Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: central valley, California
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I agree that teas are helpful to improve and maintain hydration. However, the amount of active ingredient you get in teas can be extremely variable, depending on the age of the herb, how well it was prepared/stored, and how long you steep the herbs for. If you're preparing teas, remember that for medicinal use, you'll want to steep most (not all - some become bitter) herbs for longer than usual. You can make an infusion by steeping the herbs in a quart of water overnight. Some seeds need to be ground first, and some bitter herbs you might want to steep separately for a shorter time. Sheila Humphrey's Nursing Mother's Herbal has several galactogogue blends, with steeping time.
Some herbalists like tinctures better because the active amount can be more carefully controlled. Some active ingredients are more readily distributed or maintain their potency longer as an alcohol-based tincture (but some moms want to avoid even the small amount of alcohol in such a tincture; look for glycerin-based if this is true for you). Dried herbs in capules can have variable quality; you might want to talk to a herbalist to choose a reputable brand, or try another brand if one isn't working.
Honestly, the "best" way to take these herbs is probably the way you'll be most consistent. If steeping a tea takes too long, or is too messy, or you don't like the taste so don't drink plenty, then consider tinctures or capsules. Some moms like the surity of taking a tincture or capsule (1 dropperful 3 times a day, or 3 capsules 3 times a day, or whatever).