Mastitis? Try [Mega Doses of] Vitamin C

Mastitis. If you’ve ever nursed an infant, you have probably experienced the misery that comes with mastitis.

If you think you’ve come down with mastitis (check symptoms here) you should always contact your health care professional. Mastitis is caused by common bacteria found on normal skin and usually clears up quickly once treated. Left untreated however, it could lead to serious problems.

Antibiotics are the standard route of treatment for mastitis. However, if your health care professional gives you permission to treat mastitis at home, this is a remedy that has worked for me.

photo credit

My dear mother-in-law (who has eleven children!) had to get on amoxicillin so many times for mastitis that she built up a tolerance to it and the amoxicillin no longer helped the mastitis at all. She was prescribed another antibiotic, but was allergic to it.

She decided to try Vitamin C. Megadoses of it.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that these vitamins dissolve in water and are passed quickly through your body. Your body does not store them like it stores fat-soluble vitamins. This is both good and bad. Your body needs to be constantly replenished with these vitamins since it doesn’t store them, but it also means overdosing on Vitamin C is much harder. Harder, but still possible.

If you are taking large quantities, you should be drinking lots and lots of water to pass the vitamins through your body and prevent stomach upset and diarrhea (common signs of overdoing the Vitamin C.) Also, don’t continue for days on large doses of Vitamin C since it could cause problems with kidney stones or too much iron absorption.

When I came down with mastitis after Daisy was born, I received permission to stay at home and try Vitamin C for one evening. I was sore and achy all over and just plain miserable. The last thing I felt like doing was get out of bed to go to the hospital.

I took a 10-12 pills, downed multiple glasses of water and juice and rested. A couple hours later, I was already feeling a little better. I took another 8-10 pills, drank lots more and went to bed.

Vitamin C worked! The next morning I felt back to normal. (Well, as back to normal as one feels, five days after giving birth!)

I took two megadoses [8-10 pills] of Vitamin C, downed multiple glasses of water and juice, went to bed and in the morning felt almost completely better.

Now, if I feel like I might be coming down with mastitis, I take a megadose of Vitamin C, drink several glasses of water and try to get to sleep as early as possible. So far it has worked every time for me!

Disclaimer: This worked for me. However, always check with your healthcare professional. Although Vitamin C is generally considered safe, there are some conditions where Vitamin C can cause serious harm. (see footnotes on this article)

What about you? Do you have any safe, natural tricks for getting rid of mastitis? 

Linked up at Teach Me Tuesdays Healthy 2Day WednesdaysFrugal Days, Sustainable WaysWorks for Me and Natural Living Link Up.

Post Signature


  1. says

    Thank you so much for this tip! I’ve had mastitis twice now, and hate taking antibiotics. I will have to remember this for when the first symptoms start to appear.

    • anna says

      Yes, it seems like the sooner you catch it the better. I started coming down with what felt like mastitis a few weeks ago. Immediately I took one mega dose of Vitamin C and I woke up the next morning feeling fine.

  2. says

    On a side note, my great grandmother nearly died of mastitis, so I do take it seriously, but hers went untreated for a long period of time before she went to the Doctor.

    • Jenni / Life from the Roof says

      I can attest to the danger of this condition if left unchecked too – my brother-in-law is an anesthesiologist and was working the ER one shift. A young mother came in with an abscess that had developed from mastitis, and she had a three week-old baby. The abscess ruptured, she went septic, and because it was close to her heart, she died. It was her first baby, and her husband collapsed in the ER when they told him she was gone.

      In my own case, I had mastitis and took antibiotics, but it didn’t feel like it was getting better. I kept calling the advice line, and they told me that it was normal for it to hurt. But when I finally went to a lactation consultant for some nursing issues, she took one look at me and canceled the appointment so that I could see an OB/GYN because it looked like I had a huge abscess (which I did – the size of an orange). I ended up being admitted to the hospital for IV antibiotics and still had to have surgery.

      Since then, whenever I feel the first twinge of something that feels like mastitis, I drink a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted with honey and water, and even pop some fresh garlic. It sounds gross, but it really works, and I start feeling better pretty quickly. It may not be for everyone, but when it’s that or a full-blown case, I’ll take the ACV and garlic any day :).

      • anna says

        Oh my! What a dreadful story!

        That sounds nasty, but hey, that’s much better than an abscess. I think I might add garlic and ACV to my fighting regimin. I doubt any bad bacteria could survive all that!

    • anna says

      I love them too! I know that our bodies are so wonderfully made, and just love it when something so simple heals them so quickly.

  3. says

    Wow, what a great idea! I will definitely remember this next time (though I hope there isn’t a next time, lol). The Lactation consultants at my local hospital shared a tip that worked like a charm for me: Rinse a cabbage leaf with cold water, and apply to the affected side for ten minutes (not any longer they warned me, bc it can cut your supply). Great news was it worked perfectly, bad news, my supply on that side was basically cut in half and hasn’t been the same since. That might be bc of my situation, my daughter was a micropreemie, and I pump exclusively. But if in need, cabbage works! Random, huh?

    • anna says

      That is random! So sorry that your milk supply dropped though. Vitamin C didn’t seem to affect mine in the least. Gotta wonder how someone even came up with the cabbage idea!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. I’ll keep that in mind if Vitamin C doesn’t work.

  4. Mary says

    Cabbage leaves will dry up ur milk. Guess there is all kinds of old remedys if we just knew what they used years ago before we depended on doctors now days.

  5. says

    I’ve never had mastitis (thank you, Jesus), but am very glad to read a natural remedy to keep in mind and share with others!

    Do you ever notice any tummy issues when taking the large doses of Vitamin C, either for you or your nursing baby? This is a frequent issue for me when consuming large doses of C. (Maybe we have weak tummies?)

    • anna says

      I had a little stomach upset, but my baby didn’t seem to. It seems like that’s a sign you’ve gone far enough. 🙂 I thought it was well worth it not to have to suffer with mastitis or get on antibiotics.

      I only had to take two megadoses before I felt better though. And I drank a *lot* of water and juice.

  6. Kimberly says

    I got mastitis first with my 4th child and dozens of times with the next 3. It seems that once you get it you are more susceptible to getting it again. What has worked every time is resting on a heating pad (sleep on it all night). It works like a localized fever and takes anywhere from a couple of hours to two days.

  7. says

    This sounds great and I’d love to try it since I’m starting to get an infection on one side…
    One question about the dosage: How many mg of vitamin c did your pills contain?

  8. lori says

    I just wanted to mention about the tummy upset when taking megadoses of vitamin c. When ever you are taking it to fight something off, you should take enough that your stomach gets either gassy or you end up with loose movments. Then back off the amount a little until the upset is gone. That is how you know how much your body needs to help you in your fight. I started taking megadoses to prepare for birth (due Jan 5th) I was surprised to see that I am taking 3g every 3 hours, (not at during bedtime hours though), so I am taking 18-20g a day! There have been 2 colds and flus go through the house, and I didnt get any of them, the bags are gone from under my eyes (from low iron) and the red bumpy rash is gone from my arms. I would have never thought of using C to heal mastitis, I am glad that I came across your site and info! I am sure that once baby comes I will have a chance to use it! It will be nice not to have to pack up 6 kids to the dr. and just stay home and give it a go!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *