Is Fenugreek Safe?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Is Fenugreek Safe?
Tue, 02-26-2013 - 1:28pm

Is the breastfeeding going well, but somehow you feel your supply could be better? If you've heard other new moms talk about a substance called fenugreek -- but you don't know much about it -- check out our primer. We've got all you need to know about this ancient herb and how it may help you produce more breast milk for your baby.

Is Fenugreek Safe? What Breastfeeding Moms Need to Know-

Have you used Fenugreek before?  What was your experience like using this herb?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2005
Thu, 07-04-2013 - 1:26pm

I'm an adoptive mom who nursed six adopted children between 1983 and 1997, and has been helping other moms all along. I didn't get the internet until right after that, so I didn't have access to domperidone, which about 70% of adoptive moms use, now. I never knew very far in advance that I was getting a baby, and didn't have access to a decent pump anyway. I nursed on demand, with the Lact-Aid and got about a third milk supply, just from that. I've never been pregnant for more than a few weeks. Anyway, about when I got my fifth baby, I heard about fenugreek. It is a spice that is used extensively in cooking, especially in spice mixtures like curries and in artificial maple flavoring. Most adoptive moms now use it, usually in capsule form. It's the seeds that are used, although the sprouts and even larger plants are used in some parts of the world. I made tea out of it and added some fennel, which is another galactogogue. I used a rounded teaspoonful, so about half a tablespoonful, per cup of water, and steeped it for five minutes only, because it got bitter if I left it longer. That made a strong tea. I make a quart a day and drank it, over iced, throughout the day. Some moms make tinctures out of it and there are also tinctures you can buy. Some also swallow the seeds whole. Anyway, when I used it, it gave me about 20% more milk than I'd been able to produce before and made it richer, too. I smelled like maple, and so did my son. Some people are bothered by it, but I wasn't. When my son started walking, he love to get a nursing bra out of the laundry and carry around like a security blanket, sniffing it! Anyway, I've heard of a few women who have found that it affected their intestinal tract, but most have no problem with it, at all. I never did. It's very cheap if you buy seeds in bulk. The San Fransisco Herb Company is my favorite source for it. Hope that helps!


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Sun, 03-03-2013 - 5:17pm

I used Fenugreek part of the time I was pumping.  For me, it wasn't so much that I was coming up really short, it was more that it gave me enough of a boost that I didn't have to worry.  I knew I could get by on 2 pumps a day instead of stressing about fitting a third one in.  I was glad that worked for me, but I know it doesn't work for everyone.

I didn't have any trouble using the Fenugreek to get a bit of a boost while I was pumping.  I know some babies can have tummy troubles when it passes through to the milk, but fortunately my DS did great.