8 natural remedies to treat mastitis

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

Anyone who has experienced mastitis knows just how uncomfortable and painful it can be. Those who haven’t experienced it, don’t want to! Mastitis usually occurs due to a blocked milk duct, which then gets inflamed and can even become infected. If you notice any pain, swelling or discomfort in your breast, it is important to start treatment immediately, to prevent it turning into a full-blown infection. Try these natural remedies:

1. Apply heat

Applying a heat pack or a warm cloth to the affected breast can help to soothe the pain. Heat also encourages circulation to the area, improving blood flow and encouraging immune cells to invade the breast, helping to prevent against infection. Massaging the breast will also help to improve circulation and milk flow.

2. Garlic

Garlic does a lot more for you than make your meals taste delicious. Garlic is a natural antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial substance the helps to strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation and fight infection. Crushing or chopping raw garlic cloves releases the active substance allicin, which has the most potent immune-boosting properties.

3. Sleep

As you sleep, your immune system replenishes and rebuilds itself, preparing itself to fight against infection. Lack of sleep can weaken the immune system and make you more prone to infection. Make sure that you’re getting plenty of rest to keep your immune system strong.

4. Brazil nuts

Brazil nuts are a good source of the mineral selenium. Selenium is a potent anti-infective agent, which helps to reduce inflammation in the body, and support the immune system. If you have problems with your immune system, you may need higher amounts of selenium than can be obtained through foods.

5. Fresh juice

When you juice fresh vegetables and fruit, it concentrates all the wonderful vitamins, minerals, living enzymes and antioxidants that help to keep your immune system nice and strong. Citrus fruits in particular are high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which are important for rebuilding immune cells and fighting inflammation.

6. Cabbage leaves

Applying raw green cabbage leaves to the breasts can be very cooling and soothing for those who are suffering mastitis. Refrigerate the cabbage leaves and insert them into your bra, changing every few hours to sooth and heal the nipples.

7. Feed regularly

If the milk is not flowing regularly through the milk ducts, pressure builds up and they can become blocked. Ensure that you feed regularly from the affected breast to unblock the milk ducts. Rubbing your own breast milk on your nipples can also help to prevent and treat infection as there are natural infection-fighting and healing properties in the milk.

8. Get some sun

Sunshine is a good source of vitamin D. This vitamin is fantastic for your immune system, keeping it strong and healthy. Getting 15 minutes of sunshine per day, between the hours of 10am and 3pm may help to build up your vitamin D levels to keep you healthy. Vitamin D is best absorbed through the skin on your face, chest and arms. Some people don’t manufacture vitamin D from sunshine adequately, and may require supplementation.

For immune strengthening juice recipes, see Dr Cabot’s book Raw Juices Can Save Your Life.

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