Plants and Herbs
Alfalfa | Medicago sativa
Alfalfa leaf is in More Milk Two for its ability to support lactation, as well as being an herb that is safe to take while pregnant. Alfalfa hay is fed daily to milking goats and other dairy animals.
Alfalfa is a many-branched plant with square stems and leaves composed of three leaflets. Blue to purple flowers turn into spiral coiled seedpods. The deep taproot brings up many minerals, including trace minerals, from the soil.
Alfalfa is rich in chlorophyll and vitamin K, a nutrient necessary for blood clotting. In the last trimester of pregnancy, alfalfa can decrease postpartum bleeding or the chance of hemorrhaging. The seeds can be sprouted to add to salads and sandwiches. The leaves and flowers make a mild tasting, nutritious tea that stimulates the appetite and aids digestion.Related products: More Milk Two
Blessed Thistle | Cnicus benedictus
Blessed Thistle leaf is in many of Motherlove’s breastfeeding supplements to support lactation. It is considered an emotional ally to uplift spirits and reduce anxiety. Do not take during pregnancy.
Blessed thistle has fuzzy leaves and stems with small yellow flowers.
Blessed thistle is an herbal “bitter” that aids digestion and increases bile. It is one of the best herbs to support liver health.Related products: More Milk
Calendula | Calendula officinalis
Calendula flowers are one of the best all-purpose skin soothing herbs and are in most of our body care products, including Nipple Cream. Calendula softens skin, soothes cuts, abscesses, rashes, boils, chapped skin, and eczema. It relieves muscle cramps, painful swellings, hemorrhoids, and the itch of insect bites.
Calendula is an easily planted annual with orange and yellow flowers and alternate leaves. The unusual curlicue seedpods easily reseed themselves.
The orange and yellow petals of this edible flower are a colorful addition to salads. As a wash on wounds, it can stop bleeding. It can be used in a footbath on swollen feet and eyewash on sore, tired eyes.Related products: Diaper Balm
Chamomile | Matricaria chamomilla
Chamomile flowers are in our Pregnant Belly Oil and Pregnant Belly Salve to soften skin, allowing it to stretch, as well as to relieve the itch of a growing belly.
German chamomile is a highly aromatic herb with finely cut leaves and small, many-rayed white flowers with yellow centers that bloom daily throughout its growing season. Though it is an annual, any fallen flower reseeds itself easily after the first planting.
Chamomile flowers are an excellent, gentle herb to drink for its calming effect on children and adults. Drink the tea in the evening to relax and bring on sleep. It also relieves indigestion, gas, and diarrhea. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties for use on sprains, strains, and sore muscles. Use on sores, rashes, scaly skin, sunburn, and windburn, to soften skin, relieve itching and reduce wrinkles. A chamomile tea hair rinse will bring out blond highlights.Related products: Pregnant Belly Oil
Comfrey | Symphytum officinale
Comfrey leaf is in our Green Salve because it helps with bruises and strains, and prevents scarring after a wound is closed and free of infection.
Comfrey is a perennial with large, alternate, dark-green hairy leaves and small, purple, bell-shaped flowers. The white mucilaginous root is black on the outside. Comfrey spreads quickly, and a new plant can be started just by planting a piece of root.
Comfrey’s nickname is “knitbone”. It is a good plant to have around to wrap on sprains, strains, torn ligaments, and cartilage. For external use only.Related products: Green Salve
Fennel | Foeniculum vulgare
Fennel seed is in More Milk, More Milk Plus, and several other Motherlove products. It is the most commonly used herb to support lactation in the world.
Fennel is a licorice flavored, feathery, aromatic herb. It grows to be several feet tall with umbels of small, yellow flowers that look very similar to a dill plant.
Fennel greens, seeds and root are a common food source and spice. The seeds can be chewed after a meal to aid digestion and sweeten breath. This digestive herb relieves heartburn, gas, colic, and an upset stomach. To use as a compress, put crushed seeds in hot water for relief of swollen, tender, nursing breasts.Related products: More Milk
Fenugreek | Trigonella foenum-graecum
Fenugreek seed is the main ingredient in many of Motherlove’s breastfeeding supplements and in Motherlove Fenugreek as a single herb extract. Fenugreek seeds are the most recommended herb in the United States for supporting lactation. Large amounts may reduce blood sugar levels and have a laxative effect that may cause an upset stomach and gas in mother or baby. Not for use during pregnancy because of its uterine stimulate effect.
Fenugreek is an annual that grows 12-18" high with branched, trifoliate leaves. It produces “pea pods” that contain yellow-brown seeds. Fenugreek is in the pea family as are peanuts, chickpeas and garden peas and beans.
Fenugreek is eaten as a food in many parts of the world. When cooked the seeds smell like maple syrup and they are used to flavor imitation maple syrup, and are an ingredient in many spice blends and curry. Because the seeds become mucilaginous when cooked, they can be used as a poultice on wounds and sores and gargling with the tea relieves a sore throat.Related products: Fenugreek
Goat’s Rue | Galega officinalis
Goat’s rue is in More Milk Special Blend, and in Goat's Rue as a single ingredient supplement. The leaves stimulate development of mammary tissue to increase breast size. It is one of the most potent herbs to support lactation in women who have difficulty breastfeeding because of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), previous breast surgeries or adoption. Large amounts may lower blood sugar levels.
