Use Sage for Drying Up Breast Milk

Edited by Geraldin Carniyan, Lynn, Marian Raquel F. Roncesvalles, Maria Quinney and 5 others

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Sage (Salvia officinalis) is an herb that has medicinal and culinary uses. It has a number of various health benefits that some of us are not aware of - yet.

While there are many ways of maintaining your supply of breast milk, there are many moms out there who've successfully weaned their babies, and need to dry up their breast milk. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of this medicinal plant for mothers who want to stop the lactation process. Reasons you want to stop the lactation process include:

  • You're getting ready to return to work after a maternity leave.
  • You've decided not to nurse your baby.
  • You're ready to stop nursing.
  • Your baby has weaned him/herself.
  • Sadly, you've lost a baby and your milk has come in anyway.
  • You've discovered you're pregnant, again, and you need to stop lactation, to focus on the health of the baby inside.

Regardless of the reasons, when you are finished nursing and your milk it taking too long to dry up, Sage may be the perfect, healthy, non-invasive way to deal with it. Taking sage can dry up your milk within the next seven days. Below are three methods on how it can be taken.

Making Sage Tea

To make a sage tea (infusion), boil 1 quart of water and add eight teaspoons of sage leaves (either dried or fresh). Simmer - covered for

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45 minutes to make sure the juice has been extracted. Strain. Add honey to taste. Instead of adding honey, you could add some of your juice to dilute and taste. If you'd rather drink this tea cold, put the honey in while it's hot and store in fridge up to 24 hours.

Taking Dried Sage Leaves

Dried pulverized or powdered sage can be added to a small amount of food and swallowed. You can add a few leaves on your favorite sandwiches and biscuits.

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Eating three or more leaves is advisable. It's easier to take this way if you aren't fussy on the taste. This is also convenient if you don't have the time to boil water and extract the juice out of the sage leaves. It takes way less time to just put in you favorite sandwich or meal.

Taking/Making Sage Tincture

A tincture is a concoction made from putting herbs into alcohol, giving the alcohol time to draw out the properties of the herb/s. You end up with a very potent remedy taken in very small amounts. It's recommended that mothers who are drying their milk take two

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to three droppers of sage tincture daily. In potency, this is equivalent to one cup of tea. Sage tinctures are readily available at health food stores, organic shops, even the pharmacy; however, you can also make your own homemade tincture by following the procedure below.

What You'll Need

  1. 1
    Fresh or dried sage leaves.
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  2. 2
    Your choice of vodka or brandy.
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  3. 3
    A clear jar to contain the mixture.
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  4. 4
    Pen, paper and tape to make a label - a stick-on label would be best.
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  1. 1
    Add sage leaves to the clean jar until ¾ of the jar is filled with leaves
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  2. 2
    Pour the vodka or brandy over the leaves until they are covered with the alcohol.
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  3. 3
    Put the lid on the jar - tightly.
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  4. 4
    Label the jar to make sure you know what's in it.
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  5. 5
    Put the jar in an area that gets direct sunlight
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  6. 6
    Leave it in place for two to three weeks.
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  7. 7
    Shake the jar once a day to make sure that the mixture gets stronger
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  8. 8
    Strain the mixture through a strainer or cheesecloth into a glass container
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  9. 9
    If you are putting the tincture into a small bottle with an eyedropper, you may have to transfer the tincture to this small bottle when needed, from the glass container
    To do this, you might want to use a funnel.
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  10. 10
    You now have a homemade sage tincture for a fraction of the usual cost.
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Tips Tricks & Warnings

  • If you're hesitant to take sage leaves to dry up your milk, consult you doctor for advice.
  • The shelf life of Sage Tea/Infusion is short. It's recommended you don't keep it longer than 24 hours.
  • The shelf life of Sage Tincture is way longer due to the alcohol content, is 3-5 years, perhaps more.

A teapot with an infuser, will allow you to steep herbal teas (the herbs go into a glass or plastic insert, and pour without having to strain.

