‘Mast’ is the abbreviation for one of the medical terms for breast, and ‘itis’ means the inflammation of. Mastitis presents as an area of redness, heat, pain and tension. There may be associated streaks as the inflammation travels along the lymphatic vessels to the lymph glands in the armpit . If left untreated, this may lead to an abscess.

Mastitis more commonly occurs during lactation and a breast duct becomes clogged, but it may occur away from breast-feeding when the cause is either trauma or, more commonly, an infection that has tracked up from the openings in the nipple. Mastitis is rarely a presentation of cancer.


Apply hot and cold compresses to the area.

Place cabbage leaves from the fridge or freezer, over the inflamed area.

Gently massage in an Arnica-containing cream.

Do not massage too hard or frequently because this may increase inflammation.

Consult your homeopathic manual and consider remedies such as Belladonna, Hepar sulphuris calcarium, Apis and Bryonia. Phytolacca is a master remedy if the mastitis is associated with a lump or lumps.

Phytolacca – one teaspoonful in a mugful of water, simmered for 15min and taken three times a day or l/2 ml of the tincture with water three times a day – is worth trying before an antibiotic is taken.

Persistence or any associated nipple discharge other than breast milk should be brought to the attention of your GP. If you are breast-feeding, express the milk from the affected breast but do not feed it to the child. readily available in healthfood stores made up in a pint of water, simmered for 20min and a cupful drunk when cool is a worthwhile concoction.

The homeopathic remedies Bryonia, Phytolacca, Silica and Calcarea carbonica should all be reviewed.


Painful breasts are not uncommon leading up to a period. All the advice given in the section on mastitis can be utilized.