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Alcohol, Tinctures and Breastfeeding: What You Need to Know

Here at Motherlove we sometimes get questions and concerns about the presence of alcohol in many of our tinctures intended for breastfeeding support. Below, you will find more information on why we make tinctures, the role of alcohol, and why our alcohol-based tinctures are safe to consume while breastfeeding.

Ways to take herbs

Many people know the benefits of taking herbs, but they may not know that the manner in which they take them is also important. There are 3 common ways in which to take an herb:

  1. Tea—a common way to ingest herbs; steep a small amount of dried herbs in hot water and then strain. Typically, you have to consume more tea in order to get the same results as a tincture since the herbs are more diluted in a tea.
  2. Dried herbs—commonly taken in a packet tablet or a dried capsule. Dried herbs lose their potency over time, making them less effective. Additionally, dried herbs take longer to enter your system as they need to be digested.
  3. Tincture—herbs are extracted in a mixture of alcohol and water. Alcohol is very effective at extracting herbal constituents. If you have ever made homemade vanilla extract, you know that soaking a vanilla pod in alcohol is going to result in a stronger extract than if you soaked a vanilla pod in water, for example.

Benefits of a tincture

All of Motherlove’s supplements are initially made as an alcohol-based tincture since it is the most potent way to take an herb. We ensure that our herbs are picked at their peak potency which means that you don’t need to take as much as you would need to take in a dried capsule form. Additionally, tinctures are quickly absorbed by your body and don’t need to go through your digestive tract. Finally, as opposed to a dried herb that loses its quality over time, tinctures maintain their high quality and potency for several years if kept out of direct sunlight and extreme heat.

Alcohol and breastfeeding

Hopefully, now it is clear why Motherlove chooses to create our supplements as alcohol-based liquid tinctures. However, some women are still concerned about consuming anything with alcohol in it while breastfeeding. While we understand their concerns, there is very little alcohol per dose in our supplements—about 15 drops per dose. This amount of alcohol does not transfer into the breastmilk. In total, the amount of alcohol in our 2-ounce tinctures is equivalent to drinking one glass of wine over the course of two weeks.

However, if there is still a concern about the alcohol content, Motherlove does offer alcohol-free liquid extracts for a quite a few of our products, such as More Milk Plus, More Milk Special Blend, and Fenugreek. These tinctures begin in the same way as our traditional, alcohol-based tinctures, but the alcohol is removed through the evaporative process and replaced with vegetable glycerin and deionized water.

Motherlove also offers liquid capsules, for those who wish to avoid taking a tincture, often times due to its strong taste. Our unique vegetarian encapsulated liquid capsules are quickly absorbed by the body and do not contain any alcohol. We offer capsules for many of our products such as More Milk Plus, More Milk Special Blend, and Malunggay.

As always, please consult your physician or IBCLC before taking any supplement and feel free to reach out to us at Motherlove if you have any questions or concerns.