Is It Safe To Drink Herbal Tea While Breastfeeding?

A hot beverage could be just the thing you need to begin your day. Hence, most new moms switch to healthy beverages such as herbal tea while breastfeeding. Owing to the wide range of health benefits of herbal tea and the many varieties that are available, you may want to include this healthy beverage as a part of your morning ritual.

However, not all the ingredients of herbal teas are suitable for everyone, and you may have to check the safety aspects before consuming them while breastfeeding. Want to know more about the important aspects of herbal teas and their role in regulating milk supply? Then read on.

In This Article

Is It Safe To Drink Herbal Teas While Breastfeeding?

Medical research is yet to prove the benefits of herbal tea

Image: Shutterstock

While you are breastfeeding, it is important to know what you eat or drink is safe for your baby or not. Your diet during lactation directly affects your health and your baby’s development. While most people believe that herbal tea helps purify the blood and increase the production of breast milk, medical research is yet to prove the exact health benefits it offers (1). The general opinion is that it is better to avoid drinking herbal tea while you are breastfeeding your little one. In case you do wish to have some, make sure you first speak to a licensed herbal practitioner, a lactation consultant or your medical practitioner.

Herbal Teas That May Increase Breast Milk Production

The following herbal teas may increase your breast milk production (2):

  • Fenugreek Tea – avoid drinking it if you are a diabetic.
  • Fennel Tea –works like your milk producing hormones and is an herbal way to increase breast milk. It is also helpful in relieving gas.
  • Blessed Thistle Tea –it increases breast milk supply and also helps to fight postpartum depression.

    Blessed thistle tea aids in increasing breast milk supply

    Image: IStock

  • Alfalfa –it is loaded with vitamins and minerals and helps increase breast milk.
  • Goat’s Rue –it increases the breast milk production and stimulates milk flow as well.
  • Raspberry Leaf –in addition to increasing breast milk supply, it will also help your uterus recover after delivery.
  • Stinging Nettle – it is loaded with vitamins and minerals that also aid in increasing breast milk supply (3).
Point to consider
It is recommended to keep switching the herbal tea you consume every few days so that the substances the baby is exposed to are limited (1).

Herbal Teas That May Decrease Breast Milk Production

You should avoid some herbal teas while breastfeeding

Image: Shutterstock

Just like any other food you consume, herbal tea too can enter your bloodstream and permeate your breast milk. As the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate herbal teas, there is no guarantee of their purity, safety or strength. Drinking herbal tea while you are still breastfeeding may even adversely affect the quantity and quality of your breast milk. Here are some herbal teas you should avoid while breastfeeding your baby as it may reduce your supply (2).

  • Peppermint Tea
  • Oregano Tea

Herbal Teas That May Harm The Baby And Mother

The intake of the following herbal tea may prove dangerous for the mother and baby:

  • Ginseng tea (4)
  • Star anise tea (2)

    Star anise tea may not suit the mother and her baby

    Image: Shutterstock

  • Rhubarb root tea (5)
  • Aloe Tea (5)
Point to consider
There is insufficient information available about the safety of rose hip tea and dandelion tea for nursing mothers (1).

Things To Remember

If you do wish to go ahead and have herbal tea while you are still breastfeeding, make sure to take care of the following:

  • Speak to your doctor before you try drinking any herbal tea.
  • Check that the herbal tea is caffeine-free. Some herbal teas do contain caffeine and should be avoided while breastfeeding.
  • Read the ingredients of the herbal tea to check for any potent food allergens.

    Read the list of ingredients while buying a herbal tea

    Image: IStock

  • Some studies say that consuming herbal tea in moderation may not cause any health problems (1). However, excessive consumption of herbal tea may have a negative impact on your health and your baby’s growth

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I drink chamomile tea while breastfeeding?

Limited research exists on the effects of chamomile tea on nursing mothers, and a few also state chamomile as a potential galactagogue (milk production booster). Chamomile tea might be safe to drink during breastfeeding when consumed in moderation. However, chamomile might trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive mothers. Hence, consult your doctor before consuming chamomile tea (6) (7).

2. What herbal teas dry up breast milk?

While not much is known about the effects of all the herbs on nursing mothers, it is known that peppermint might reduce the milk supply, thus leading to drying up of the breast milk. Parsley, sage, black walnut, and lemon balm might also decrease the milk supply. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a doctor before consuming these herbs during lactation (2).

Herbal teas while breastfeeding can either improve or reduce milk supply. Some teas, including fenugreek or raspberry leaf teas, are likely to increase breast milk supply and aid in the recovery after delivery. However, peppermint, star anise, or aloe teas might harm the mother and the baby and affect breast milk production. Therefore, it is better to consult a lactation expert or medical practitioner before consuming any herbal tea and check its contents before having it.

Infographic: Herbal Teas That Can Increase Breast Milk Production

Herbs are a good way to boost your overall wellness. Herbal teas support healthy lactation. They also make you feel at your optimum while nourishing your baby. These teas offer many benefits from the herbs while also boosting your hydration. Learn about the herbal teas that can support your breast milk production.

herbal teas to enhance breast milk production (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.