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There may be a lot of things going through your head in regard to your postnatal recovery phase, one of them being your health and with it comes the postpartum meals. You may consider adding a bunch of herbs into your daily confinement meal recipes, but how do you find the right and best confinement herbal package?
If you are not familiar with herbs in the first place, it can be easy to be at a loss and need help knowing where to begin. In actuality, there are a lot of common herbs that you can easily find within one stop at the next-door herbal store. With that, here are the five best herbs that will greatly help you in your postnatal journey!
5 Herbs To Boost Recovery
Jujube, also known as Chinese red dates, normally comes in three forms, namely fresh, dried, and sweetened. You can have the fresh ones that carry strong Vitamin C punch, but dried jujubes are more commonly found in soup and congee. Jujube contains plenty of potassium and other minerals, which are essential for the replenishment of electrolytes after childbirth.
Jujube, paired with several other herbs, is often prepared as a nourishing tea to replenish the necessary nutrients and revitalise the blood that you have lost during delivery. This would be extremely great for a postpartum, post-surgery, or even post-menstruation mother as you will continue to discharge lochia (a mix of blood, mucus, and tissues from the uterus) after giving birth. After all, jujube tea is pretty much the ultimate confinement beverage!
This is a particularly famous ingredient among new mothers who are healing from childbirth as it carries the heaty properties mothers seek in their foods. Most moms prefer to stay in the warm to avoid catching a chill or getting ‘wind’, which are believed to cause bloating and weakened joints. For that very reason, moms widely favoured ginger, as we are sure you would agree, too.
The best thing about ginger is that it is recognised as a galactagogue. If you are unfamiliar with the term, galactagogues are the types of food or drugs that can promote or stimulate breast milk production. This means that consuming this herb can, to some extent, ease you in nursing your newborn. While the results vary from one mother to another, the hint of delicious spicy or peppery flavour sure makes ginger worth giving it a try!
The name says it all! Known to help in improving heart health, motherwort is pretty much unbeatable as a cardiovascular tonic that can help improve and maintain a new mother’s health. Rather than being good only for a new mother, this herb is also mainly known to be one of the essentials for all women.
Motherwort acts as a uterine tonic believed to regulate menstruation. After carrying your baby for months and now having to rest in bed most of the time, there may be inadequate circulation around your pelvis. This herb can help improve blood flow, thus reducing any discomfort or cramps caused by it.
We’ve briefly mentioned the jujube tea or the red date longan tea just now. Red dates and longan are like a match made in heaven for this drink. The drink is complete with both. Mothers are generally advised to consume this during confinement, whether to increase fluid intake or promote birth recovery internally.
Not only acts as a natural sweetener, longan contains minerals like iron, magnesium, and potassium. Its fresh form also contains a rich amount of Vitamin C, which is equal to 80% of the daily requirement. With its antioxidant properties, Vitamin C can greatly help in the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues – basically revitalising your body’s damaged skin cells.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, longan helps to tonify the blood. It is also believed to provide a calming effect, thus helpful in promoting better sleep in mothers.
5) Goji Berries
A herb packed with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants are mainly consumed for their immune-boosting qualities and ability to fight inflammation.
Goji berry also contains large amounts of vitamin A, which is essential in promoting healthy skin by reducing skin irritation and managing the impacts of the sun and ageing. Most importantly, based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, goji berry can improve your emotional state and treat anxiety, which eventually promotes a better night’s sleep.
We hope this list will greatly help you in planning your traditional Chinese confinement food recipes. If you want to avoid going through the hassle of meticulously preparing confinement meals and herbal remedies, leave it to the hands of the experts with plenty of knowledge and cooking skills. This way, you will not have to stick to only one or two cooking styles to add in the herbs. Check out Tian Wei Signature confinement meals!
5 Recipes To Boost Lactation
Papayas are known to have a lactogenic effect, which will assist mothers to increase their milk supply after consumption. Green papayas are even more lactogenic, they will be able to increase the production of oxytocin, which is the hormone that regulates the milk production of mothers who are nursing. Now, onto the recipe! We apologise for starting off with a salad, but we promise this one will be delicious!
Green Papaya Salad
- Green papaya, shredded
- 1 carrot, sliced or shredded
- 1 cucumber, sliced or shredded
- Mint leaves, chopped
- 4 tbsp of sunflower seeds (or other seed of your choice)
- (⅓) cup rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp of maple syrup or brown sugar
- 1 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 or 2 chilli peppers, sliced
- Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Mix the green papaya, carrot, cucumber, mint leaves, and sunflower seeds in a larger bowl.
- Pour in the dressing and mix evenly so the dressing will coat everything.
Credit: Healthy Nibbles
Garlic is believed to be galactagogue and has been encouraged to be consumed by mothers who are looking to breastfeed. It has been used as an herbal treatment to increase the milk supply of mothers in lactation. The baby had been observed to stay at the breast longer, which led to an increase in the milk supply of mothers.
