Land of Milk & Honey Nursing Chai
OK, I know, long name. But, oh, is it worth it and the name is very important to exactly what this tea means. Wow, I am in love with this blend. I love blending teas – but I don’t always LOVE the blends to just sit down and sip comfortably. There are refreshing blends, there are soothing blends, medicinal, not so tasty helpful blends, spicey, digestive, simply herbal… But there is something extra special about chai. This is a sit down, curl up, and aaaaahhhhhhhh kind of a tea. And that was the whole intention. Much of breastfeeding is the fearless, common, is what it is, biological normalness perspective that comes from being relaxed and comfortable with breastfeeding in general. This blend not only provides that comfort, but also nourishing nutrients that build the supply.
If you’re looking for a classic chai, this is not it. No, my momma friends, this is so much more. This is a put in a capped coffee mug kind of chai while you curl up and nurse your baby all. day. long. cup. after. cup. kind of chai. OK, so I love it. The lovely thing about loving tea blends is we don’t always have to agree – but you need to try this!
Many nursing teas are filled with basics of herbs that specifically boost milk supply. Wonderful, yes. Tasty? Eh? Debatable. However, if you know my perspective, you know that I believe in the power of supply and demand first and foremost. You have to get rid of those pacifiers, artificial nipples, and limitations on nursing. You need to be with your baby skin to skin and holding them all day. There are, however, times when a little extra help is, well, helpful. After a sickness or if you were separated from your baby. If you have a hard time responding to a pump or manual expression and you need a little boost. But, this tea blend goes a little further. This tea blends nutrients with comfort. This is a fill a coffee mug up kind of tea. This is more about the experience than the actual tea – and you’ll see a little bit more of why in just a moment. Let’s take a look!
Red Raspberry Leaf – This is your classic tea for the childbearing years. Nutritional for all, it really helps to tone muscle like the uterus. It is packed full of nutrients, which are very important for a healthy milk (and blood) supply. This is the biggest difference from a classic chai, which would normally use a black tea. Though not as strong in flavor, we’re looking for a totally caffeine-free and nutritional powerhouse for this blend.
Nettle – This is a very powerful nutrient boosting herb. It also helps with allergies and cleansing the blood. It is an excellent natural source of calcium, iron, and many other dish-approved nutrients. Aside from not putting baby to the breast enough, many moms are simply not eating enough for the energy needed to produce breastmilk.
Cardamom – A must in a classic chai. Cardomom is excellent for the digestive system, as are most commonly used ayurvedic herbs.
Fenugreek – A warming, sweet, maple-like flavor (often used as “artificial” maple flavoring in many foods/candies) that has the ability to boost milk supply while also wonderful for the digestive system and mucilaginous which benefits the nerves and milk supply. This is commonly prescribed for low milk supply.
Fennel – Another must in a classic chai; fennel is also soothing to the digestive system. Many complications of the body are kidney and digestive related. Healing these areas help us to eliminate toxins more effectively. Fennel is nutritive and boosting to the milk supply and often found in mother’s milk tea blends.
Oat Straw – This herb does many things for us in this blend. Not only does it have milk boosting properties, it is very nutritious, and most of all soothing to the nerves. Every mom needs help soothing their nerves, especially when there are concerns with breastfeeding. The mucilaginous and fibrous properties help to boost the milk supply as well.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon is all around flavorful and beneficial to the circulation and immune system. It is warming, soothing, and also helpful to reduce risks of hemorrhage, which is lovely during the lochia weeks. Cassia or Sweet Cinnamon can be used.
Ginger – A wonderful herb to increase blood, and milk, flow. Very warming, amazing for the digestive and immune system. It is often used as a general galactagogue food (inducing lactation).
Turmeric - This herb has many known medicinal benefits for overall health and healing the liver. Healing our body and being nutritionally healthy is a very important part of the health supply.
Cloves – Another warming herb beneficial to overall health, digestion, and the immune system. Warming herbs are very classic to eastern cultures where the circle of ingesting and expelling nutrients is highly valued.
Stevia leaf can be added for a sweet blend with various nutrients. However, what I highly recommend is adding a bit of raw honey and – stay with me here – manually expressing your breastmilk and using it as a creamer for a lovely Land of Milk and Honey Chai that has your whole self involved relaxing as your milk flows like a fountain. If you just can’t bring yourself to do this – even when knowing that manually expressing tells your body to increase milk production – then just a little honey and creamy coconut milk (or a French vanilla coconut creamer) makes an oh so yummy treat. Black pepper and cocoa makes a lovely spicy addition that is incredibly warming.
This is seriously a coffee replacement, especially if you’re into flavored blends. Add a heaping tablespoon to 2 cups of water and bring to a slow simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steep until it’s just barely too hot, strain, and enjoy. If you’re adding milk and/or honey, add it right at the end just to blend it up and let it steep together before straining.
My blend is $3.50/oz. – and discounted for large quantities. I make this as ordered, so it takes me a bit to get the ingredients and send it to you. Feel free to play with the herbs and come up with your own nursing chai blend! Add your favorite black tea if you want a little caffeine and serve it to your hubs… don’t worry, he won’t start lactating. 😉 Though, I suppose if he did want to share nursing duties, this would be a great start - it is possible.
Keep in mind, some of these herbs are not intended for regular use in pregnancy. Always be contentious of the choices you're making!