Can Herbal Supplements Increase Breast Size?

HI THERE, Cecil!

There are several problems with your article on herbal supplements –
and several very valid points.

First, and most important I think, is that you are fairly correct in saying that most born women are NOT likely to benefit from herbal breast enhancement products. The way the money back guarantees for these products is written, should indicate that most users will not get results.

One ultimate determinant for breast size for any human being, is a person’s own unique genetics.

This is the genetic code – the genetic road map – each of us is born with.
Some people have genetics for being tall, some for being short…
Some for being beautiful, some for being less than beautiful…
Some people have the genetics for a large penis, some for a more normal size, some for a smaller one

And some humans have the genetic pre-disposition for large breasts, and some for small breasts.
Not every born woman will have “B” or “C” cup breasts,
the same as not every born man will have a 6-9 inch penis.
It is just a fact of life.

My sense of breast development is,
along with 15 years of experience working in this field,
is that most born women between the ages of puberty and menopause,
have a significant estrogen surge once each month, naturally.

If this surge in estrogen each month,
which can last from seven to 20 days,
is not sufficient to grow significant breasts, then it is not likely that anything herbal is going to help her breast growth either.

The other part of Cecil’s answer that I have a problem with, is the stuff about phytoestrogens.
This “weaker estrogens” taking away cell receptors from the stronger natural estrogens, is junk science,
not true but commonly believed.

Phyto-estrogenic is something a plant is,
not something a plant has or produces.

There are psuedo-estrogens which will do this “taking away cell receptors” – these are chemical mimics from industrial pollution.
Psuedo estrogen, not phyto estrogen.

And Cecil is clearly wrong in his statement that phyto- or psuedo- estrogens would make the breasts smaller.
Just wrong.

Phyto estrogenic herbs are NOT estrogen – they are food items,
just like lettuce and cherries for example are food items.
The human body processes ingested food items – including phytoestrogenic herbs – into chemicals and bio-molecules and even into actual hormones which the human body needs, in order to function and to survive.

That phytoestrogenic herbs can also be used successfully to create actual estrogen, is seen in that these, taken properly, can produce enough estrogen to reduce and to eliminate PMS and menopause symptoms.

So the bottom line is this:
Can herbs be used to grow breasts?
Yes, but growth only up to the point of a person’s unique genetic abilities.
If a woman has already reached her genetic potential, adding herbs will not likely increase her breast size.

Can supplemental hormones, drug or herbal based, be used to help a born woman to have larger breasts?
Not likely – or Premarin for breast development would be as popular as Viagra, Cialis, etc. is for temporary penis growth.

I hope this all helps…

Love Ya!

Welcome to the SDMB, dianna.

A link to the column is appreciated. Providing one can be as simple as pasting the URL into your post. Like so:

So are you saying that the phytoestrogens are processed into real estrogen? Do you have a reference for that? Or have I misunderstood?

Ok, but what if a man wanted to stimulate breast growth using phytoestrogens? Where would he go to find the correct amount of which phytoestrogens to eat to do so?

I have also read that milled flaxseed has other ingredients. Do that inhibit breast growth? If his family has a genetic disposition of having large breasts, he would need to just jump start the process, get to about where he would like to be in size, and then start to slack off?

I am new to this, so please take no offense to my ignorance. I just started searching for information today, and this is the third site I have been to.

Please help! As I am not sure if I will be notified of replies, please cc to

Thank you,

Actually the column did not say “most born (?) women are NOT likely to benefit”. It stated (correctly):

No, when they’re marketed and sold to have the effects of drugs, then they’re drugs, not food items (legally of course they are “dietary supplements” and exempt from drug regulations).

The “genetic potential” is independent of whatever herbal supplements one is using.

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board!
Since this is a message board, the best way to check responses is to check back on this thread from time to time.

How are they written?

What’s the alternative to being a “born woman” or “born man”? Is there some sort of factory putting out people knock-offs?

False. See

Are you saying the CDC is wrong? That they don’t know real science?


Not “just wrong”. From above, phytoestrogens can be agonists or antagonists. That means they can trigger receptors like estrogens do, or they can bind and fill receptor slots without triggering them.

Show where Cecil said that phytoestrongenic herbs are estrogen, or that they are not food items. Cecil explicitly said:

Listing actual food plants and mentioning them being eaten… sounds like food items to me.

I’ve found that cheeseburgers are more effective than herbs for making breasts grow larger. Other parts, too.

I’m guessing that means genetic potential as opposed to augmentation.

I’m guessing it means she was (nearly 6 years ago) suggesting that her herbal supplement would work on some women born as women, but probably not on women born as men…that is, transexual people wanting to use herbs to give themselves womanly breasts. It’s not easy to get affordable legal pharmaceutical estrogen, and so lots of transsexual women turn to herbal and grey and black market products to give them the transition they’re trying for.

Oh, that’s a more plausible explanation actually.

