as a part of the behavioral regimen. A woman’s state of mind is very important to maintain the bonding with the baby. Frequent breastfeeding improves and increases the breast milk. The affection towards the baby and frequent breastfeeding keep the woman happy and stimulate milk production.1
- Agnideepana: As the rasa dhatu, formed from aahara is responsible for the formation of sthanya (breast milk), the Agni (digestive fire) needs to be in a proper functioning state. Hence, agnideepana (digestive stimulants) drugs can be administered.1
- Diet plays an important role in improving breast milk production. Milk, meat soup, garlic, onion, red variety/brown variety of rice, fenugreek seeds, wheat, barley, leafy vegetables, drinking plenty of milk, fluids, and water helps increase breast milk.(Breast Milk Increasing Diet)
- The herbal drugs that stimulate and increase breast milk production are called galactagogues. As per the classical reference of Charaka Samhitha, a ten group of drugs under the name Sthanyajanana Mahakashaya are explained to increase breast milk production. Those drugs are Veerana (Vetiveria zizanoides), Shaali and Shashtika (Oryza sativa a species of rice), Ikshuvalika (Astercantha longifolia), Darbha (Imperata cylindrica), Kusha (Desmostachya bipinnata), Kaasha (Sacharum spontaneum), Gundra (Typha angustata), Itkata (Typha elephantina), and Katrina (Cymbopogan schoenanthus). The decoction of the roots of above the drugs is beneficial.
- Juice or powder of roots of Vidarikanda (Pueraria tuberosa), Shringataka (Trapa bispinosa), and Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus).
- Medicated milk containing herbal drugs: Maricha (Piper nigrum), Pippali (Piper longum), Pippalimoola (Piper roxburghium), Shunthi (Zingiber officinale), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) along with jaggery and butter.
- A single case study of sthanya kshaya (lactation insufficiency) treated with powder of maricha and pippalimoola along with cow’s milk taken twice daily for 21 days has found an effect in increasing breast milk production.
- A clinical study of oral administration of granules of Shatavarikalpa – a compound formulation containing Shatavari, Ela (Elettaria cardamomum), and sugar in the dose of 10grams 12th hourly with milk for one month has shown a significant increase in the breast milk secretion in the post-cesarean patients.
- A classical reference in Ayurveda, Vajrakanjika– a compound Ayurvedic formulation containing the drugs like Pippali, Pippalimoola, Shunthi, Chavya (Piper chaba), Yavanika (Carum copticum), Jeeraka (Cuminum cyminum), Krishna jeeraka (Carum carvi), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Vidalavana (artificially processed salt), Souvarchala lavana (black salt), Kanji is mentioned in promoting breast milk production.
- Haridradi gana kwatha – decoction of the drugs Haridra, Daruharidra, Indrayava (Holarrhena antidysentrica), Prishniparni (Uraria picta), Yashtimadhu (Glycirrhiza glabra) has found to increase the breast milk and is useful in the lactation insufficiency.
Breast milk production depends on the psychological state of a woman, the food that is taken, and the physical bonding with the baby. To increase the production rasa dhatu plays a vital role and hence agni deepana drugs are administered which stimulate milk production and milk ejection. Herbal galactagogues like Shatavari, Vidarikanda, Sthanyajanana mahakashaya are helpful in promoting breast milk production and also treat lactation insufficiency.
Faq on Ayurvedic Remedies to Increase Breast Milk
- What are Ayurvedic Remedies for Enhancing Breast Milk Production?
- Ayurvedic remedies typically encompass a holistic approach, utilizing herbs like Shatavari, Fenugreek, and Fennel Seeds, along with dietary and lifestyle modifications to naturally enhance lactation in breastfeeding mothers.
- How Does Shatavari Aid in Increasing Breast Milk?
- Shatavari is renowned for its phytoestrogenic properties that can stimulate the milk ducts, facilitating enhanced production and flow of breast milk when consumed regularly, typically as a powdered supplement or in tea.
- Can Fenugreek Seeds Really Boost Milk Supply?
- Yes, Fenugreek seeds contain diosgenin, a plant-based estrogen, which has been demonstrated to increase milk production in some nursing mothers when consumed in culinary uses or as a supplement.
- Are There Any Dietary Practices in Ayurveda to Improve Lactation?
- Ayurveda emphasizes a balanced, nutrient-dense diet for lactating mothers, often recommending foods like soaked almonds, Ghee (clarified butter), and whole grains to ensure optimal nutrition and support milk production.
- What Ayurvedic Lifestyle Changes are Suggested for Better Lactation?
- Lifestyle changes, according to Ayurveda, might include adhering to a structured sleep schedule, incorporating gentle exercises, and practicing mindfulness and meditation to reduce stress and promote optimal functioning of the body, including lactation.
- How Long Does It Take for Ayurvedic Remedies to Show an Effect on Breast Milk Production?
- The impact of Ayurvedic remedies on lactation can vary widely among individuals and may depend on factors like consistency of use, dosage, and the mother’s overall health. Some may observe changes within a few days, while for others, it might take several weeks.
- Are Ayurvedic Herbs Safe to Use for All Breastfeeding Mothers?
- While many Ayurvedic herbs are considered safe for a broad spectrum of individuals, it’s paramount to consult with a healthcare professional or a certified Ayurvedic practitioner to ensure a particular remedy is safe for your unique situation, especially while breastfeeding.
- Can Ayurvedic Remedies Replace Medical Advice for Lactation Issues?
- Yes, Ayurvedic remedies alone can be used when prescribed by a qualified Ayurvedic doctor. Sometimes you may be used as supplementary practices alongside conventional treatments, and always under the guidance and knowledge of healthcare professionals.
- Are There Ayurvedic Remedies that Also Benefit the Baby Through Breast Milk?
- Yes, certain Ayurvedic remedies not only enhance milk production but may also bolster the nutritional quality of the milk and may indirectly support the baby’s digestion and overall health.
- Can I Use Multiple Ayurvedic Remedies Together to Boost Milk Production?
- Combining multiple Ayurvedic remedies may be beneficial, but it is crucial to proceed with caution and always under the guidance of a qualified practitioner to avoid potential interactions and ensure safety for both mother and child.
Note: This information is intended to provide general knowledge and does not replace professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider or a certified Ayurvedic practitioner before making any changes to your health practices.
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