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Table 3 Top ten most commonly used herbal medicines during breastfeeding (in descending order of popularity)

From: The use of herbal medicines during breastfeeding: a population-based survey in Western Australia

Common name of herbal medicine Binomial/scientific name n (%) reporting use of this herb n (% of specific herb users) who believed the herb helped Reasons for use (% of specific herb users)
Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum 56 (18.4) 44 (78.6) Increase breast milk supply (98.2)
Boost immune system during cold (1.8)
Ginger Zingiber officinale 36 (11.8) 17 (47.2) General health enhancement, tradition (65.7)
Relief of “winds” and “air” (22.9), Others (11.4)
Dong quai Angelica sinensis 24 (7.9) 10 (41.7) General health enhancement (90.9)
Others (9.1)
Chamomile Matricaria chamomilla 22 (7.2) 13 (59.1) Calming and relaxation, stress (86.4)
Others (13.6)
Garlic Allium sativum 20 (6.6) 7 (35.0) Boost immune system during cold (38.9)
General health enhancement, tradition (50.0)
Antifungal (5.6)
Improve blood circulation (5.6)
Blessed thistle Cnicus benedictus 18 (5.9) 15 (83.3) Increase breast milk supply (100.0)
Cranberry Vaccinium macrocarpon 15 (4.9) 6 (40.0) Urinary tract infections/bladder health (76.9)
Others (23.1)
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare 15 (4.9) 10 (66.7) Increase breast milk supply (80.0)
Relieve of colic (13.3)
Energy, restore iron levels from blood loss (6.7)
Aloe vera Aloe vera 10 (3.3) 2 (20.0) Detox (n = 6)
Aids digestion, intestinal health (n = 1)
General health enhancement (n = 1)
Sunburn, cooling effect (n = 1)
Peppermint Mentha piperita 10 (3.3) 7 (70.0) Calming and relaxation (n = 6)
     Relieve of bloating (n = 2), Others (n = 2)