Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lactating Red Date Tea 发奶红枣茶

Haha, Yeah, I'm all into anything that gives me more milk. Just anything!!!

This time around I changed my red date tea formula. After reading on the internet about galactagogues, I got to know a common Chinese herb is one of it. It's astragalus root , 黃耆 or  北耆. My mom will sometimes put this into her soups. And then I went searching for 发奶茶 (lactating tea), and got to know another herb that is used, which is Rice Paper Pith, 通草.  It is commonly found in herbal teas that promote urination like "Hui Sap Sui 去湿水".

When I went to the Chinese herbal shop to buy my bulk of herbs, the herbalist asked me why am I buying so much rice paper pith.

He said, "What do you want to  通(toong, meaning unclog) ??

Well, they have never encountered anyone buying 150gm of it. It sounds little, right? But it's so light weight that 150gm is one big plastic bag of it. Almost like the size of a basketball.

I told him, "I want to make 发奶茶 (lactating tea)."

Then to my surprise, the male herbalist said slumberly, "Oh, you want to unclog your breasts!" (Oh, Lei yiu toong nin, in Cantonese).

His female workers' eyes went big (while sheepishly giggling) and so did mine. I never expect him to use such a word. I almost wanted to burst into laughter. There was no sexual tones there, but the words he used was totally unexpected, to be do direct. Much to the surprise of all the women there. He just went on with his work while his workers packed my bulk of herbs. I went back to the car like Santa with his bag. That much of stuff for 1 month's red date tea.

This is the formula I did this time.

Lactating Red Date Tea
Recipe source: Wendyywy

Red Dates        红枣           : 90gm
Black Dates      
黑枣           : 60gm
党参           : 30gm
Dried Longan flesh
龙眼肉  : 30gm
枸杞子       : 20gm
          : 10gm
Rice Paper Pith   
通草        6gm

1. Remove seeds from red and black dates. Rinse dates.
2. Rinse dangshen in water to remove dirt.
3. Give wolfberry, rice paper pith and astragalus a quick rinse.
4. Put everything into a pot together with 4L of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 2 hours.
5. Consume this throughout the day.

If you want to consume this for 20 days, then calculate the amount needed and purchase from Chinese Herbal Shops. For me, I drink this from the day I am discharged until full moon.

Next week,

4 days of Chicken

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday!


  1. As I read on this "......male herbalist said slumberly, "Oh, you want to unclog your breasts!" (Oh, Lei yiu toong nin, in Cantonese)", I was too grinning cheekily to myself!!!
    Just want to say, good for you and good for the baby to have breastmilk. Have a wonderful time with your baby. What is your baby boy's name now?

  2. next time when and if i have another baby, i'll know where to find for ways to get more milk. i was so low on supply; fenugreek oso cannot help. papaya soup also cannot help.i only had red dates drink but did not drink plenty of it.
    congrats on the little bundle of joy! He is now the little King with princesses to help around!!!
    take care.

  3. LOL @ the 'unclogging breasts' comment! I probably couldn't help but giggle.

  4. Wow! Just drink this for a whole month? I only drink the black dates drink for a week and then I surrender lol!

  5. Mel,
    LOL. His name is Reuben, still is.

    Oh, then what did u drink? Rice Tea?


    It's just like drinking leong sui the whole day. But it's not very sweet, so it's bearable.

  6. only red dates...simple. i can't cook and don't know all these stuff. MIL does most of it...very lucky to have her. your roasted chicken looks super yummy too. so plenty different menu for your confinement lah. mine was just drunken chicken soup. papaya soup was with fish, very fishy but just drank it coz want to be a cow, unfortunately did not become a cow. i'll remember you for the next confinement, if any:)


  7. i choked out at what the chinese man said....goodness...! I would have laughed right after i think, it was crude, and a lil embarassing but still rather funny :) u've got a marvellous idea here...i'm thinkin of having another baby just so i can have another confinemt to put all this to practise!! Thanks for bloggin...really :)

  8. Hi wendy,

    jz wonder can this be consume the day we r back from hospital right after labour?
    and can it be consume as plain water like tat for the whole 28 days?

    wondering should i prepare this for my CL or should i prep normal red dates tea like ur other post?


  9. luyi,
    It is drank in place of plain water throughout the confinement. Although you can still drink plain water (that is if your mother or MIL or confinement lady approves of plain water)
    You can prepack the herbs, but I taught my CL to use the digital scale and follow the measurements properly.
    If possible, drink ASAP after delivery, because Chinese believe this is warming.