Goat’s rue grows 2-3 feet tall with branching stems and oval, opposite leaves. The long flower stalk produces many light purple to pink flowers similar to those in the pea family to which it belongs.
Goat’s rue is widely used by European dairy farmers to quickly increase milk yields.Related products: More Milk Special Blend
Lavender | Lavandula officinalis
Lavender flowers are in the Pregnant Belly Oil and Pregnant Belly Salve, and are the only herb in Birth & Baby Oil for its gentle skin soothing properties, the ability to prevent scarring, and its lovely scent.
Lavender is a perennial that grows up to two feet tall with many branches of gray-green linear leaves. The very aromatic purple flowers, which grow on terminal spikes, are gathered just before opening.
Lavender is widely used in cosmetics and aromatherapy for its scent and healing properties. It is in baths, sachets and sleep pillows to relieve headaches, depression, and exhaustion, and promote relaxation and sleep. Its antiseptic qualities make it great for face washes, steams, and toners. And in creams and oils it relieves aches and pains.Related products: Birth & Baby Oil
Malunggay | Moringa oleifera
Known as the “miracle tree”, this herb is indigenous to India and the Philippines. Used by generations of breastfeeding women to help support lactation, it is also often used for malnutrition, especially among infants and nursing mothers.
Malunggay is a deciduous tree with whitish-grey bark. The shoots are purplish or greenish. It has fragrant pale yellow flowers and low hanging brown pods.
The leaves, fruit, flowers, and immature pods are all highly nutritious and contain many vitamins and minerals. The leaves can be rubbed against the temples to relieve headaches; and a poultice may be used to slow bleeding from a shallow cut. There is an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect when applied to wounds or insect bites. A tea from the leaves helps to treat gastric ulcers and diarrhea. Extracts can be used for bacterial or fungal skin complaints.Related products: Malunggay Capsules (Moringa)
Marshmallow | Althaea officinalis
Marshmallow root is a very emollient herb, which is why we use it in the Pregnant Belly Oil, Pregnant Belly Salve, Nipple Cream, and Green Salve. Its skin softening effect allows a pregnant belly to grow without stretch marks and quickly soothes cracked nursing nipples and chapped skin.
Marshmallow grows 1-3 feet tall in moist locations. The alternate, slightly serrated leaves feel soft when rubbed. Small pale flowers bloom in the leaf axils.
The young leaves can be eaten raw or slightly cooked and they make an excellent soup thickener. The roots can be used as a meringue substitute when covered with water and boiled until reduced by half, cooled, and beaten to a froth. The demulcent tea is soothing to mucus membranes, swollen glands, and irritations of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urinary tract. Because mallow is so emollient, it soothes skin irritations, rashes, boils, stings, and runny sores.Related products: Nipple Cream
Myrrh | Commiphora Myrrha
Myrrh is a gum resin with constituents that are antibacterial and antifungal. We put it in our Diaper Balm salve to relieve persistent diaper rash, often caused by fungal yeast.
Myrrh has been used since ancient times. The Egyptians used it to embalm bodies, and in biblical times it was one of the herbs brought by the Three Wise Men.
Myrrh has exhibited activity against e.coli, staphylococcus, and candida albicans, an overgrowth of which leads to yeast infections. Its antiseptic and disinfectant properties make it a useful wash on cuts, burns and skin infections. Gargle several drops of tincture in water to relieve a sore throat. Use diluted myrrh as a mouth wash or apply the powder on the mucus membranes inside of the mouth to treat mouth sores and thrush. Use a wash or salve on yeast infections and athletes foot.Related products: Diaper Balm
Nettle | Urtica dioica
Nettle leaf is included in More Milk Plus, More Milk Special Blend, and other Motherlove breastfeeding supplements for its exceptional nutritional content, which supports pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is a rich source of iron, calcium, folic acid and many trace minerals.
Nettle has dark green serrated leaves and short hairs that cause burning and blistering when touched. It grows in moist soil usually near streams and ditches.
Nettle is an herb worth using on a regular basis. Even though it stings when fresh, it is an excellent spring green when cooked in teas and meals. It makes a wonderful substitute for spinach in any dish and an excellent lasagna filling. This spring tonic strengthens many body systems. It helps clear up anemia and skin problems, as well as supports the kidney and adrenals. A nettle hair rinse stimulates growth and removes dandruff.Related products: More Milk
Oregon grape | Mahonia aquifolium
Oregon grape root is in our Diaper Balm (formerly Diaper Rash & Thrush) because the yellow root has the alkaloid berberine, which is antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic to clear up a persistent diaper rash.
Oregon grape is a small low-growing shrub with evergreen leaves that turn red in the fall. The holly-like leaflets have prickly edges and grow in pairs. In the spring it produces small yellow flowers that bloom in clusters on terminal spikes. The flowers later turn into purple berries that can be made into jam, jellies or juice.