You can add garlic to pretty much any meal you are having, but in case you truly like the raw taste of garlic, here’s one recipe we believe you would really love. Plus, as we have mentioned above, this would possibly be the easiest recipe you will find for each food, so here goes!
- Olive oil
- Seasonings like salt and pepper
- Peel the outermost layers of the garlic, leaving only the skin closest to the cloves
- While still intact, chop off the tops of the garlic heads.
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil at the opening and rub in evenly. Sprinkle your seasoning(s) of choice
- Wrap each garlic with tin foil and bake at around 200°C for approximately half an hour, depending on how soft you would like your garlic to be.
- To eat, carefully use a fork to remove the skin and take out the garlic.
Credit: Simply Recipes
Did you know carrots were initially grown as medicine? Yes, back then, they were used for ailments first before being the tasty food that they are known as today. That should tell you enough about the extensive health benefits they could give you. It is known to be beneficial in supporting good eye health and vision.
Carrots are also an excellent source of vitamin A, which supports your immune function and, at the same time, increases the vitamin A content in your breast milk.
- Seasonings like salt and black pepper powder
- 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice (optional)
- 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup
- A bit of lemon zest (optional)
- 1 tsp of minced parsley (optional)
- Peel the carrots and cut them into bite-sized slicers or fingers
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt
- Throw the carrot pieces into the pot and cook until they are tender but not too soft
- Once done, drain the carrot pieces and set them aside
- Heat a pan of butter, lemon juice, and pure maple syrup to make the sauce
- Once the sauce starts to bubble, add the carrot pieces
- Stir until all the carrots are evenly glazed, for approximately 5 minutes
- Season the carrots with salt and black pepper and continue stirring for a bit more
- Serve with lemon zest and parsley. Enjoy!
Credit: Jessica Gavin
We know you’re not surprised to see the nutritious oats here! This tasty, versatile food is a cure for many conditions like indigestion and high cholesterol levels. Some moms are more susceptible to experiencing postpartum constipation, so taking care of it early after childbirth is wise. Oats are also rich in antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits that could help to hasten your postpartum recovery.
There are hundreds of different ways to prepare a meal with oats, so you won’t run out of ways to prepare your oatmeal! What’s not to love about them?
- Half a cup of rolled oats
- 1 cup of water/milk (your preference)
- Sea salt
- Toppings of choice (banana, sugar-free whipped cream, homemade chocolate sprinkles, etc.)
- In a pot, add oats and milk/water over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Let it cook for about 5 to 7 minutes while occasionally stirring.
- You may serve it when the oatmeal is at the texture and consistency that you like.
- Additional step: Add your topping of choice!
Credit: Eating Bird Food
Salmon is well-known as loaded with DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), which is essential to the development of your baby’s nervous system. Having salmon while breastfeeding will increase the level of DHA in the milk supply and improve the baby’s behaviour, attention and learning. DHA in salmon also helps with the mother’s mood after delivery and reduces the risk of postnatal depression.
Honey Garlic Salmon
- Salmon fillet
- 1 tsp of paprika
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 tbsp of honey
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of squeezed lemon juice
- Seasonings like salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven on medium heat.
- Season your salmon and set aside.
- Heat butter in a pan over medium to high heat, and add in garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Pour in honey, 1 tablespoon of water, and soy sauce.
- Stir and let them mix evenly, and add in lemon juice. Continue to mix.
- Add the salmon to the sauce and cook each side for about 3 to 4 minutes. Season if desired, and baste the salmon occasionally.
- Transfer to your oven to broil or grill and leave it for approximately 5 minutes.
- You may stop when you see the skin is nicely charred or the salmon is cooked to your liking.
Credit: Cafe Delites
Adding this simply because we can’t have enough tasty milk boosters! Sweet potato is rich in beta carotene and fibre, and beta carotene is known to boost the milk supply. Magnesium in sweet potato also helps in breast muscle relaxation for mothers.
Roasted sweet potato
- Sweet potato
- Seasonings like salt and pepper
- Sour cream
- Parmesan cheese (totally optional!)
- Pierce whole sweet potatoes at different spots a few times.
- Place it in the microwave on medium-high heat; depending on your potato’s size, you may need longer. A medium to big size would require more than 7 minutes. Turn your potatoes every 2 to 4 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, cut them into halves. Carefully cut them into smaller squares without completely cutting them all the way through (think mango cubes that are still stuck to the skin).
- Place thin butter slices between some of the squares. Season and sprinkle some parmesan as well.
- Broil them over medium heat for about 10 minutes, depending on how crispy or soft you like your sweet potatoes.
- Top your potatoes with chives, a bit more Parmesan cheese, and sour cream. Best serve when hot!
Credit: Layers of Happiness
We hope our tips for boosting your lactation will help you and other moms in need to create an incredible lactation journey.
All in all, we are always more than happy to be able to help many moms through our breastfeeding-friendly confinement meals. Go through our full menu to see what other milk-boosting foods are in it for you!