Barley Water to Increase Breastmilk Supply

In Hilary Jacobson ‘s Mother Food for Breastfeeding Mothers, [tag]barley-water[/tag] is used to help mothers with chronic low milk supply.

Taken for a week or two, mother can increase their [tag]milk supply[/tag] naturally. Make a pot in the morning and drink it throughout the day, warming each cup and sweetening it with a natural sweetener as desired.

[tag]Barley-water[/tag] can be made with whole grain or pearl barley. Barley flakes can also be used, though these have been processed and are possibly less potent than the whole or pearled grain.


  • Quick-and-easy: 1/2 cup of flakes or pearled barley can be simmered in 1 quart of water for twenty minutes.
  • Long-and-intensive: 1 cup of whole or pearled barley is simmered in 3 quarts of water for up to 2 hours. About half the liquid should cook off. Some recipes call for only 1/2 hour cooking time. However, the longer the barley simmers and the more pinkish (and slimier) the water becomes, the more of the ‘cream’ will enter the water and the stronger the medicinal effect will be.
  • If the barley water becomes too thick to drink comfortably, add in more water.
  • When finished, remove from the stove and sieve off the water. The grain is now tasteless and can be thrown out.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of [tag]fennel powder[/tag] or steep 2 – 3 teaspoons of fennel seeds for ten minutes in the barley-water before drinking.
  • The [tag]traditional recipe[/tag] calls for fennel seed, but powdered fenugreek seed can also be used.



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