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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Treating Mastitis with Herbs

I remember looking at myself in the mirror and not believing the breasts I saw were actually mine. I was one week postpartum and engorgement doesn’t begin to describe what was taking place in my body. I had begun to run a fever so a trip to the midwife was in order. As I sat on the exam table, I remember the words she spoke as if it were yesterday, “Why don’t you nurse the baby a bit to relieve some of the pressure?”

“I just finished nursing her. This is with the pressure relieved.”

I was given the standard bottle of antibiotics and sent home with instructions to take Tylenol and warm showers for the pain.

Twenty years and seven children later, I have, unfortunately, experienced this scenario several times. However, I have learned through many years of practicing herbal medicine that there are ways to treat mastitis with herbs in the comfort of my own home.

Treating Mastitis with Herbs  - #naturalremedies #nursing #baby

What is Mastitis?

Mastitis is a breast infection localized in the milk ducts. The infection can begin several ways: when breasts are engorged and the milk ducts become clogged, when the immune system is compromised, or when the nipples are cracked and the bacteria or fungi that normally live harmoniously on the skin are able to enter the anaerobic ducts and multiply.

Symptoms of Mastitis

Mastitis usually occurs in the first few weeks of nursing (although it can occur at any time) when the breasts are engorged and the nipples are cracked. A hard knot or lump may appear and the breast may become tender, red and inflamed. This is usually accompanied by fever, chills, and body aches. If the infection is caused by the fungus that causes thrush (Candida), there may be itching around the nipple area and shooting pains throughout the breast.

“The Big Three”

If you feel an infection coming on, there are three big things that you need to do to help combat mastitis whether you are seeking medical treatment or treating mastitis with herbs.

  1. Rest
  2. Drink
  3. Nurse

Ideally, take baby to bed with you and nurse as often as possible. If you are still engorged after feeding, take a warm shower and try to express some of the excess milk. Drink copious amounts of water or herbal teas. And give yourself permission to nap when baby does. You need the extra rest as your body fights the infection.

Treating Mastitis with Herbs

1. Garlic

One of the easiest and most effective herbal remedies is garlic. It can be taken freshly chopped up or in capsule form. Garlic is antimicrobial, so it will help fight infections caused by both bacteria and fungi. Studies have shown that nursing babies actually like the taste of garlic in their mother’s milk and nurse longer when it is present. What a great added benefit!

2. Elderflower, Yarrow, and Peppermint

This combination of herbs is excellent for treating mastitis when there is engorgement or an overabundance of milk. The yarrow is very astringent and helps slow the milk production. For this reason, I only take one or two doses. These herbs will help fight the infection, as well as lower fever helping to relieve body aches and chills. I would take this along with garlic.

This formula is best taken as a tea made of equal parts of the herbs. The heat of the tea will increase the fever reducing action of the herbs.

3. Mastitix

Mastitix is a liquid herbal extraction (glycerite) specially formulated to help fight mastitis. It is made by TriLight Health and contains echinacea, chamomile, red root, baptesia root, boneset, yarrow, elderflower and usnea.

4. Immunostimulants

Anything that boosts the immune system is great for treating mastitis. This would include echinacea, herbs high in vitamin C (rose hips), and probiotics.

5. Adaptogens

If mom is experiencing reoccurring mastitis, there may be underlying immune system compromise. Ashwagandha is a great long-term adaptogenic herb that helps the body deal with stressors (both physical and emotional) and helps to build up the immune system while breastfeeding.

Have you treated mastitis with herbs? Which ones helped you?

Jasmine is a Christian, a wife of 21 years, and a homeschooling mama to 7 breastfed blessings ages 2 months - 19. In her many years of nursing, she has overcome a number of breastfeeding obstacles with the help of herbs. She is excited to share her knowledge of herbal medicine with other breastfeeding mothers. You can learn more about herbal medicine and connect with Jasmine on her blog, The Christian Herbal.


  1. Deniseinark says

    This was wonderful information for the arsenal. 30 years ago, after giving birth at home with a lay midwife, I was given echinacea tincture for mastitis. It was bad, too …feverish, red streaks running up and down my breast; I felt like I had the flu. I put an eye dropper full of tincture in 1/4c of OJ every 2 hours and had relief from the fever and flu-ey feelings before the third dose.


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