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Why two Mother’s Milk teas? A look at two traditions.

A wise woman named Barbara Kingsolver once said, “Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” Moms go above and beyond for their children, and it often seems like moms have superhuman powers. Motherhood can also stir up a whirlwind of emotions. It can be beautiful, tough, joyful, exhausting and incredibly rewarding all at the same time. And while many new parents have read their fair share of empowering (and slightly frightening) books on pregnancy, nursing and raising kids, any experienced parent will tell you becoming a new parent is never quite what you’re expecting. In fact, it’s much more than that. It’s more fulfilling than anything that can be put down into words.

There are so many decisions to make when welcoming in a new member of the family, and one of them is whether or not to breastfeed. We know there is so much pressure around this topic, and we just want to say we hope you feel empowered by whatever decision you and your family make. If you do decide to breastfeed, we have some ways we can help. Obviously herbs can’t change a diaper or give you a neck rub, but they can help you with chapped skin, stressful times and milk production. There are herbs that have been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine traditions to support healthy lactation and breast milk production, and they’re called galactagogues.

The word “galactagogue” comes from Greek. It combines two words — “galactos,” meaning “milk” and “agogue,” which means “bringer of.” Both of our Mother’s Milk teas are formulated with galactagogues to support healthy lactation and milk production in nursing mothers.* However, each of the teas contain a different blend of herbs, one from the European herbal tradition and another from the Ayurvedic herbal tradition.

Mother’s Milk is based on anise and fennel lactation teas that are available in European pharmacies, particularly in German‐speaking countries. Seeds from the Apiaceae family of plants, such as aniseed, bitter fennel and coriander are classified as having galactagogue action, along with fenugreek seed and blessed thistle herb. All have a long history of traditional use in Europe for promoting the production of breast milk.* Hippocrates, a Greek physician sometimes referred to as “the father of western medicine,” suggested using both the fruit and root of fennel to promote milk production (all the way back in 400 B.C.E.). Our original Mother’s Milk is rich with herbs like fennel, anise, coriander and fenugreek to help you produce milk when you need it most. This tea blend tastes sweet and slightly bitter, with a distinct licorice-like taste.

Mother’s Milk Shatavari Cardamom is based on the traditional Ayurvedic formula called Shatavari Kalpa, which is a mixture of shatavari, cardamom, sugar and either milk or ghee (clarified butter). Shatavari comes from an old Sanskrit word meaning “keeper of 100 husbands,” probably because of the plant’s ability to support the female reproductive system.* Our Mother’s Milk Shatavari Cardamom contains shatavari, cardamom and marshmallow leaf. This tea should be consumed with milk (or ghee) and some sugar to extract the root’s herbal medicine, a practice passed on from the Ayurvedic tradition. Mother’s Milk Shatavari Cardamom is creamy and sweet with a touch of spice, a supplement to your nursing ritual that you can truly enjoy.

We know that every drop of milk is a nutrient dense elixir worth its weight in gold. We take great care when blending these formulas so that these teas can be both tasty and helpful to you and your newborn. More than 100 million cups of Mother’s Milk have been enjoyed for over 35 years by nursing moms. Beyond our tea blends, these herbs have an incredibly rich history of use. We like to think that each sip is like stepping into a tradition that’s been passed down from woman to woman for thousands of years.

Posted in Tea on May 27, 2015