15 Home Remedies for Mastitis

Home Remedies for Mastitis

It is well known that mother’s milk is the very best nutrition for your baby, but when the pain and swelling of mastitis takes over, it becomes very discouraging to continue those feedings. With plenty of knowledge of the most effective home remedies for mastitis, you can overcome this difficulty and get right back to feeding your baby in no time.

Keep in mind that these home remedies can help relieve the symptoms of mastitis without the effects of damaging antibiotics, but be sure to consult with a healthcare professional if you are seeing no improvement or symptoms worsen within a few days.

What is Mastitis? 

Simply put, mastitis is when you have a clogged milk duct in your breast. Your breast has hundreds of milk ducts that help to produce and release the milk for your little one. When a blockage develops, you are in the early stages of mastitis. 

This clogged milk duct can do one of two things. It can unclog itself naturally, or with home remedies, or it can develop into an infection. If it develops into a serious infection, then your doctor may have to prescribe you medicine to help you get over mastitis.

What Causes Mastitis? 

Mastitis is the result of a clogged milk duct. But how does a clogged milk duct happen in the first place? One of the main reasons why you might get a clogged milk duct is because you are not nursing your baby enough. When you breasts become engorged and filled with milk, you either need to nurse or pump in order to help release the milk. If you do nothing, then the milk will accumulate and clog up a milk duct. The more you let this happen, the more likely you will get mastitis. 

How Do You Know If You Have Mastitis?

You will be able to find out whether or not you have mastitis right away. For starters, you will feel the pain of a sore spot on one part of your breast. Typically, you will not get mastitis on both breasts. Instead, you will technically get it on one breast and it is usually the one that you are pumping or nursing from less often. 

The pain will often be accompanied by a red spot on your breast. When you push on the affected area, you will feel soreness and tenderness there. The severity of the pain is directly related to the severity of the infection. When you feel mastitis coming on, it is imperative that you deal with it right away so that it does not become further inflamed. 

Sometimes, if you let the infection go on without being treated, then it will often be accompanied by chills and a fever. The chills and fever will typically last a day or so, but they will return unless you deal with the infection. 

You Have Mastitis, Now What? 

So you have mastitis, what do you do now? Well, the good news is many instances of mastitis can be dealt with right at home. There are plenty of home remedies you can try out to help ease some of the pain. With proper and prompt remedies, you can get rid of mastitis entirely and keep it from coming back. With that being said, let’s dive into our list of the best home remedies for dealing with mastitis.

1. Garlic

When it comes to the treatment of mastitis at home, you might not think of garlic as being one of the options. However, there are plenty of health benefits of garlic which you can take advantage of. It has natural antibiotic properties that are able to eliminate the bacteria causing the infection and boost immunity to a faster recovery.

What to do:

  • Thoroughly chews and swallow 2 cloves of raw garlic on an empty stomach in the morning.
  • If that is a little hard for you to take, mix 1/2 tsp of garlic powder into room temperature juice or water.
  • Consume this daily or take a garlic supplement as directed by a health care professional.

2. Echinacea


Another immune-boosting herb among the best home remedies for mastitis is Echinacea. Not only does Echinacea support your immune system, but its flavonoids also contain antibiotic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits.

What to do:

  • Purchase prepared Echinacea root tincture, or make your own and keep it on hand.
  • Massage the tincture into the affected area.
  • Repeat this 4 to 5 times daily.
  • Be sure to cleanse the area thoroughly before feeding your baby.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar will also bring relief to mastitis. ACV helps to fight infection and keep it from spreading with its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, ACV gives your body an immunity and energy boost to help you fight through the condition.

What to do:

  • Mix 1 part raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with 2 parts of warm water.
  • Soak a cotton ball or gauze pad in the solution, and then apply it to the affected area.
  • Allow the cotton ball or gauze pad to stay in place for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 times daily until the infection is gone.

4. Vitamin C

Among the most effective home remedies for mastitis involves the consumption of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to heal damaged tissue in the affected area and also helps your body fight of the infection by giving your immune system a major boost.

What to do:

  • You can take a vitamin C supplement according to the direction of a health care professional.
  • A better solution is to increase the consumption of foods that are rich in vitamin C on a daily basis.
  • Foods that should be included are oranges, limes, lemons, kiwis, guavas, papaya, strawberries, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and parsley.

5. Aloe Vera

aloe vera gel and leaves with spoon on board

The soothing properties of aloe vera can bring some quick relief to mastitis as well. Aloe vera contains compounds that not only relieve pain, but they are also quite effective at healing damaged tissue in the affected area.

What to do:

  • Extract the gel from an aloe vera shoot.
  • Massage the freshly extracted gel into the affected area.
  • Allow the gel to dry on its own before rinsing it off with warm water.
  • Repeat this remedy several times a day for a few days.

