Try these natural remedies to help boost breast size, including using fennel, Asian medical systems laud dandelion and saw palmetto for safe breast enhancement.
Read more about herbs to help you stop smoking: Natural Remedies to Help Stop Smoking.
Natural Remedies to Help Boost Breast Size
I am interested in using herbs for breast enhancement. I have tried bulk herbs, such as fennel, fenugreek, wild yam and saw palmetto for this purpose, but I know that many combination products also are available. I read once that all herbs used for this will only give temporary results. I am also wondering about health and safety.
Khalsa responds: This is certainly a personal and sensitive topic. Unfortunately, no matter how much some women would like a safe, effective herbal breast enlargement pill, there just does not seem to be one. To which, a savvy observer might inquire, then why is the market busting out with breast products aplenty? As they say, when there’s a willing buyer, a willing seller will appear.
Breast size is determined by a woman’s genetics and hormonal and nutritional factors during puberty. There is essentially no way to change the size of a mature breast. Breast size will temporarily increase in the presence of estrogen—many women notice this premenstrually—so an assortment of plant hormone-containing herbs have been used to slightly swell breast size, mainly by increasing water retention. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an example, as is fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), which increased mammary weight in an animal study. These changes are at best short-lived, lasting only as long as a woman is actually taking the herbs.
Whether it is safe to take these large amounts of plant hormones for an extended period is anyone’s guess. Traditional medicine systems do not recommend it. For all-around breast health, though, two herbs stand out:
Asian medical systems laud dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) as a breast tissue tonic. Ayurvedic practitioners use it for problems of the breast and mammary glands, and for sore breasts, breast tumors of various types, cysts, suppressed lactation and swollen breast lymph glands. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have used the herb for at least 1,100 years to treat breast cancer, mammary gland inflammation and lack of milk flow. Dandelion also contains natural hormones, but it is not known if these play a role in dandelion’s benefit for breast tissue. Rather than cause estrogen buildup, dandelion seems to normalize hormone ratios through its action on the liver.
Shatavari root (Asparagus racemosus) is taken for general women’s health and it increases milk and sexual function. This herb is said to increase fertility and balance female hormones. It does contain phytoestrogen triterpene saponins, including shatavarin. It is considered to increase intellect, digestion and physical strength.
For the record, the most likely breast size benefits come from a suction system that creates sustained tension and stimulates tissue growth. The disadvantage? To gain one cup size, a woman must wear the contraption for at least 10 hours a day, for a minimum of 10 weeks. This non-drug method is safe, and results are permanent.
Willard responds: Women have posed this question often in our clinic and for the most part, there isn’t much you can do. I have seen patients try most of the products on their own, with minimal results, but there are a few exceptions.
I have seen a few clients gain in breast size while taking oil-based saw palmetto (an herb commonly used for male prostate problems). The timing seems to be specific, in that during middle to late puberty, the use of two capsules of oil-based saw palmetto daily may have some effect. Of course this is hard to tell for sure, but it seems that these young women develop more than other relatives. We only can say this is a trend, as we don’t know what the situation would have been if they hadn’t taken the herb.
There have been scientific studies suggesting that enlargement does happen. Beta-sitosterol, one of the main constituents of saw palmetto, may be responsible for this claim. Studies on mice indicate that beta-sitosterol has an estrogenic activity, including breast enlargement. It should be noted that studies show saw palmetto can reduce female hirsutism (excessive male pattern hair growth). Saw palmetto also is believed to be effective for correcting functional infertility in women and to increase the supply of mother’s milk.
This plant was used historically in the southern United States as a nutrient to increase growth in humans and livestock, suggesting that weight gain might be the reason for any breast enlargement.
I also have noticed saw palmetto can help reduce the loss of firmness and size when a woman stops breastfeeding. It might even be helpful during menopause, but at a more modest level. I am sorry to say that I have not seen the benefits that you are looking for.
Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa has more than 25 years of experience with medicinal herbs. He is a licensed dietitian/nutritionist, massage therapist and board member of the American Herbalists Guild. Khalsa’s book Body Balance is available on our Bookshelf, page 58.
Terry Willard is a clinical herbalist, president of the Canadian Association of Herbal Practitioners and founder of the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is the author of eight books and a CD-ROM, Interactive Herbal.
Please send your questions to Herbs for Health “Q & A,” 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; fax (785) 274-4305; or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Provide your name and full address for verification, although both will be kept confidential.
The information offered in “Q & A” is not intended to be a substitute for advice from your health care provider.