Lana Farson, M.S., L.Ac., Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Stop lactation herb to promote weaning

dried-Mai-Ya30-60 grams dried sprouted barley (Germinatus hordei).   Also called  ‘Chao Mai Ya’.

2 cups cold water

Directions: Stir-fry dried barley sprouts in a dry, hot wok for 2-3 minutes, constantly moving around the sprouts with a wooden spoon so they do not burn.  While this step is important, it can be done well ahead of time (days, weeks, months) and stir-fried sprouts can be stored out of the sun in a mason jar with a lid.

In a small pot, soak 30 grams ‘stir-fried’ sprouted barley along with 2 cups water for 20 minutes to soften the herb and begin the release of chinese herb potits medicinal qualities.

(Note:  the type of pot you use is important! Ceramic Asian herb pots are preferred. Glass pots that can go on the stove work well.  A ‘Le Creuset’ pot is also workable.   For a simple recipe like this, a stainless steel pot is okay but not the best for making repeated or complex herbal brews.)

Bring barley and water to a boil with lid on.  Once boil is achieved, reduce to a high simmer and cook for 25 mintues.  Strain into a glass mason jar with cheesecloth covering the opening of the jar. Drink 1/2 – 3/4 cup of the warm liquid at various time over the next 24 hour period.

This recipe is useful for women who want to wean their child, as it will encourage the milk to dry up naturally.  One batch can be cooked daily for drinking.  This can be repeated up to 1-3 weeks as needed.  Depending on the results obtained from 30 grams, you can decide whether or not you should use more barley the next time.  For example, you can use 45 grams for your 2nd batch and compare the difference.  60 grams is stronger and necessary in some cases.


  1. Dominica Obannion says:

    Chinese herbs are great because most of them are really helpful on our body and they can treat some diseases. ..

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  2. Masha says:

    Hi Lana,
    Thank you for the helpful directions on Mai Ya, your post is virtually the only place in English on the web that has complete directions (not just dosage). Can you say if tea made from granules or powder, instead of the whole roasted barley grains, are is to use as well? The dosage is usually pretty clear (i.e. if powder is 5x then I would use 6g instead of 30g whole grain, etc). I’m in Oakland, CA and having a hard time finding Chinese herb shop that has Mai Ya in a form besides granules or tinctures, and that’s also what’s available online. Here’s one I’m thinking about:

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