You can find many herbal supplements that claim to help women make more amounts of breast milk. One popular supplement is goat’s rue, but many women wonder if it is safe for breastfeeding babies and moms. Another question is, does the product work? Here, you can find information about the Goat's Rue, as well as tips for using it effectively.
What Is Goat’s Rue?
Goat’s rue (Galega officinalis) is primarily a plant that is native to the Middle East and Europe. It’s been used in various herbal medicines to treat low blood sugar levels and tuberculosis. It’s also a popular herb used for breastfeeding women to help them make more breast milk.
Originally, it was used in Europe, with the dried leaves of the plant being successful in helping goats and cows produce more milk. In the late 1800s, this plant was then brought to the United States to be used as food for livestock. However, it wasn’t the best crop because it had a bitter taste and was toxic to other crops. It was harmful in its fresh state and was found to be deadly for some animals. Now, it is considered a pretty plant with flowers but a poisonous weed in fresh form none-the-less.
Breastfeeding and Goat’s Rue
The leaves of the goat rue plant should be consumed in dried form, and it is still highly popular in European countries, including France. It’s primarily called a galactagogue, and it is often recommended as a supplement for breastfeeding moms to help them increase their supply of breastmilk. It can also help to stimulate breast tissue growth, which means it could be helpful to women who want to breastfeed their infants after breast surgery or those who would like to breastfeed their adopted child.
Goat’s rue is also part of the fenugreek plant family. Some women claim that it works better or similarly to fenugreek, though it might not work for every woman.
- Goat’s rue can help many breastfeeding women build more breast tissue and produce more breast milk.
- Many studies have shown that goat’s rue supplements can help people with diabetes lower their blood sugar levels.
- Cancer research studies are now forming to see if this supplement can be used to help fight various types of cancer.
- Goat’s rue has been used as a water pill (diuretic) to help remove more water from the body through urine.
- Goat’s rue has also been shown to offer antibacterial properties.
Is It Safe for Breastfeeding Women?
It cannot be stressed enough that you should never consume goat’s rue in its fresh state. It is highly toxic and very dangerous. However, it is usually considered to be a safe herb to use in dried-leaf form (as tea) or in capsule form (pills).
How to Use Goat’s Rue to Produce More Breast Milk
If you’d like to use goat’s rue as a tea that you drink, you should purchase the dried goat’s rue leaves from a reputable herbal supplier. Let it be said, that Goats Rue tea isn't very tasty so you are likely to find it in capsule or liquid extract form. To make goat's rue tea use one teaspoon of the leaves and place it in a cup. Pour in eight ounces (one cup) of hot water and let the concoction sit for about 10 minutes. It is deemed safe to drink one cup of tea three times a day, though you can drink less. You can also add other herbs to the tea that are recommended to stimulate breastfeeding. These can include blessed thistle, alfalfa, stinging nettle, and fennel. The taste might be slightly bitter, but you can add honey to taste.
If you’d like to take goat’s rue as a pill form, you should always purchase the pills from a reputable supplier. A typical dosage of goat’s rue in capsule form is to take one capsule up to four times a day. However, you should follow the dosing instructions on the label; some capsules have more of the goat’s rue, which makes it more potent and means you can take fewer pills each day. Along with such, you should talk to your lactation consultant or doctor about dosing.
You can also find goat’s rue as a primary ingredient in a variety of commercially-produced herbal supplements and teas that are designed specifically for women who are breastfeeding.
Side Effects and Warnings
- Goat’s rue is believed to be lethal in some animals. In its fresh form, goat’s rue is considered poisonous and shouldn’t be consumed. Therefore, herbal treatments can sometimes be dangerous. As such, you must always talk to your lactation consultant, herbal specialist, or physician before taking this or other supplements and herbs, especially if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.
- You shouldn’t use goat’s rue if you have hypoglycemia or diabetes unless you talk to your health care provider about it first and are under their care. Because goat’s rue can be used to lower blood sugars, it can interfere with other medications and lower the levels to dangerous levels.
- Allergic reactions can happen. Goat’s rue is part of the pea family, which includes alfalfa, fenugreek, soybeans, and peanuts. If you’re sensitive or allergic to any of these plants or foods, it is advised not to use goat’s rue.
- You shouldn’t use this herb if you tend to have an overabundance of breast milk. Goat’s rue can increase the milk supply more, which can lead to breastfeeding problems, including plugged milk ducts, breast engorgement, and mastitis.
A Few Notes
If you want to boost your supply of breast milk so that your baby has plenty of nourishment, it might be worth it to consider and try goat’s rue. Many times, goat’s rue is highly effective for increasing breast milk production. While it should be used in moderation, the dried leaves are safe to consume as a pill or tea form for babies and breastfeeding mothers. However, if you choose to use goat’s rue, you should discuss the choice with a lactation consultant first. You should also make sure that the herb is purchased from a reliable supplier. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting something that is not goat’s rue or is mixed with other ingredients that could be harmful to your baby and you.