A new study from researchers in China suggests that the traditional Chinese remedy Zengru Gao may make it easier for new mothers to breastfeed exclusively, apparently by increasing their milk supply.
The study, which was published at the website for BMC Complementary and Alterative Medicine, was not particularly well done–and the researchers behind it acknowledge that fact. They did not, for example, use a placebo or double blind the study volunteers. (A placebo mimicking Zengru Gao’s color and taste doesn’t exist, they claim.)
All the new mothers, regardless of whether they used the remedy or went without it, received extensive counseling about the benefits of nursing. That in itself may have influenced the moms in the remedy group, researchers admit.
But despite the study’s obvious limitations, the scientists behind it say that their work still proves that Zengru Gao is helpful. There was, they say, a small decrease in how much supplemental formula the newborns needed in the first few days and a significant drop in supplemental feeding when measured on days 3 and, especially, 7.
Only one woman dropped out of the study due to an adverse event apparently caused by the herbal remedy.
What Is Zengru Gao?
Zengru Gao is a traditional Chinese herbal remedy made up of 8 herbs, all of which have long histories of use as galactogogues:
- Semen Vaccariae
- Medulla Tetrapanacis
- Radix Rehmanniae Praeparata
- Radix Angelicae Sinensis
- Radix Paeoniae Alba
- Rhizoma Chuanxiong
- Herba Leonuri
- Radix Trichosanthis
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