6. Calendula

Another soothing herbal solution for mastitis is calendula. Calendula is very effective at taking care of two major symptoms of mastitis; tenderness and inflammation. It also contains the necessary antibacterial properties to help fight off the infection.

What to do:

  • Create a paste by mashing equal amounts of calendula flowers and comfrey leaves.
  • Warm the paste slightly before applying it to the affected area.
  • Leave the paste in place for 15 minutes before cleaning the area thoroughly.
  • Apply this remedy 2 to 3 times daily.

7. Fenugreek

Fenugreek is another of the home remedies for mastitis that you need to keep in mind. Not only do the flavonoids in fenugreek fight infection and reduce inflammation, but it is also known to stimulate milk production.

What to do:

  • Soak 4 Tbsp of fenugreek overnight in a glass of water.
  • The following morning, grind the moist seeds into a paste.
  • Place the paste on a clean cloth and warm it just a bit in the microwave.
  • Place the warm compress on the affected area and leave it in place until it cools.
  • Repeat this remedy 2 to 3 times daily, being sure to cleanse the area thoroughly before feeding your baby.

8. Cabbage Leaves

A traditional home remedy for mastitis, which has been passed down for generations, includes cabbage leaves. The sulfur compounds in cabbage leaves help to sooth the inflammation while they fight the infection. Cabbage leaves also provide relief from engorgement and clogged ducts.

What to do:

  • Refrigerate several cabbage leaves in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  • Place a cold cabbage leaf over the affected area and leave it in place until it warms.
  • Repeat the process two or three more times with cool leaves.
  • Repeat this remedy 3 times daily.

9. Hot and Cold Compresses

The treatment of mastitis can be greatly improved through both hot and cold compresses. Cold compresses help to relieve pain and swelling, while hot compresses help to improve blood circulation and clear blockages.

What to do:

  • Wrap a hot water bottle in a warm towel and have it ready beside you.
  • Also, prepare a cold compress by wrapping a few ice cubes in a second thin towel.
  • First, place the hot compress on the affected area for 15 minutes.
  • Replace the hot compress with the cold compress for 5 minutes.
  • Alternate 2 to 3 times per session.
  • Use this remedy several times daily.

10. Massage

Massage is also one of the most beneficial home remedies for mastitis. Massage helps to unblock plugged milk ducts, while also increasing blood circulation to help to relieve swelling.

What to do:

  • Using massage oil, made from olive or coconut oil with or without added essential oils, as lubrication, massage the affected breast from the outside inward in small circles, increasing pressure slightly over the infected area.
  • Be sure to cleanse the oil from the breast before feeding your baby.
  • Repeat this remedy several times daily.

11. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is also effective at bringing relief to mastitis. Well known as an antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic, this oil is very effective at eliminating the cause of the infection. In addition, pain and swelling is also relieved by this oil.

What to do:

  • Add 3 to 4 drops of tea tree oil to 1 Tbsp of coconut or olive oil.
  • Use this oil as a massage oil, following the direction of the remedy above.

12. Oregano Oil

oregano oil in bottle

Another powerful essential oil that has plenty of potential to relieve the symptoms of mastitis is oregano oil. The antibacterial properties of oregano essential oil are one of the more potent antibiotics available.

What to do:

  • Put 2 drops of oregano oil in 1 tsp of raw honey and mix it well.
  • Take the mixture by mouth twice daily.
  • You can also use oregano oil in place of tea tree oil in the remedy above.

13. Potatoes

You will be surprised to learn that potatoes are also among the home remedies for mastitis. Potatoes contain enzymes that reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation. In addition, potatoes contain vitamin C to help fight off the infection.

What to do:

  • Slice a potato into thin slices and soak them in water for 20 minutes.
  • Place the wet potatoes over the affected area and leave them in place for 15 minutes.
  • Discard the old slice and apply a new one. Repeat this for an hour.
  • After one hour, repeat the process again.
  • Utilize this remedy 2 to 3 times daily.

14. Saline Rinse

Salt is also effective at bringing relief to mastitis. A saline solution can help to reduce the bacteria around the nipple as well as decrease pain and swelling. It can be used as both a treatment and prevention for mastitis.

What to do:

  • After nursing, soak your nipples in a mixture of ½ tsp of salt to 8 oz. of warm water.
  • Repeat this following nursing every time.

15. Honey

honey syrup

A final item among the best home remedies for mastitis is honey. Honey contains compounds that inhibit the production and spread of microorganisms and is especially effective against staph and other bacterial infections.

What to do:

  • Spread raw, organic or manuka honey over the affected area and allow it to dry in place.
  • After 20 to 30 minutes, cleanse the honey from the area thoroughly, because raw honey can cause botulism in children less than 1 year of age.
  • Repeat this remedy several times daily.


Your baby needs the balanced nutrition that your breast milk provides in order to develop properly. Avoid being discouraged and keep on feeding your baby while making use of one or more of these home remedies for mastitis. Be sure to include questions, comments and success stories from the use of home remedies in the section below.

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