Moringa Leaf Soup for Breastfeeding Mothers
Updated: Dec 22, 2019
Breastfeeding mothers are often told to take supplements to help with milk production. While recent studies are out on these “galactagogues” for centuries many cultures have offered nursing mothers medicinal foods to help with milk production. A common thread between many of these dishes is that many are broth-based dishes. Which makes sense since breastfeeding women need a lot of fluid, 3.1 L to be exact which is just over 12 cups. I don’t know about you, but I would gladly gulp away 4 cups of that fluid requirement in the form of a yummy, soothing soup.
In the Philippines, this chicken-based soup includes the addition of Moringa leaf which is said to help produce breastmilk. I have talked to a lot of Filipina women about how much and how often to offer this soup, and the resounding message is that they were made this soup and similar dishes every day by their mother or mother-in-law after birth for a few weeks. In a small study were new mothers were given a Moringa leaf supplement, more milk was produced by mothers on day 5 than on day 3 taking the supplement. So it seems like you have to consume it regularly to have an impact of breast milk production.
4-6 chicken thighs or drumsticks, skin removed
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Two 2” pieces fresh ginger, peeled
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2” spears
3 potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth, no salt added preferred
Green vegetable: 2 zucchini cut into 2” spears or 2 cups green beans or baby bok choy or spinach leaves
1 package (about 250-300 grams) frozen moringa leaves, drained (see pic)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, boil the chicken in 4 cups of water for about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot.
To the chicken broth, add onion, one piece of ginger and garlic. Let boil for about 10 minutes. For a smoother soup, blend this mixture until smooth. Otherwise, leave chunky.
Add the chicken broth to the pot and the carrots. Boil for 5 minutes then add the potatoes.
Meanwhile, shred the chicken off of the bone. Once the potatoes are soft, add back in the chicken, green vegetable of choice and the moringa leaves.Cook for 5-10 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.
Grate the remaining ginger.
Season the soup to you taste with salt and pepper and grated ginger.
Serve with cooked rice.
Note: This soup can easily be made vegetarian by using some hearty mushrooms in the stock rather than chicken pieces. The chicken stock can be replaced with vegetarian stock.