  10. Hi Wendy, I saw your blog while looking for red dates recipe and found this. I'm gg to deliver soon, so this recipe is really useful for me since I hope I can fully bf my girl. But I hv 1 Q. U mentioned 4L of water and boiled for 2 hrs. Did you boil this in a pot over the gas or slow cooker??

  11. lynniezz,
    Over gas.
    This is not a magical potion for more milk.
    You will still need to breastfeed constantly to establish milk flow.

  12. Thanks!! Yes, i understand that.. and was also adviced the same by the breast feeding consultant during the antenal class i attended. :)

  13. Hi Wendy,

    I just went back to work not long ago and I realise that my supply has dropped so was wondering if I can still drink it to boost my supply and if it's ok to boil it with only red dates, longan, wolfberries & 通草? Or do I need 北耆 for better effects?


  14. June,
    If u're back to work, w/o regular pumping, no herb will be able to help you.
    Don't skip the astragalus, that's the galactagogue. You can skip everything but this.

  15. Oh, I pump 3 times a day when I'm working, and will latch my bb when I'm at hm. Okie, will include 北耆 in the red date tea. Thanks thanks. Hopefully it'll work for me. I've tried fenugreek, sacred tea but no effect on me. Only smell like fenugreek :P

  16. June,
    fenugreek only works early in the pregnancy.
    I have a friend who uses domperidone to increase milk.

  17. Oh, no wonder.. But domperidone is drug, I don't really dare to try :)
    Anyway has prepared your lactating red date tea. Hopefully will work for me, if not then take it as 补身 lor. Kekeke...

  18. June,
    Red date tea is quite heaty.
    If you have headaches or sore throat, stop comsuming.

  19. Okie, noted. Thanks. :D

  20. Hi, I would like to prepare this tea for my coming confinement next month. Can I know if I can throw all the ingredients into a large slow cooker instead? And how long do I brew it for if I use this appliance and what setting (low/high) should I set?

    If I use the gas stove, with 4L of water and slow simmer for 2hours, what L will be left for drinking?

    Also, I notice you use pitted dates? Why is it so?


  21. Hi, I tried weighing out some ingredients that I already have in my fridge (cos when I give birth and CF lady hasnt come, I need my husband to boil the soup instead), I notice amount of dried longans, black dates and wolfberries in your recipe is quite small. Is it meant to be like this? My previous CF lady puts a lot of dried longans the previous time and I followed her. Of course the lesser ingredients needed to make this tea yummy, the better. :)

  22. savvy mummy,
    *1. High settings on slow cooker, 3 hours.
    *2. I never measure my amount after boiling, but it's enough to last me throughout the day, sometimes up until midnight, and that is the CL bringing me a cup every now and then.
    U'll be using slow simmer, not a rolling boil, so evaporation rate won't be that high, except absorption by the herbs.
    *3.If the herbs are of a good quality grade, the tea will be sweet enough. I'm using grade 1 wolfberries, grade 3 dangshen. There is no exact formula for this, everybody will do it differently.
    *4. My CL when she first worked with me, she left the dates whole, the tea was tasteless,all the flavour and nutrients are still inside! I told her to remove the pits, this way the flesh is exposed and the tea is very sweet.
    *5. Pit the dates yourself/herself, don't buy those already pitted. If you want to leave the stones in, the tea will be a lot heatier (chou). If you prefer it this way, smash the dates with a pestle or sides of cleaver to release flavour.

  23. Hi, thank you so much for your detailed reply. :)

  24. I used your red dates tea recipe, and I could express much more compared with my first birth. My CL was surprise why I added the rice paper pith. And was asking where I got the recipe. When I told her from your blog, she was like, "what? Trustable?". After a few days, seeing my BM improve and more, she slowly, believe.


  25. Lavinia,
    I'm glad it's of help, but constant latching and pumping does help too.

  26. Hi, you mentioned about pitting/smashing the red dates. Do I do that for the black dates too? Thanks.

  27. savvy mummy,
    for all dates.
    smash and leave the pit it if u want it more heaty as in "chou"
    remove the pit if you want it milder

  28. Can mommy continue to drink the lactating red date tea after her confinement period to boost BM supply?

  29. Eunice,
    It can be drunk until you feel heaty. All the herbs can be quite heaty when drunk everyday consistently if you're not in confinement.
    It's not a magical potion.