The root is considered a “blood purifier” and liver tonic, as it stimulates bile production and clears up skin conditions. Also use the root on psoriasis, eczema, boils and wounds.Related products: Diaper Balm
Plantain | Plantago major
Plantain leaf is in our Green Salve and Rhoid Balm for its ability to take out pain and itch from insect bites, hives, skin irritation, and hemorrhoids caused by pregnancy.
Plantain has a rosette of roundish leaves with large veins on short, flattened stems. The seed stalk is leafless. It is often found growing in lawns and gardens.
Eat the spring leaves steamed or in salad. They make a nutritious tea high in potassium that relieves water retention and is soothing to mucus membranes. The leaf is called “nature’s band aid” because it is excellent for healing wounds and drawing out toxins or objects imbedded in the skin such as splinters or glass.Related products: Rhoid Balm
Raspberry leaf | Rubus idaeus
Raspberry leaf is in our More Milk Two. It is safe to use during pregnancy, as well as to support lactation.
Raspberry is a prickly shrub with sharply toothed leaflets. The white, cup-shaped flowers turn into red berries that are delicious fresh or made into jam or syrup.
The leaves contain calcium, magnesium, and iron, and relieve diarrhea and nausea. This is one of the best herbs for women— often used during pregnancy to relieve morning sickness, to strengthen uterine muscles for labor, and to slow bleeding after birth.Related products: More Milk Two
Rose | Rosa
Rose hip seed oil helps prevent scarring and is an ingredient in our Pregnant Belly Oil and Pregnant Belly Salve.
Rose is a familiar flower grown in gardens everywhere for its beauty and wonderful aromatic smell.
Rose petals hydrate the skin and are wonderful to use for a face wash, steams and herbal baths. Put the flower petals on cuts to stop bleeding. Rose hips, the seedpods that form after the bloom falls off, are very high in Vitamin C. Drink rose hip tea to relieve cold symptoms, or puree into a syrup or jelly mixed with applesauce.Related products: Pregnant Belly Oil
Shatavari | Asparagus racemosus
A rejuvenating Ayurvedic tonic, this herb helps to balance the female hormonal system. Known for its phytoestrogen properties, it can help with a variety of female issues including supporting lactation.
Shatavari has small, shiny green, narrow, needle-like leaves. It produces small white flowers and dark purple berries.
An herb native to the Himalayas, it is known as "one who possesses 100 husbands" -- alluding to the belief that it promotes longevity. It is rich in vitamins, calcium, iron, and folic acid. Shatavari is also used for the treatment of ulcerative disorders of the stomach. It nourishes and improves the mucous lining of the female reproductive organs, increases fertility and chances of conception, and prevents threatened miscarriage.Related products: Shatavari Capsules
Uva Ursi | Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Uva Ursi leaf is in our Sitz Bath Spray and Sitz Bath Soak for use after child birth to reduce swelling, hemorrhoids, and slow bleeding.
Uva ursi, also known as “kinnickinnick,” is a low creeping plant with trailing stems that form a mat in dry, conifer forests. It has small, leathery, evergreen leaves, and its pink, urn-shaped flowers produce red berries. These berries are mealy and don’t have much taste, but can be made into jelly, sauce, or a drink with honey.
Uva Ursi is one of the best herbs for clearing up urinary tract infections, but should only be used short term as it is irritating to the mucus membranes of the uterine lining and bladder. The astringent leaves reduce pain and bleeding on a cut. Make a wash for heat rash and hives.Related products: Sitz Bath Soak
Witch hazel | Hamamelis virginiana
Witch hazel leaf is in our Sitz Bath Soak, Sitz Bath Spray and Rhoid Balm. It is an astringent herb that reduces swelling, hemorrhoids, and slows bleeding.
Witch hazel is a shrub or small tree that grows in the rich soils of the eastern part of the United States. The star-shaped leaves become brilliant colors in the fall while the round fruits, which have projections, shoot their seeds several feet as they ripen.
Witch hazel’s leaf and bark contain astringent tannins which stop internal and external bleeding. Internally it stops diarrhea, vaginal discharge and excess menses. Both the bark and leaves are used to treat varicose veins, swelling, bruises and hemorrhoids.Related products: Rhoid Balm
Yarrow | Achillea millefolium
Yarrow leaf and flowers are in our Sitz Bath Spray, Sitz Bath Soak, Rhoid Balm, and Diaper Balm (Formerly Diaper Rash & Thrush) to slow bleeding and soothe chapped or irritated skin.
Yarrow is an aromatic herb that grows in meadows and often planted in garden landscapes. It has alternate, wooly gray-green fern-like leaves, and its tiny, white flowers each have 4-6 ray petals that grow in flat-topped clusters. It is said that the smell repels mosquitoes.
Yarrow tea promotes sweating to reduce a fever. Put the leaves or flowers on wounds or a bloody nose to quickly stop the bleeding. Use a wash on rashes, runny sores, boils, poison ivy, chapped or cracked skin, and hemorrhoids.Related products: Rhoid Balm