Mixed herbal supplementation containing fenugreek, ginger and turmeric appears to increase human milk volume thereby enabling exclusive breastfeeding

In November 2018 researchers from Thailand published the results of their study to assess the effects of mixed herbal supplementation, including fenugreek, ginger, and turmeric on human milk volume and nutrient content. The researchers stated that exclusive breastfeeding is the best way to accomplish optimal growth and health in infants. However, low milk volume is a major problem that leads to non-exclusive breastfeeding. A total of 50 exclusively breastfeeding mothers were divided into two groups, with 25 receiving a mixed herbal supplementation containing fenugreek, ginger and turmeric, three capsules three times daily for 4 weeks and 25 a placebo. Dietary information, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood and milk samples were collected at the start of the study and 4 weeks after the end of the supplementation. Milk volume was measured using a manual breast pump and recorded for 2 days at the start of the study, week 2 and week 4. Results showed that breastfeeding mothers receiving a herbal supplementation had a 49% increase in milk volume at week 2 and a 103% increase at week 4. These increases were greater than mothers in the placebo group. A comparison of milk nutrient content in both groups showed no difference. Moreover, the herbal supplementation appeared safe as there were no differences in the adverse effects experienced in the placebo and herbal groups.

Bumrungpert A et al. Effects of Fenugreek, Ginger, and Turmeric Supplementation on Human Milk Volume and Nutrient Content in Breastfeeding Mothers: A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial. Breastfeed Med. 2018 Nov 9. [Epub ahead of print]

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