There are lactation herbs and medications that are used to increase lactation or stimulate milk production in a lactating mother, or in a mother who wants to induce lactation.

garlic bulbs, fresh garlic, garlic image
An image of garlic bulbs - An amazing lactogenic food. 

What are Galactagogues?

Lactation herbs and medications are used to increase lactation or stimulate milk production in a lactating mother or in a mother who wants to induce lactation. Always consult your doctor before taking any herbs while breastfeeding.

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When Is a Galactagogue Necessary?

If you think you might have a low breast milk supply, first read our pages:

You must only use galactagogues if you are pumping / nursing regularly to remove the extra milk that the galactagogue will create. Try additional milk removal via pumping and hand expression to increase supply before trying galactagogues.

  • It is needed when a mother has an insufficient milk supply and is using Galactagogues and pumping to produce more breast milk.
  • Used if a mother is working, breastfeeding, and trying to keep her milk supply sufficient. A mother who returns to work may need the milk expressed for her baby.
  • Inducing lactation: Used when a woman adopts and wants to induce lactation for breastfeeding.
  • The baby is premature and incapable of breastfeeding at the moment. The mother will need to pump and take Galactagogues until the baby is strong enough to breastfeed.

A lactation supplement is most effective in combination with cue feeding and pumping sessions. Power pumping / Cluster pumping is a great way to increase supply. Staying hydrated by drinking enough water and replenishing electrolytes (try body armor for milk supply) will ensure improved milk production.

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Safe Galactagogue Herbs Include

  • Fenugreek. Increasing breast milk supply with fenugreek
  • Blessed thistle. Three capsules three times per day. Blessed thistle may cause some digestive changes.
  • Alfalfa. Alfalfa is mild and can be taken with another galactagogue. Alfalfa may also cause some digestive changes.
  • Brewers yeast as a galactagogue. Has very few side effects but should not be used if the mother has a recurrent yeast problem or yeast infection. Brewer's yeast is rich in Vitamin B, amino acids, minerals, and iron. Dosage: 3-5 capsules daily.
  • Fennel can be consumed in small amounts.
  • Anise. Not only will it increase milk production, but it will also decrease colic in the baby via the mother's breast milk.
  • Goats rue. Used to make tea (1tsp dried leaves, infused in 1 cup of boiling water for 20 minutes, taken twice daily). Goat's rue can increase breast milk production and improve the milk flow (let-down). Side effects include sweating, increased urination, and sometimes a drop in blood sugar levels.
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus). Best used fresh for increasing milk supply. It helps regulate hormonal production, which helps increase milk supply.
  • Milk thistle (not the same as blessed thistle).
  • Marshmallow (althaea) root. This Galactogue should be used with the other breast milk herbs to improve their effectiveness.
  • Red raspberry leaf.
  • Nettle leaf or capsules. Take two tablets three times a day. This is another mild galactagogue and will be more effective taken with other herbal galactagogues.
  • Shatavari.
  • Flax.
  • Soapwort.
  • Chaste Berry.
  • Mother's milk tea.
mother's milk tea
Mother's Milk Tea

Mother's Milk Tea Recipe:

  • 2 parts fennel.
  • 1 part nettle.
  • 1 part blessed thistle.
  • 1 part fenugreek.
  • ½ part Hops.

Grind the seeds before adding the boiling water to them – seep for 15-20 minutes.

Combining two or three of the abovementioned natural herbal galactagogue will work better than only using one.

Galactagogue Foods "Lactogenic foods."

  • Carrot seeds, beet, and yam.
  • Beet leaves, spinach, chicory, and other dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Plain Oats and oat straw capsules or liquid extract.
  • Green papaya (simmered until soft).
  • Dill: Can be used in tea or sprinkled on food. (Two tsp of dill seed daily).
  • Raw nuts, flaxseed oil, and sesame oil.
  • Water, herbal root beers, chicory coffee, and barley water.
  • Garlic: It has been found that if a mother eats a lot of garlic, it gives the breast milk a nicer taste, increasing the time a baby spends on the breast, therefore increasing breast milk production.
  • Ginger (should not be taken with any other medication).
  • Sesame seed.

A more in-depth list of lactogenic foods.

Get our healthy lactation cookie recipe here.

Increase Breast Milk Supply with Galactogue Drugs

Metoclopramide (Maxolon, Pramin)

  • Side effects on the mother sometimes include tiredness, anxiety, cramps in the stomach, and diarrhea.
  • Can increase breast milk production by 40%
  • No documented side effects on babies.

Domperidone for breastfeeding (Motilium)

  • Increases the Prolactin levels, therefore increasing breast milk production.
  • Domperidone side effects: Minimal side effects found.
  • It is usually only needed for a short period.
  • You can buy Domperidone online or over the counter. Don’t buy cheap Domperidone (Make sure the supplier is viable.)


  • Used in conjunction with Metoclopramide and Methyldopa.


  • It can be taken orally as a spray.
  • Helps with milk let-down (milk ejection reflex).
  • Learn more about the love hormone, Oxytocin.


  • Found in breast milk but with no noticeable side effects.
  • Not available in some countries.

Simulating Pregnancy Hormones for Induced Lactation

Some mothers have found that they can produce more milk using a combination of hormones and galactagogues. The hormones that are given simulate pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, which tricks the body into believing it needs to produce milk. You can find more information on this at