Milk Thistle Tea – Can You Drink It While Breastfeeding?
For any newborn, breast milk is the best food as it has all the vital nutrients in the right proportion as needed by the baby; if you are trying to find ways to increase breast milk production and find if milk thistle tea can increase breast milk production, then you are at the right place. These days, formulas are also available, but they can never compete with breast milk. They should only be an additional source of nutrients, but not main.
Some women do not face any problem if their bodies supply an abundant amount of milk for the baby, but there are women who face such difficulties. When the milk production is less at the beginning of lactation period, it falls short over time. Milk thistle has been used for centuries to solve this problem. Read further to understand how it helps.
What Is Milk Thistle?
It is an herbal plant with purple flowers containing white veins, mostly found in the Mediterranean region. As per traditional Christians, the white veins on the flowers are due to the milk of Virgin Mary. Thus, it is also called Mary Thistle, or Holy Thistle. Silymarin is the main group of compounds with numerous medicinal properties.
Romans and Greeks have used this to treat many health issues like kidney, liver and gallbladder ailments. It can also lower bad cholesterol, control blood sugar and treat poisoning caused by a deathly mushroom. Silymarin is well-known for treating chronic liver disease.
Milk Thistle While Breastfeeding
It has been used for centuries to increase milk supply during lactation period. Unfortunately, not many people know about this as there are very few number studies on this. It is unfortunate to say that there is very little scientific research that confirms this claim.
One study was conducted on rats which showed that milk thistle could increase Prolactin, the hormone required to increase milk production. Another random test was made in Peru which says that taking milk thistle tea on a daily basis can increase the milk production.
Is Milk Thistle Safe While Breastfeeding?
Milk thistle has a few side effects, but you can definitely try it if you do not have any medical problem or using any other medicines. If you do, then it is important to consult your doctor first. If your doctor gives you a green signal, you can start having milk thistle tea daily to improve lactation.
Milk thistle is non-toxic, yet, it has a few severe side effects. This doesn’t mean you will experience them. Make sure you do not fall under certain conditions where you may experience them. There are a few drawbacks you must consider before taking milk thistle tea.
The production and supply of milk thistle isn’t regulated, and hence, there is a higher chance of adulteration by many brands. In most cases, these adulterants are harmless, but there are chances of adverse reaction. Make sure to read the label before purchasing any product.
Check for allergies like daisies, common thistle, kiwi, or artichokes. If you are allergic to any of these, it is possible you may be allergic to milk thistle as well. Many women experience diarrhea, prophylactic shock, and rashes.
Milk thistle reacts with certain drugs and reduces their effectiveness. Thus, it’s important to check if your medicines react with it. If they do, avoid taking milk thistle.
Many women experience constipation while using milk thistle tea or supplements. In that case, find a remedy to treat your constipation.
Other side effects include bloating, gas, blood clots, eczema, decreased platelets, sexual dysfunction, hypoglycemia, dizziness, etc. Do not get scared because not every woman experiences them. Many have claimed its positive effects. Consult a doctor before you decide.
Dosage of Milk Thistle Tea while Breastfeeding
Most women take 2 to 3 cups of milk thistle tea a day, but every woman is different. So, it’s better to start with one cup a day and observe for side effects. If you feel it suits you, then increase the number to two cups a day and gradually to three cups a day. Use one teaspoon milk thistle seeds powder per cup of tea. However, we suggest you ask your dosage to a doctor first.
For better results, you can use milk thistle tea with other herbs which help in lactation, such as fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds.
When Can You See The results?
The results can be observed in as less as two days of consuming milk thistle tea. However, this isn't the same for everyone. Many have observed the results in a week too. We suggest you pump the milk after breastfeeding your baby. It may not work for everyone, but we suggest you keep stimulating breasts for better results.
Among many milk thistle tea benefits, this is loved by many women as they are able to increase milk production for their babies. After consulting a doctor or a midwife and observing for any side effect, try this amazing herb, milk thistle tea.