Mother's Lactation Tonic
Nursing her newborn child is one of a new motherís great joys. When nursing difficulties arise from inadequate supply of breast milk, mother and child feel the burden alike. The inability to nurture a new child through breast-feeding can evoke sadness, frustration and even guilt in a mother. From ancient times, a select group of herbs has been used to safely promote normal levels of healthy breast milk. These herbs, also called galactogogues, are the ingredients of Motherís Lactation Tonicô.
Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) grows as a perennial shrub throughout the Mediterranean region and into Asia. The fruit (berries) have a spicy, peppery smell and taste, which contributed to the early name of Monkís Pepper. It appears in the early literary works of Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Pliny and Galen. Chaste Tree has a traditional history of use in stimulating milk flow during lactation, which was reported in Kingís American Dispensatory (Felter and Lloyd).
In 1930, some of the first scientific studies on Chaste Tree were conducted. Since that time, a number of studies have been carried out with positive results. Many of the traditional uses have been supported by these studies, including an increase in milk production. More recently, Dr. Weiss, the eminent German herbal physician, found that while Chaste Tree may take time to have an effect, it can be given for months to stimulate a healthy level of milk production. One study performed on lactating mothers reported an increase in average milk production of about three times that of the control group. Herb Pharmís Chaste Tree is a 1:4 extract made from the dried ripe fruit, custom wildcrafted in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
Fenugreek seed (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an annual member of the Fabaceae or Pea/Bean family. It is native to west Asia and has naturalized in Europe, India and Africa. It is an ancient herb that was used in the mummification process in Egypt, and is mentioned in the early works of Greek and Roman medicine. Fenugreek is traditionally used to soothe various tissue irritations and inflammations, as a tonic to improve digestion, and as a galactogogue. It has also been used as a nutritive tonic in general debility of convalescence. Its use in spice mixtures and foods extends from eastern Africa, through India and many parts of western Asia. Fenugreek is faster acting than Chaste Tree and may begin working within 24 to 72 hours. Reports on Fenugreek as a lactation aid show dramatic and rapid increases in breast milk production. Herb Pharmís Fenugreek extract is a 1:2.5 extract of certified organic Fenugreek seed.
The three remaining herbs in Motherís Lactation Tonic have several similarities. They are all familiar members of the Apiaceae or Celery family with a long history of safe use in food, medicine and as nursing lactation aids. Botanically, the part of each plant used is a fruit (commonly called the seed) and each plant is an herbaceous annual or biennial. These highly aromatic seeds have been used in traditional medicine as galactogogues to increase milk production in cases of suppressed secretion. They are also carminatives, used to treat intestinal spasms and flatulence, and as flavorings in food and medicine. It is likely that a fractional quantity of the important essential oils of each plant are passed through the milk and thereby ease flatulent colic in the nursing infant. These oils have a low solubility in water and are much more effective when taken as a liquid herbal extract.
Caraway seed (Carum carvi) came into use around the 12th Century in northern and central Europe and Asia. Caraway is an ingredient in foods, especially baked goods, confections and liqueurs. It lends the distinctive flavor to traditional rye bread and sauerkraut. Our Caraway is a 1:2.5 extract from the mature dried seeds of certified organically grown plants.
Fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare), is an ancient herb with a widespread use in medicine and food. The renowned Eclectic pharmacist, John Uri Lloyd, wrote that a survey of Fennel in literature would require citing "every work on medicine and botany from the earliest time to the present." Fennel seed taken by the mother may actually increase the feeding response in an infant, indicating that some if its flavor is passed into the milk. In this way, it may also aid the nursing infantís digestion in cases of colic. In this vein, the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia states that Fennel is specifically indicated for flatulence in infants. Our Fennel is a 1:2.5 extract from the mature dried seeds of certified organically grown plants.
Anise seed (Pimpinella anisum) too has a rich and ancient tradition of use. Like Fennel, Anise is among the oldest known medicines and spices, according to Lloyd. It is probably native to Egypt and was mentioned in the early works of writers such as Dioscorides (around the year 75). It has also been used throughout pharmacy as an aromatic flavoring agent and to ease the intestinal griping caused by other medicines. Anise is used in cooking primarily in confections and as the flavoring agent for liquors such as Pernod and ouzo. Our Anise is a 1:2.5 extract from the mature dried seeds of certified organically grown plants.
Motherís Lactation Tonic is made with certified organic, pharmaceutical-grade grain alcohol and distilled water. Herb Pharmís Motherís Lactation Tonic was recently tested by a prominent analytical laboratory and found to have no detectable quantities of heavy metals, which can be a concern in developing children.
Motherís Lactation Tonic is primarily intended as a galactogogue, promoting the quantity, quality and flow of breast milk where it is suppressed or scanty. It is also an effective digestant and aromatic carminative which can relieve nausea and intestinal gas in the breastfeeding mother and child. These actions together help to ensure that breast-feeding is a rewarding time for both mother and child