Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a breastfeeding milk tea consumed by mothers for thousands of years. As an herbal galactagogue, fennel stimulates lactation and increases milk production during breastfeeding. Mothers with low milk supply who drink tea containing fennel seeds can experience an increase in the volume and fat content of their milk. As a result, their infants can gain weight. Fennel also supports the digestive health of mother and infant. The herb is beneficial in moderation, which is why it constitutes 25% of NutraMother, our carefully-crafted tea blend that supports healthy breastfeeding. Mothers should always consult with their doctor about lactation problems. For a relaxing, supportive tea blend for pregnant mothers, reach for NutraPreg.

The Science of Mother’s Breast Milk Tea

Anethole is responsible for fennel’s positive effect on lactation. It’s the monoterpene that gives fennel and other plants like anise and star anise their distinct, licorice-like fragrance and flavor. Anethole is a phytoestrogen, which means it’s a plant-based compound with an estrogen-like effect in the body. Like estrogen, anethole signals the pituitary gland to increase prolactin. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for stimulating milk production.

Fennel seeds

Fennel seeds

Mother’s Milk Tea and Digestion

Even before the infant is born and lactation begins, fennel can be beneficial for mothers. Digestion issues like bloating and gas are common during pregnancy. Fennel seed tea aids digestion and relieves gas. With its healthy dose of fiber, fennel firms loose bowel movements. The seeds have an antibacterial effect which decreases the bacteria that cause gas. Their anti-inflammatory effect decreases inflammation in the bowels. Fennel can also have a relaxing effect on intestinal muscles, which relieves constipation.

Fennel for Infant Colic

Infants receive the same digestive benefits of fennel through breastmilk. Colic is a common condition in which a healthy baby is fussy and cries for no obvious reason for more than three hours a day. It’s characterized by gassiness, constipation, and tight muscles. Fennel can relieve the gas and constipation that cause colic, reducing an infant’s discomfort and decreasing crying time. The herb was often included in gripe water, a traditional folk remedy for colic.

Fennel flowers

Fennel in bloom

Fast Fennel Facts

Fennel belongs to the Apiaceae family. If mother or infant is allergic to carrots, celery, or other plants in the Apiaceae family, fennel should be avoided. The aromatic herb is a hardy perennial with a white bulb, succulent, hollow stalks, and green, feathery foliage. It has bright golden blossoms and grows five to seven feet tall with a deep tap root. In Greek mythology, Prometheus brought humanity fire from Mount Olympus by hiding the flame in a stalk of fennel. This myth reflects fennel’s importance to the ancient Greeks. Native to the Mediterranean, fennel has spread around the world as a culinary delicacy with a range of medicinal, nutritious constituents.

Fennel contains:

  • Vitamin A, B, and C
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Copper

NutraMother Tea Supports Lactation

Herbalists at NutraTea created NutraMother, a blend of Fennel 25%, Chamomile 20% (matricaria recutita), Fenugreek 10% (Trigonella foenum-graecum), Shatavari Root 10% (Asparagus racemosus), Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus), Caraway (Carum carvi), Nettle (Urtica dioica), and Blessed Thistle (Centaurea benedicta). NutraMother supports healthy breastfeeding for mother and infant. It contains the optimal amount of fennel to increase breastmilk volume and fat content for healthy baby weight, and supports digestive function of mother and infant. The herbs in NutraMother synergize in support of the entire genito-reproductive system. Pour a cup and nourish your amazing, life-giving body.