Mastitis Remedies

Oct 24, 2016

Treatment of mastitis ranges from topical compresses to oral supplements and focus on naturally relieving pain and inflammation. Often when warm compresses and massage are not enough to treat the condition, regular doses of natural substances can safely and effectively relieve the issue.

What is Mastitis?

Most common in women who are breast-feeding, mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue. The condition is typically characterized by breast pain, inflammation, heat and redness in the breast. Additional symptoms may include fever and chills.

Generally, mastitis is caused by one of two conditions – a blocked milk duct or bacteria in the breast. If the breast is not emptied completely during an infant’s feeding, one of the milk ducts may become clogged, back up and result in infection. Likewise, bacteria from the skin may enter the ducts through a lesion in the skin of the nipple or milk duct.

Natural Treatments for Infection in the Breast

Clogged milk ducts can commonly be treated by applying warm compresses or massaging the affected tissue. However, in some cases, more direct treatment may be necessary. Other natural treatments of mastitis include apple cider vinegar, garlic and ginger.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, heralded for centuries for its healthful benefits, possesses specific antibiotic properties. When taken regularly, these properties cleanse the body of toxins. Specifically for treating mastitis, though, the tonic is able to eradicate infection and purify the tissues of bacteria.

Garlic

Garlic is an antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal compound. As such, it clears the infection associated with mastitis and supports the immune system. A regular dose is 2-5 raw cloves per day.

Ginger

Ginger can be taken orally or applied topically to treat infection of the breast tissue. Used medicinally for over 2,000 years, ginger is often used for pain, inflammation and infection. As such, ginger can eliminate both the inflammation and the infection associated with mastitis. A compress of ginger tea applied to the affected area is equally as effective as drinking ginger tea or taking a ginger supplement.

While mastitis occurs in breast-feeding women most often, individuals who are not breast-feeding can also develop the condition. In any case, though, natural remedies such as apple cider vinegar, garlic and ginger can eliminate the infection and treat inflammation.



Apple Cider Vinegar  

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Posted by Adam's Mom (Atlanta, Ga) on 05/07/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Yea! I am breastfeeding my third child and recognized the symptoms of mastitis. The whole top side of my right breast was a hard lump and no amount of massage or hot compresses made a difference. I nursed him on that breast until he was unable to get any more milk, but the top of my breast remained engorged and hard.

I got on earth clinic and sure enough ACV was listed as one of the cures. I took 1 tablespoon of organic ACV and put my son back on that breast to nurse 5 mins later. I did switch positions to the football hold; the milk began to flow and my breast began to soften instantly. I couldn't believe it. I've just finished feeding, baby is asleep with a full tummy and I have no symptoms! My breast is soft with no hard lumps! You've gotta love ACV!


Posted by Wendy (Boise, Idaho) on 07/15/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Apple Cider Vinegar cured my mastitis. My mom has used Apple Cider Vinegar for years and when I was getting the symptoms of mastitis - she told me to take Apple Cider Vinegar. Within 24 hours of taking it all the symptoms were gone. I didn't even have to go to the doctor and get put on antibiotics. I took 1 tablespoon of ACV 3x a day.


Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda  

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Posted by Tanya (Townsville, Queensland, Australia) on 01/27/2010
5 out of 5 stars

1 Tblspn Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with 1/2 Tblspn Bi Carb Soda 3x per day cured my Mastitis overnight. Mastitis is a condition I go and get antibiotics ASAP for. I googled bi carb for inflammation and found Earth Clinic. I tried the ACV and bicarb remedy straight away and by the morning, the sorness, redness and congestion in my breast tissue was halved. My fever and flu-like symptoms did not advance and I progressively felt better over the following 2 days as I continued to take the remedy. Three days later, I am more than cured - I feel the best I have in a very long time and will continue to take this daily. No anti-biotics needed!

Replied by Diane
Duluth, Mn
02/06/2010

Tanya

Are you sure you have your instructions right? I have a feeling you may have meant 1/2 tsp. Bi carb. I tried it because I just got over a breast infection and it was awful tasting. I have been doing Teds lime/bi carb remedy which balances PH so your body can fight infection (an so much more). Also, after having 8 children and battling mastitis the fastest cure for me is to take a hot bath and go to bed and keep the inflamed side empty by letting baby suckle that side first. Diane

Replied by Holly
Jackson, Al
10/24/2016

Do you mix it with water and drink it or apply it to breast?

EC: The poster drank it.


Apple Cider Vinegar, Garlic  

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Posted by Cateyeblink (Melbourne, Victoria Australia) on 12/07/2009
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ACV and Garlic for Mastitis and General Breastfeeding Health.

I'm still happily feeding my 7month old son. I've been following a strict(ish) Weston A. Price diet and since the second time I got mastitis I've been drinking a generous splash of ACV and a teaspoon of stevia liquid (natural herb sweetener) in a large glass of (fluoride-free) water every evening, occasionally twice, thirst depending. It's delicious, refreshing and mastitis hasn't occurred since.

To originally treat the mastitis I ate little pieces of organic garlic. I cut about ten bits in to the size of my little fingernail and just chomped and swallowed. I felt so horrid from the pain and oncoming fever I didn't care that I'd possibly stink for a day or so, and I read online somewhere that it really worked, so I had faith the taste could be dealt with. WAAAAY better than hardcore antibiotics! : )

I went to bed early both times, and fed my baby lying down. My fever was gone the next few hours and the pain by the following morning. I can't recommend this highly enough.


