A neglected Mayan galactagogue - ixbut (Euphorbia lancifolia)

J Ethnopharmacol. 1982 Jan;5(1):91-112. doi: 10.1016/0378-8741(82)90024-1.


A herbal tea, made of leaves of ixbut (Euphorbia lancifolia Schlecht.), has been used for several centuries by postpartum Mayan women in Guatemala to stimulate and increase the flow of mother's milk. Ixbut, when mixed with cattle fodder, is reputed to have increased milk yields in cows. To date, the active principle of ixbut has never been isolated. However, this medicinal herb, a natural galactagogue of Central American origin, would appear to be worthy of further chemical and pharmacological study. The following illustrated article describes the history and use of ixbut, and includes chromatographic analyses of dried ixbut leaves from Guatemala.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Central America
  • Female
  • Galactorrhea / chemically induced*
  • Guatemala
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Lactation / drug effects*
  • Lactation Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmacognosy
  • Phytotherapy / history*
  • Pregnancy