Shatavari for Lactation – Does It Increase Breast Milk Supply?

Shatavari for Lactation - Does It Increase Breast Milk Supply?

A lactating mother needs to eat nutritious food so that her body produces enough breast milk to feed her infant. Some nursing mothers may not be able to produce adequate quantities of breast milk despite eating healthy. In such cases, a galactagogue is recommended. A galactagogue can increase the production of breast milk in breastfeeding moms. This article tells you all about the herb Shatavari and its galactagogue properties.

What is Shatavari?

Shatavari is also called wild asparagus. Its botanical name is Asparagus racemosus. Shatavari is a herb native to the Indian subcontinent and grows mostly in the Himalayas. It has been used as a medicinal herb by Ayurvedic practitioners for centuries. Shatavari is known to have healing properties and is used to cure a vast range of health problems. If you have wondered, is asparagus good while breastfeeding, the answer is yes! Wild asparagus or Shatavari is a known galactagogue and can increase breast milk production in nursing moms.

Constituents Available in Shatavari

Shatavari contains bioflavonoids that are plant compounds that have antioxidant properties and can fight free radicals in the body that cause ageing and cell damage. The herb also contains hydrogenates that are beneficial for women’s reproductive system. Shatavari contains trace minerals like zinc, manganese, selenium, potassium, copper, cobalt, calcium, and magnesium that are essential for our bodies. This herb also contains vitamin A and vitamin B, and essential fatty acids.

How Does Shatavari Help to Boost Breast Milk Supply?

Shatavari is a well-known galactagogue. It increases the production of corticoids and prolactin which improve the quality and the amount of breast milk produced by a lactating mother. Shatavari also stimulates the secretion of steroid hormones that improve milk production and also increases breast weight. Shatavari or asparagus for lactation is thus very beneficial.

Other Benefits of Shatavari for Breastfeeding Mothers

Shatavari for breast milk production is recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners. Shatavari has several other health benefits, and some of these include:

  • Its antioxidant properties help improve the overall health of the nursing mother and fight ageing and cellular damage.
  • Shatavari improves immunity and aids the body in fighting off infections.
  • The herb is good for the digestive system. It can give relief from diarrhoea, digestive tract inflammation, and heartburn.
  • Shatavari also contains compounds that act as antidepressants. Thus, it can prevent postpartum blues or depression that often affects nursing mothers.

How Can You Consume Shatavari and What are the Recommended Dosages?

Shatavari can be consumed in various forms. The two main forms of Shatavari commonly used are capsules and powder.

1. Capsules

Shatavari capsules for lactation are commonly recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners. The commonly prescribed dosage for capsules is 500 to 1000 mg of Shatavari extract in a day.

2. Powder

Doctors often recommend the powder form of Shatavari Kalpa for breast milk. The suggested dosage is 3-6 g per day. It can be taken with warm milk or water with honey.

What is Better Among Powder and Capsules?

It is believed that tasting the Shatavari herb somehow increases its activity and stimulates a better response in the body. Hence, the powder form of the herb is preferred. The powder form is also less expensive than capsules.

It is easy to consume a capsule, and you will not miss a dose this way. Capsules also solve the problem of the bitter taste as you swallow them without tasting. The powdered form tastes bitter on the tongue, and you need to add honey to reduce the bitterness.

Are There Any Other Ways to Consume Shatavari?

Shatavari can be consumed in other forms as well:

  • Herbal Paste or Jam: This is sold as Shatavari Gulam and is in the form of a paste or jam.
  • Ghee: Shatavari can be boiled with butter to make medicated ghee. This ghee can be consumed by lactating mothers to increase their breast milk production.
  • Churna: A churna is an Ayurvedic mix of minerals and powdered herbs. Shatavari is also available as a churna.

Are There Any Side-effects of Consuming Shatavari while Breastfeeding?

Research has found that Shatavari is non-toxic and completely safe for both lactating mothers and their infants. It is safe for long-term usage and does not cause any adverse reactions in breastfeeding moms or their babies.

Precautions to take Before Using Shatavari

A few precautions that you need to take before using Shatavari for increasing breast milk production include:

  • If you are allergic to asparagus, it is better to avoid Shatavari. Symptoms of an allergy include skin rashes and breathing problems.
  • Shatavari is a diuretic and can cause you to urinate frequently. If you are already taking diuretics, you should avoid this herb.
  • This herb is heavy and oily in nature. It increases ‘kapha’ in the body that plays a role in lubrication. If you have issues like congestion, avoid taking Shatavari.
  • As this herb contains plant oestrogens, it can affect women who have oestrogen sensitivity. It could cause weight gain and breast enlargement or tenderness. Hence, such women should avoid this herb.

Shatavari is a herbal supplement that is good for women, especially lactating mothers. However, it needs to be taken regularly for a few weeks to produce noticeable results. Consult your doctor before consuming any Shatavari.

Also Read: Recipes for Breastfeeding Mothers to Boost Lactation