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

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

by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 6:55 AM
Replies (21-25):
by Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 9:38 AM
Lol. Love the green milk!!
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by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 2:30 PM
1 mom liked this
Hope it works! I have always responded iffishly to fenugreek/blessed thistle. Oatmeal has been okay. Basil apparently is what makes my body make more milk. Funny. :)

Quoting Mitzi31:

OMG! WOW! This is great! I hope it works for me. I'm going to start eating basil right away. I've had a slight problem with supply for a couple months. It started when I was taking Kflex. I want to be able to pump some but I tried pumping after every feeding for 4 days and NOTHING. Would get a couple drops and that's it. I really want to be able to have some here for extra but I can't get any extra. I've tried everything else there is. I eat so much oatmeal Im sick of it and I've taken all the supplements and tea on the market and they don't seem to do anything for me. HOPEFULLY this will work and like you said.. just in time for St. Patty's day! :-)

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by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Interesting.. thanks for sharing. 

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by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 11:23 PM
Thanks for sharing this! I've been taking fenugreek for months now and I don't see any real difference in my milk supply. I mean its pretty steady but no encouragement or anything like that. My daughter is sometimes feeding more often and I feel like there isn't enough coming out.... I don't pump anymore because I got tired of it. So I stopped around the 3 months. She's now 8 months and she's been bf only the entire time. Of course she's having solids too. I can't wait to get my hands on some fresh basil tomorrow and start this basil diet to increase my milk supply. :) I'm excited ! Thanks again and I hope it works for me too.
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by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Which is yet another good reason to sub spinach for basil in my pesto- I don't need any help with my supply and am enjoying (finally) no more engorgement lol.  I have used mint tea for engorgement before- bringing home ydd and adjusting from my pumping schedule to her nursing schedule left me looking like Jeri Ryan on Star Trek Voyager, and after three days of not being able to put my arms down I drank a cup of pure mint tea once a day for a few days.  Blessed relief :)

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