So can anyone tell me an inexpensive, safe and proven way to grow larger breasts as a “born man”? I am not a transgender, or transexual, just a bi man who would enjoy having larger breasts and more sensitive nipples.

Your best bet is to find a low-cost clinic serving the GLBT community and see what they can do for you. Sliding scales, prescription plans…they’ll know lots about that.

The ONLY things which have been proven to be safe and effective are implants and hormonal therapy with estrogen. This is not cheap, and often not covered by insurance. They require a doctor’s prescriptions and often office visits for administration.

There are no herbs or supplements which have been shown to increase breast size noticeably, although it’s probably technically true that a very irritating cream (say, with capsaicin) could cause some temporary swelling, but I’d be shocked it if was even half an inch around the bust.

Proven? Breast implants. Hands down is the most certain way to increase breast size. Inexpensive? No. Safe? Depends on your definition of safe-complications can and do occur during surgery, and afterwards, there remains the potential for rejection, hardening, shifting, and/or leakage. But assuming a competent surgeon performs the surgery in a sterile environment, it’s unlikely you’ll experience life threatening side-effects.

Inexpensive? Hormone replacement therapy. Walmart, Target, and other pharmacies offer certain types for $4/month. The most commonly prescribed, Premarin, is not on those lists, but ethinyl estradiol, and medroxyprogesterone acetate usually are. A local clinic will probably write just about any prescription you want for the cost of a visit–especially if you aren’t seeking narcotics. Proven? Yes–Will almost certainly cause some amount of breast enlargement (gynecomastia) in post-pubescent males. To what extent is dependent on the dosage, length of time taken, and your individual genetics–you could end up with puffier nipples or you may need to wear a bra. You shouldn’t expect to develop especially large breasts via hormones, but enough that may want to opt out of your company’s pool parties. Safe? Mostly. Hormone replacement carries a number of potential side effects, the most dangerous being blood clots which could be fatal. More commonly, they affect your entire physical and mental being, not just your chest. Expect mood swings, headaches, depression, and changes in appetite, energy levels, sex drive, weight, and body shape.

Off the top of my head-

Hormone replacement therapy can have all kinds of negative side effects. If I recall correctly (WhyNot correct me if I’m mistaken please) treatment with estrogen can also reduce (though gradually) the size of the penis and testes.

I cannot conceive of any competent, trustworthy doctor putting you through all these risks just for some added sexual thrill.

However, I do recall a story on the local news a while back. Apparently in an actual study, a suction bra (you read that right) can permanently increase breast size. They cost a few thousand and must be worn 18 hours a day for at least a year before having any effects.

It is extremely unlikely to impossible for a physician to ethically issue prescription hormones for someone who admits “I am not a transgender, or transexual, just a bi man who would enjoy having larger breasts and more sensitive nipples.” No standard of psychological care I can find in the United States would advise such either. Why are you advising this, out of curiosity? Do you have experience with people walking into a clinic and getting hormones because they want more sensitive nipples?

Nope, I’m advising it because my local LGBT clinic knows lots and lots about this issue that I don’t, and I suspect the same is true of other such clinics. Mine, at least, isn’t limited to LGBT patients, either. I’m boring straight and vanilla and get great care there. I think they’ll know a lot more about the uses, limits, side effects and legal issues surrounding off-label uses of estrogens than I do, and are more reputable than advice off a message board (even a fine message board like this one.)

After Octomom, I know longer hope to predict what some doctor will or won’t do, ethical or not. (And I’m enough of a medical libertarian that I don’t actually see anything unethical about giving a hetero born man estrogen as long as he understands the risks and side effects.)

tldr: it was an attempt at a gentle “see your doctor” with an added hint that doctors experienced with hormones are probably the best doctors to see. I admit I didn’t even think of implants, though. :smack: The thread had me thinking of herbals/estrogens/etc.

Implants may give bigger breasts but last I heard, due to having to cut nerves to get the implants in place, often that’s the last thing you want if you want more sensitive nipples.

Well thank you all very much. I had used estrogen for a few months in the past. It was oral birth control. I have slightly larger breasts than I did, and even though I have lost weight(due to Crohn’s disease), my breasts have not gotten smaller. The are not big enough to wear a bra, but they are bigger than 95% of the men my size. I ran out of the birth control, and lost my supplier as she moved away. I am afraid to goto “MY” doctor for advice, as no one that I come into physical contact with knows that I am bi, or a cross dresser. It is purely sexual, as when I climax, I completely lose interest in dressing up. I still like wearing the self adhesive breasts, but would like my own. The females in my family all have large breasts, so I am hoping for atleast a B cup. I don’t think I want any bigger. I was hoping that with OTC phytoestrogen creams, and more birth control, I would be on the right track. But apparently there is a bit more to it.

Thank you all again.


I have used herbal supplements to increase my breast size and they worked. My breasts went from an A cup to a much fuller B cup within a month. Also reduced my PMS symptoms. When I stopped taking the supplements my breasts returned to their original size, also in about a month.