  30. Hi Wendy, when can I start drinking this if I had a c sec instead of natural birth? Will it cause more bleeding? Thanks ;)

  31. D,
    The herbs here does not work like ginseng or dang gui, of which are very potent and can cause bleeding. These 2 herbs have to be abstained until the 12th day.
    The herbs in this drink are mild herbs.
    For me, personal view.. can be taken even if have C-sec.

  32. Tandem nursing and power pumping also help me to increase BM supply. Most important is we should not be stress during pumping.

  33. Hi Wendy,

    Thanks to your sharing. My family asking me how I know this !! :)
    I had purchase the amount which can be used up for my whole confinement. As I want to prepare it in advance, can I just measure everything & pack each of them together as total in 30 packs ? This can be consume immediately after delivery , right ?

    Again thank so much for sharing this !!


  34. CP,
    sure, pack them up. You can drink right after delivery too, as a warming drink.

  35. Can you give estimated count for each ingredient? I don't have a scale.

  36. Emily,
    It's been almost 4 years ago. I never count any of them. Sorry, maybe you can borrow a scale from your friend.

  37. Hi wendy,
    Can i omit the black dates coz really dont like the taste of it. Will it still give me the same result if i omit it.

  38. Jenny,
    Some of them taste smoky, and I don't like it too. Not all do, get a good one, go to a shop that sells those that doesn't smell smoky.
    The dates are for nutrients mostly, omitting some should be ok, I'm not a herbalist, so I'm just guessing.
    The rice paper pith and astragalus are for increasing milk purposes.

  39. hi wendy, would like to know all these ingredients can purchased at any sensei shop right? and the black dates is it similar with the dates we normally consume during fasting month? would like to try this recipe.

    1. Farah,
      Yes, you can print out the Chinese names and show it to the herbalist. The dates here are not the same as kurma for breaking fast. The black dates here are from China.

  40. Hi Wendy, just purchased all the items except the rice paper pith. and i didn't know dang shen is expensive! will give it a try and i will update you the result :-) thanks again wendy.

  41. Farah,
    There are many grades of dangshen. I used Grade 3, of which is slightly thinner than my pinkie. Grade 2 and grade 1 will be very very expensive.

  42. hi wendy.. 1st and foremost.. love ur blog... great info..very detailed and seriously helpful.. 2ndly.. i know it's been a while, but can u recall how much roughly is the price for the ingredients u used? thank u in advance.


  43. Tania,
    It depends on the grade of herbs used. Cheap ones can be under RM100 for all, and expensive ones can run to RM500-1k.
    I used around RM300, I think.

  44. Hi!
    I won't be hiring a confinement lady so I'm figuring out how I should go about preparing the drinks etc for myself.

    If I make the tea in the morning and then leave it on the stove without the fire, do I have to reheat when I want to drink it? Or can I just drink it at room temperature?

    Also, the amount you've stated can last the whole day ya?

  45. Hi!
    Didn't realize that I commented as anonymous.

    Anyway, would like to check, if I were to make the tea in the morning, do I have to reheat it when I want to drink it throughout the day? Or it's okay to have it at room temperature?

  46. Rann,
    In our hot tropical weather, I just left it on the counter top and had it at room temperature. It can last you the whole day long. But you can have it warm if you like, or get a thermal pot and keep the tea in it. As you wish.

  47. Hi wendy, it's 2017 but I hope u dont mind to answer my Q.. do u prepare the tea for certain period (maybe a motnth)or do u boil once per day?

  48. One more Q... does above recipe is per serving or daily serving (day & night)

  49. Siti di alam fantasi,
    We boil this once a day, and drink it throughout the day, in place of plain water.
    The recipe is for one day's amount. If you can drink more , then add more water. Anyway, it's not a fixed recipe, different people will have different measurements, and older folks will just campak and masak.
    For post partum, we usually drink this for a month, but you can extend it if you like. But if you start to feel headache or heaty, then stop it. This is considered a 'warm' drink.

  50. Hi Wendy. Just came across your blog in one of my fb group.kind of outdated too. Just wondering if I can make this in slow cooker instead of on stove?

  51. Hi Wendy,

    I am alr 19mpp but would like to increase supply. Does this red date tea with rice paper pith take effect after a day drink (like a booster) or we need to continuously drink it daily for maybe 2 weeks or so then the effect will kick in?


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