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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

Basil increases milk (and makes it green!), sage and peppermint decrease milk

Posted by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 6:55 AM
  • 25 Replies

Just a reminder to be aware of what you are eating. :) Herbs can increase and decrease supply depending on the herb. Sage and mint decrease supply. (Altoids can decrease supply, as can mint tea.) 

Basil on the other hand... I have fresh basil growing inside and it's on a mission to take over the world (Apparently if you place fresh cut basil in water it grows roots.. So now I have something like 15 baby basil plants in addition to my two basil bushes..) so lately I've been eating about 2-3 leaves of basil each day on omelettes, pasta, in sandwiches, etc.

I went from having a stabilized milk supply to having issues with engorgement and having to pump for relief. Which I'm fine with because I gave my frozen milk supply to a friend who had a rocky start with breastfeeding that made it really hard to stock up enough milk for her to go back to work.

Also.. My milk has become green. I'm all ready for St Patricks day. 

Basil has impacted my milk supply more than fenugreek/blessed thistle or oatmeal ever have. 

** Basil as a food is fine, basil oil and basil supplements/capsules should be avoided when breastfeeding. 

-Sarah
---------------------------------------------------------
Sarah is a mom to three and a moderator in the "Breastfeeding Moms" group. She runs Nurshable.com where she blogs about finding joy in gentle parenting.


by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 6:55 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Feb. 8, 2013 at 6:58 AM
1 mom liked this
Why should basil oil and supplements be avoided (not that I even knew those existed)?
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newmom121812
by Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 7:05 AM
Hmm ok thanks. Do u know how many Altoids it takes to decrease it a little? I pumped one breast for mins and got 4 oz and it still was going when I stopped
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Gruntlings
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 7:05 AM


Basil oil should be avoided in general. It contains Estragole which is a possible carcinogen. Lact-Med recommends against it. Of course lact-med recommends against it based on there not being enough information.. But, still.. :)

Quoting mostlymaydays:

Why should basil oil and supplements be avoided (not that I even knew those existed)?



-Sarah
---------------------------------------------------------
Sarah is a mom to three and a moderator in the "Breastfeeding Moms" group. She runs Nurshable.com where she blogs about finding joy in gentle parenting.


Gruntlings
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 7:07 AM


Varies from person to person. :) Some people respond drastically to mint and see a drop in supply after a cup of mint tea. Others don't respond at all. I can eat altoids and unless I'm eating 6 of them a day for several days I don't see any change in my daughter. When I over do it with the mint she ends up showing growth spurt behavior and nursing constantly. 

Some people use mint tea and altoids to bring down oversupply along with block feeding. But you have to be careful with herbs that decrease supply as they impact different women differently. 

Quoting newmom121812:

Hmm ok thanks. Do u know how many Altoids it takes to decrease it a little? I pumped one breast for mins and got 4 oz and it still was going when I stopped



-Sarah
---------------------------------------------------------
Sarah is a mom to three and a moderator in the "Breastfeeding Moms" group. She runs Nurshable.com where she blogs about finding joy in gentle parenting.


mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Feb. 8, 2013 at 7:39 AM
I just skimmed through a report by a European Commission about estragole, which I read is in tarragon, sweet basil, sweet fennel and anis star. I'm assuming that the concentrations that occur in the oils are significantly greater than anyone would naturally be eating as food.

We get this notion that everything "natural" must be healthy and sometimes it isn't what we think. Like soy, which I avoid like the plague.


Quoting Gruntlings:


Basil oil should be avoided in general. It contains Estragole which is a possible carcinogen. Lact-Med recommends against it. Of course lact-med recommends against it based on there not being enough information.. But, still.. :)


Quoting mostlymaydays:

Why should basil oil and supplements be avoided (not that I even knew those existed)?




Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
K8wizzo
by Kate on Feb. 8, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Interesting... I had the same discovery with chia seeds a couple of months ago (not sure on milk color because nearly 3 years out I can't express, but I definitely got engorged!).

tabi_cat1023
by Group Mod - Tabitha on Feb. 8, 2013 at 8:29 AM

WOW thats interesting to know

Gruntlings
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 9:01 AM


Yep, essential oils contain much higher concentrations of everything than the natural plant in its fresh, dried, crushed, etc. form. Just like high fructose corn syrup is VERY different from corn. 

Quoting mostlymaydays:

I just skimmed through a report by a European Commission about estragole, which I read is in tarragon, sweet basil, sweet fennel and anis star. I'm assuming that the concentrations that occur in the oils are significantly greater than anyone would naturally be eating as food.

We get this notion that everything "natural" must be healthy and sometimes it isn't what we think. Like soy, which I avoid like the plague.


Quoting Gruntlings:


Basil oil should be avoided in general. It contains Estragole which is a possible carcinogen. Lact-Med recommends against it. Of course lact-med recommends against it based on there not being enough information.. But, still.. :)


Quoting mostlymaydays:

Why should basil oil and supplements be avoided (not that I even knew those existed)?






-Sarah
---------------------------------------------------------
Sarah is a mom to three and a moderator in the "Breastfeeding Moms" group. She runs Nurshable.com where she blogs about finding joy in gentle parenting.


mewebb82
by Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 9:15 AM

I wonder if the thin mints I have been eating have been the reason for my sudden drop then? I didn't know that about mint or basil. Maybe I will make basil crusted salmon for dinner and see if that makes a difference. I definitely have plenty of basil since I just dried an entire basil bush a month ago. Fenugreek doesn't seem to be doing anything.

Gruntlings
by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 9:30 AM
1 mom liked this


It's worth a shot! :) I also see a supply boost from seaweed (seaweed salad, sushi nori), oatmeal, garlic, and coconut water. Everyone responds to different things differently. 

Thin mints might do it. Or it might just be a supply stabilization/growth spurt which feel like a "drop" in supply but which are actually normal.  

Quoting mewebb82:

I wonder if the thin mints I have been eating have been the reason for my sudden drop then? I didn't know that about mint or basil. Maybe I will make basil crusted salmon for dinner and see if that makes a difference. I definitely have plenty of basil since I just dried an entire basil bush a month ago. Fenugreek doesn't seem to be doing anything.



-Sarah
---------------------------------------------------------
Sarah is a mom to three and a moderator in the "Breastfeeding Moms" group. She runs Nurshable.com where she blogs about finding joy in gentle parenting.


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