Cancer of the breast, mastitis, breast tumors, breast infection while nursing, sore nipples.

Herbal Aids:

Cancer of the Breast (poultice): See formula using poke root and bayberry. [SNH p.62]

Breast Tumors: Use the expressed juice of cleavers herb mixed with linseed meal, and apply to the breast; take 1 teaspoonful of the juice while fasting in the morning. [SNH p.268]

Mullein & Lobelia: Dr. Christopher's Glandular Fromula:  Through the accumulation of toxic waste in the body from improper diet, poor blood stream and sluggish circulation of the blood system the glands become congested and infected, and swell up to cause much pain and misery. (There are glands that swell on the neck, breast, groin, under arm pits, etc.) Make a tea of three parts mullein and one part lobelia herb and use as a fomentation over swollen or malfunctioning glands. Leave on all night (covering fomentation with plastic), six days a week until relief is obtained. Use a fresh fomentation as warm as possible each night. This can be used as an aid to help relieve mastitis, thyroid malfunction, etc., etc. In addition to the external fomentation, also drink a cup of this tea two or three times in a day or take two of the capsules or tablets with a cup of steam-distilled water. [SNH p.187]

Breast Infection When Nursing: Some women use a hot compress of parsley herb, but this can cut down the supply of milk. A hot compress of comfrey leaves, or of marshmallow roots are excellent; the latter is especially good to draw out poisons and infection. Echinacea and garlic can help up an infection; take these internally. My midwife has suggested that a calcium imbalance in the system can cause breast infection; instead of taking calcium tablets, take Dr. Christopher's Calc formula, which consists of four parts comfrey root, six parts horsetail grass, three parts oat straw and one part of lobelia. This can be taken in tea, tablets, or capsules. Take lots of liquids, take hot baths, and be sure to get plenty of rest. Many breast infections result from an exhausted mother. Vitamin C-rich foods, such as rose hip tea or, my favorite, hot lemon toddy, which you make by squeezing the juice of one lemon into hot water and adding honey to taste, can help heal you up. [EWH p.85]

Sore Nipples When Nursing: If your nipples get sore, you can rub on pure lanolin, available at pharmacies. You can sun your breasts briefly, but be careful, because the tissue is tender and sensitive. Honey, comfrey ointment, wheat germ oil, and aloe vera leaf can all be applied, although you should be careful to wash off the honey, as no infant should take raw honey which causes infant botulism, and to remove the aloe vera, because it is very bitter. [EWH p.85]

Poke: It is a dependable herb to treat breast swelling, from which so many women suffer following childbirth, making nursing impossible. Dr. Kloss described this use. He said to grind fine the fresh root and roll this out into a poultice to cover the breast completely, cutting out a hole for the nipple. Using a piece of cheesecloth or other thin (cotton) material to cover the breast, apply and once daily moisten the poultice with Poke root tea made fresh each time. Do this for three days, each time putting on a fresh poultice. You can continue the treatment for fifteen days which should pull little sores filled with pus. In some weeks, he said, the hardness should leave the breast although we consider that it works much faster in many cases (Klo:298). This same treatment has worked wonders in cases of breast cancer. [UW-Poke]

Calcium for Mastitis: We have also noted, in the problem of mastitis, that a calcium deficiency in the body is sometimes a cause. A midwife informed us of this and said that if we would saturate the body with a good quality calcium supplement such as the Herbal Calcium or perhaps Dr. Christopher's eggshell formula, using Vitamin C and blood-cleansing herbs to eliminate infection, we would quickly get over any breast infections. Dr. Christopher made his eggshell formula by covering clean eggshells, with their inner lining removed, with apple-cider vinegar allowing this to set for several days. He then strained it and combined it with honey and water for a pleasant source of good calcium. [UW-Poke]

Poke Root: It has been recommended for other women's ailments. Sore nipples and breast tenderness during the menstrual period will be remedied by the use of Poke root. [UW-Poke]

Squaw Vine for Sore Nipples: The berries are highly recommended to treat sore nipples. The crushed berries are added to tincture of myrrh for a highly potent cure (Cly:113). Another method is to make a strong decoction of two ounces of the herb, fresh if possible, with a pint of water, then strain and add as much good cream as there is liquid of the decoction. Boil the whole down to the consistence of a soft salve and when cool, anoint the nipple with it every time the child is removed from the breast (Felk:1274). Olive oil is sometimes substituted for the cream. [UW-Squaw Vine]
Gathering of Breasts, Tumors, Sores (poultice): See formula using ground ivy, camomile flowers and yarrow. [SNH p.161]

Sore Breasts: Apply a comfrey poultice of the fresh, bruised leaves. It relieves pain in an hour. [SNH p.310]


1. Mullein & Lobelia for Dr. Christopher's Daughter: Dr. Christopher's daughter, Ruth, told the story of nursing her baby during a hot night, so she left the window open. A cold breeze came in during the night, and since she had not covered up very well, the cold air blowing on her gave her a cold in the breast. It was very hard and sore, to the point that she could hardly nurse the baby. She tried until she felt like screaming. She called her dad, then about eighty miles away, who came with the mullein/lobelia fomentation [Mullein & Lobelia]. She made it up and covered her breast with it, as hot as she could stand it, and put some plastic over it and then a towel. By morning she was nursing the baby again, with no pain and no more hardness. [EWH p.85]

2. To Start Breast Milk for Adoptive Mother: One blizzardy day, this lady came into the office, wearing a purple robe with a white fur collar on it. She shook the snow off and was admitted to Dr. Christopher's office. She threw back the robe, and there she had in her arms, at her breast nursing, a beautiful little Navajo baby. She was so blonde that the contrast was amazing. She said she took the baby and put it to her breast, and it started nursing right off. She had taken the blessed thistle tea a few days before the baby was received. Although she had adopted three other Indian children, she felt very close to this one and felt it was a part of her because it was receiving her own milk. [EWH p.91]

3. Mastitis: A woman in Roy, Utah, had mastitis; she was a nursing mother. Her breast was double its regular size, with red streaks. Anyone experiencing mastitis knows that it is terribly painful, and accompanying symptoms resemble flu. A mastitis fever is really uncomfortable. Her baby had nursed from the other side, but the mother couldn't let it get near the inflamed breast, which sometimes can relieve the pain and swelling if possible. The baby was crying from hunger; the mother was crying from pain; what misery for the two of them! The Doctor made a fomentation of three parts of Mullein and one part of lobelia. Plastic was put over the fomentation, and the mother was told to drink half a cup of the tea each half hour until time to sleep, then a half cup each hour the next day if needed, which the Doctor did not think would be necessary.

The next morning she called Dr. Christopher, happy to tell him that the swelling was all gone, as well as the soreness and flu symptoms, and the baby was nursing happily again on that side. [UW-Mullein]

See Also:

Herbal Calcium Formula: Dr. Christopher's Calcium Formula
Mullein & Lobelia: Dr. Christopher's Glandular Fromula

"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"