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Published Online: 24 December 2008

Botanical Galactagogues

Publication: Alternative and Complementary Therapies
Volume 14, Issue Number 6


Herbs have a long history of use in all cultures to stimulate milk production both in women and in dairy animals. It is estimated that about 15% of breastfeeding women in the United States have used botanical galactagogues. This article discusses some of the herbs commonly used as galactagogues and also makes some suggestions on how studies might be conducted to bridge the gap between common uses and lack of studies on the safety and effectiveness of these herbs in lactation.
Coverage in this article includes Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seed, Galega officinalis (goat’s rue) herb, Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) seed, Vitex agnus-castus (chaste tree) seed, Epilobium spp. (fireweed) herb, Pimpinella anisum (anise) seed, Cnicus benedictus (blessed thistle) herb, Silybum marianum (milk thistle) herb, Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) herb, and Gossypium spp. (cotton) root.

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Published In

cover image Alternative and Complementary Therapies
Alternative and Complementary Therapies
Volume 14Issue Number 6December 2008
Pages: 288 - 294


Published online: 24 December 2008
Published in print: December 2008


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Kathy Abascal
Executive director of the Botanical Medicine Academy in Vashon, Washington
Eric Yarnell
President of the Botanical Medicine Academy, a specialty board for using medicinal herbs, and is a faculty member at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington.

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