I am a big believer in family and community support for pregnant women. I’ve always wished that I could live close to my loved ones when they were/are pregnant so that I could spoil them as much as possible.
Fortunately, as I mentioned in my Gentle Healing Salve post, my wonderful cousin/friend is pregnant and due any minute now. She moved down here to South Carolina a year ago, just down the road from me, so I’m finally getting my wish to be able to support a preggers-loved one. 🙂
I’m creating a basket of supplies to bring her once her wee little one is born. Hmm…maybe I’ll make a post later on all about things to make/buy for a basket for celebrating a new birth (as well as for spoiling the new mama!).
One of the things I decided to make for my sweet cousin was this homemade Nourishing Nursing Mother’s Tea. The ingredients in this homemade tea should help both with producing milk for the baby AND it also should give some essential vitamins and minerals for the mother’s health as well.
Before I share my Nourishing Nursing Mother’s Tea recipe, let’s talk about some safety stuff. This is a tea meant for women AFTER having the baby. Some of the herbs on this list are not safe for pregnant women. Please read the bottom of the post for more warnings and for a list of books where I got my information. For more safety, try a small cup at first to make sure you don’t have a negative reaction.
Let’s talk about the ingredients:
Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds are a well-known digestive aid. They have been used since ancient times to both increase and enrich milk flow in nursing mothers. It’s safe for both adults and children, and can help relieve tummy-aches and help bring relief for colic. It’s also a great flavoring spice/herb, which is used to mask the taste of some of the more bitter herbs on this list. Click here to learn more about Fennel Seeds.
Red Raspberry Leaf: Red Raspberry Leaf is a “must-have” woman’s herb. It is a rich source of iron, niacin, manganese, and more. It is often used for pregnancy and labor, however, the vitamins and minerals in it are good for all women because it nourishes the blood, helps tone uterine muscles, and helps regulate the flow of menses. It can also enrich breast milk.
Nettle Leaf: Nettle Leaf, according to Rosemary Gladstar, is “a vitamin factory, rich in iron, calcium, potassium, silicon, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and chromium, as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals.” It is an excellent reproductive tonic, helps with PMS, energy levels, and more. It’s a great all-purpose health herb for this tea.
Milk Thistle: Milk Thistle is mainly known for being a liver tonic, but it is also known since ancient times for helping increase the flow of breast milk (hence the name of the herb). In addition, when Milk Thistle helps the liver, it helps with hormone balancing as well.
Fenugreek: Fenugreek is a very popular herb for both enriching and increasing the flow of breast milk. While it smells like maple syrup, it is quite bitter, and almost everything I read strongly recommends combining Fennel Seeds and Fenugreek to balance the taste and effects. Click here to learn more about Fenugreek.
Anise Seeds: Anise Seeds are another wonderful digestive aid. They have been known to help with colic and other digestive issues. It is also a commonly used flavoring spice/herb for disguising the bitterness of other medicinal herbs. Grow your own with these heirloom seeds.
Dandelion Leaf: Dandelion Leaves are high in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A & C. Like Nettle Leaf, it is a wonderful all-purpose health herb for rejuvenating effects. Click here to learn more about the Medicinal Uses of Dandelion.
NOTE: I ran out of Dandelion Leaf before making this recipe, so I have it as an optional ingredient. If you have it, you should add it, but no worries if you don’t!
NOTE: I get annoyed when recipes are only written as ‘1 part or 2 parts’ and I have to do math (EWW!) to figure out the correct measurements. So I have this written in both ‘parts’ and the measurements to make 2 cups of herb mix.
Nourishing Nursing Mother’s Tea Recipe
- 2 parts (1/2 cup) Fennel Seeds
- 2 parts (1/2 cup) Red Raspberry Leaves
- 1 part (1/4 cup) Nettle Leaf
- 1 part (1/4 cup) Milk Thistle
- 1 part (1/4 cup) Fenugreek
- 1 part (1/4 cup) Anise Seed
- 1 part (1/4 cup) Dandelion Leaf, optional
- Gently combine the herbs together. Store in a glass jar, and feel free to make it cute (like this one…maybe with a purple ribbon around it).
- To make, add 1 tbsp. of herb mix per 2 cups of almost-boiling water. I love using a mesh tea strainer (like this one) in a mug. You could also make it with a cute teapot with a strainer/infuser (I own this one). Let the herb mix steep in your water for 5-10 minutes. Strain and Serve. Enjoy.
**You could also make a gallon of tea with a 1/2 cup of the herb mix. Then simply refrigerate the leftover tea and drink it during the week.
**You could mix half tea with half full-fat milk and have a tasty (caffeine free) latte-type drink. Yum.
**Don’t forget to check out my Gentle Healing Salve to truly spoil mama and newborn!
Let’s talk resources and warnings…
Due to the current atmosphere of fear and paranoia, let me repeat a common phrase: “I am not a doctor. Please talk to your doctor and/or midwife before using this. Please learn about these ingredients on your own before making it….etc.” Make sure to try a small cup of it to see if you and/or your baby have any reactions. Then go out in this crazy world and: Read. Learn. Continue on your incredible path towards self-sufficient natural living. Repeat. Enjoy life.
If interested, these are the resources I used to make this Nourishing Nursing Mother’s Tea recipe:
- The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody
- Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar
- Do-It-Yourself Herbal Medicine by Sonoma Press
- The Herbal Apothecary by JJ Pursell
- Herbal Nursing Mom Tea recipe by Wellness Mama