  • Vegetable glycerine is used to make non-alcohol tinctures.
  • An extract is different from a tincture. These two terms seem to confuse people. Extract, is drawing out the healing properties of herbs without using alcohol, but using a fruit juice or apple cider vinegar instead.

For best results you should use fresh, organic ingredients whenever possible. It will still help, but not be as effective.

Questions and Answers

Will sage in dressing dry up breast milk?

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Sage dressing can lower production of milk supply, but not to the extent of drying up breast milk. The amount used for cooking, such as for sage dressing in turkey or consuming sage tea is not enough to dry up breast milk, although it can definitely hamper production. Sage, together with menthol, rosemary, peppermint, thyme, spearmint, lemon balm, and parsley, are the common therapeutic and culinary herbs used for weaning by lactating mothers. These are classified as anti-lactogenic or herbal agents that can decrease or dry up milk production, but can be safely consumed in moderate amounts with minimal to no side effects. In fact, parsley and thyme, when taken in small amounts, can even aid in milk production because of their rich mineral and vitamin content. Sage can also be used by mothers who want to manage and control excessive milk production, which can result in fever, pain, and breast inflammation.

Other foods and beverages (and even supplements) that can potentially impair breast milk production, include coffee, orange juice, carbonated beverages, apples, avocados, cucumbers, bananas, tomatoes, chocolate, vitamin C and B6 supplements, and green tea. Physical reactions to varied herbal ingredients and food items vary from one lactating mother to another. Some can exhibit adverse loss or decline of milk production, while others who show minimal changes in the volume of breast milk. If you intend to wean your baby, then drinking herbal teas such as sage tea is considerably safe and effective for mothers, but if you are still nursing your baby, eliminate or reduce the consumption of foods or beverages that contain herbal ingredients like sage, or are known to slowdown lactation.

Is sage tea safe for breast milk?

Sage tea is known to dry up breast milk, so, if you're still nursing your baby, and intend to continue doing so for some time, avoid sage, and certainly don't drink sage tea, or take sage tinctures.

Fresh sage tea recipe for drying up milk?

To make a sage tea for drying up breast milk, you will need 8 teaspoons of fresh sage leaves (about thirty leaves), and a quart of water.

Boil the leaves for five minutes, and then cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Strain. You can drink it with a teaspoon of honey to make it sweet.

How to take sage extract for drying breast milk?

To take sage extract, you will need two to three droppers full, which is available from the pharmacy. You can also make your own tincture, but it will take about 3 weeks to make.

An extract is different from a tincture. These two terms seem to confuse people. Where a "Tincture" is made using alcohol to drawn out the healing properties of herbs, an "Extract", is drawing out the healing properties of herbs without using alcohol, but by using a fruit juice or apple cider vinegar instead.

How often should I drink sage tea? How many hours apart?

I am trying to stop my breast milk production.

You can drink the sage tea up to 6 times a day depending on how fast you want to dry up your production. Every 3-4 hours consume the tea.

Need to stop my milk production fast? How? How long? Thanks.

I have a lot of milk and I'm trying to wean my 15 month-old baby, but he latches all night and nurses like 4 times a day I need to stop now! I become very engorged if I don't put nurse him. What's the fastest way to do it? With sage? And how long?

The fastest way is indeed with sage. You can take a teaspoon of the spice three times a day or drink sage tea. In my personal experience, the sage tea began working in the first few hours and within two days I was dry with no engorgement. For relief during the process, use cold cabbage leaves in your bra. It actually does work to reduce the swelling, but you will smell like coleslaw for a while.

I am looking for ways to dry up my breast milk?

I am looking for something to help to dry up my breast milk in hopes to have my almost 2 year old stop nursing.

The sage methods above will dry up your breast milk. Mixing dried sage into jasmine tea is highly effective.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Sage Usage & Benefits

Recent edits by: Doug Collins, Eng, Yessyt78

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