Castor Oil  

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Posted by Allie (Vancouver, Bc, Canada) on 12/04/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Castor oil compresses for mastitis

I had mastitis when my daughter was 3 weeks old, and it was so bad I went to emergency and had IV antibiotics, then had to be on oral antibiotics for 10 days. I was right out of commission for a few days because it caused a migraine headache as well. My midwife told me that if it came back I should try putting castor oil on a rag (I used paper towels) and then hold hot wet compresses (I used washcloths) over it. I did that when it threatened to come back about 5 weeks later, and I think it staved it off - I didn't need to get antibiotics that time. Still had a high fever, but the infection wasn't nearly as bad.


Chaga Mushroom  

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Posted by Theresa (Columbus, Ga) on 05/26/2016
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I had a frequent and recurrent plugged duct. I tried all the tricks recommended online to relieve it but nothing helped until I decided to put chaga mushroom cream on my affected breast before going to bed one night. I put it all over my breast, sparing the nipple. The cream helps tremendously with the inflammation and pain. I have used it three times for a plugged duct and every time, the duct is unplugged by morning.


Essential Oils  

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Posted by Ky Mama (Clinton, Ky, Usa) on 07/30/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I have had terrible mastitis a couple of times with my most recent baby. I made an oil up with 2 oz. Olive oil, 1 T. Eucalyptus oil, 1 T. Peppermint oil. (adding 1 T. Castor oil would be good if you have it, it is a good analgesic. ) I massage this into the affected area after each nursing. (Avoid contact with eyes and mouth. ) Don't apply it right before nursing, it will bother baby's eyes and mouth. This helps better than anything! Charcoal poultices or cabbage leaves are good for overnight. (Don't use cabbage leaves if you have trouble with your milk supply; it can dry up your milk.)


Garlic  

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Posted by Mommy V (Washington, D. C., Usa) on 04/27/2011
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I battled chronic overproduction, plugged ducts, and mastitis while nursing both of my boys. Before learning about garlic, I frequently suffered for weeks with swelling, pain, redness, and spiking fevers. I could barely stand the pain of a shirt, and couldn't leave the house. Garlic has worked wonders for me. At the FIRST SIGN of soreness, I crush and swallow one clove of garlic with a glass of water. Then I head straight to bed. (Mastitis is a sign that mommy needs rest! ) I eat one crushed clove, three times a day until symptoms subside (usually within 24-48 hours), and then I usually eat one a day for a few more days just to be sure. Since using garlic, I have never had a bout that kept me from working or going about my usual business.


Ginger  

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Posted by Khitbar (Philadelphia, Pa) on 01/22/2011
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I was diagnosed with mastitis and wasn't about to take any chemical medications. So luckily I read somewhere on this sight that Apple Cider Vinegar would help. Unfortunately for me it didn't work, so I tried soaked ginger. As it is good for joint pain and cracking, so I decided I might as well give it a try. Drank a glass ful Before bed. During the middle of the night I woke up to nurse my baby and with the will of GOD I had no inflamation at all and didn't feel a thing. So it only took about a couple of hours to rid of the inflamation.


Pineapple  

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Posted by Shannon (New Castle, Pa) on 08/13/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I have six children and anytime I start to get a clogged duct, I eat pineapple. It can be fresh, my preference, or canned. I generally have a fresh pineapple but keep a can in my pantry at all times, just in case. It generally works by the next time my babies need to nurse....the longest it ever took was up to 24 hours for the pain to be completely gone. I would say I eat about 1/4 of a whole pineapple. I would love to hear feedback from people who have tried this! I feel like it is amazing!!


Poke Root Tincture  

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Posted by Ohr (Nc) on 06/20/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I have cured chronic mastitis more than 8xs with tincture of poke root...

***Caution poke root can be very dangerous!!

I topically applied (but make sure baby will not ingest) or took 1-2 drops a day! Works Every time!!! Every time I just begin to feel the inflammation coming, I take one drop and it goes away! I use it for 3-4 days to make sure it's gone afterward... And generally stop drinking coffee and eating sugars during the first symptoms until 3 days...

Replied by Elaine
Edmond, Oklahoma, Usa
08/10/2015

How do you make the tincture? Do you apply on the breast or do you ingest it?

Replied by Mama To Many
Tennessee
08/11/2015
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

Two herbalists for whom I have much respect, discuss the use of poke root for certain ailments. It is something I would consider using with great caution and care.

I can give you a recipe for Poke Root Tincture, but it takes six weeks to make and if you have mastitis now, that would take too long. Plus you need to harvest the root in the fall....

I do not know of a reputable source for Poke Root tincture. Likely because it can be dangerous, companies are not willing to sell it. Because it is such a strong remedy and potentially dangerous, I would not get it from a source unless I was very confident about it.

The author of this post is suggesting taking it internally and using it topically for mastitis. If using it topically, you would still use a tiny amount and make sure the baby would not get any at all, even in a tiny quantity. One drop of poke root tincture is the internal dose, so it is very, very strong.

If I were to have poke root tincture in my house, it would be in a very safe place. Most herbal/natural things that I use are so safe I can leave them accessible. Not so with poke! An over dose could be very serious or fatal. And when a beginning dose is one drop...well, you see what I mean.

I have a great respect for poke and it is something I would consider using for a serious condition.

For mastitis, I would try something else first. I have had much success with many different mastitis remedies over the years. (I nursed 9 babies for a year or more each and have had my share of mastitis! )

Warm compresses, peppermint essential oil, mullein/lobelia salve, cabbage poultices, charcoal poultices....

~Mama to Many~