Are there any natural products that can increase the production of breast milk?

Updated on: Jan 12, 2016

Yes. We must first ensure, with the help of a healthcare professional, that there is really a milk production issue. If it is the case, products can be used, but it is important to read the warnings.

If the milk is deemed insufficient by a healthcare professional, the use of natural products can be considered. However, you should always consult your doctor before taking natural health products, as some may contain contaminants or interact with certain medications.

The natural health products that can be used are:

  • Fenugreek (spice): 1500-1800 mg (capsules) 3 times daily with food. Some side effects are possible, such as diarrhea or low blood sugar levels (special attention for people with diabetes). Do not use with a blood thinner (eg warfarin, aspirin).
  • Blessed thistle: 900 to 1100 mg (capsules) 3 times daily with food. Often taken with fenugreek.
  • Goat’s rue: 2-4 ml (or 20 to 40 drops) of dye 2 to 3 times per day or 1 to 4 capsules per day. However, it can lower blood sugar level (special attention for people with diabetes).

For more information, see the following page from the Jewish General Hospital.

Several other plants are also used in some parts of the world. Among these we can find inter alia, dandelion, alfalfa, hops (beer), fennel, borage and marshmallow root. However, the effectiveness of some of these has not been verified and tested.

Finally, a medical professional such as a doctor or nutritionist should always be consulted before using natural health products during breastfeeding.


Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) protocol committee. (2011). Protocol #9: Use of galactogogues in initiating or augmenting the rate of maternal milk secretion. Breastfeeding medicine, 6(1), 41-49.

Nice, F. J. (2011). Common herbs and food used as galactogogues. ICAN: Infant, child & adolescent nutrition, 3(3), 129.

Nice, F.J. (2015). Selection and use of galactogogues. Infant, Child & Adolescent Nutrition, 7(4), 192-194.

Zuppa, A.A., Sindico, P., Orchi, C., Carducci, C., Cardiello, V., Catenazzi, P. et Romagnoli, C. (2010). Safety and efficacy of galactogogues: Substances that induce, maintain and increase breast milk production. Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, 13(2), 162-174.


Clinique d’allaitement Goldfarb. Hôpital Juif de Montréal. (2010). Plantes médicinales pour augmenter la production lactée. Document à l’intention des patients.

La Leche league. (2006). DA 66: Les galactologues. Dossier de l’allaitement no 66.


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