Again I'd recommend The Nursing Mother's Herbal
, which has information on this for you (too long to type out this time!!)
I also used the Sally B. Olds, Marcia L. London, Patricia Wieland Ladewig, and Michele R. Davidson Maternal-Newborn Nursing & Women's Health Care textbook during nursing school
, it seems fine to me (I never noticed all the mention of herbs related to lactation... will have to go have a look!).
Vitex (Chasteberry) is included in detail in the Nursing Mother's Herbal book. It does not appear to be recommended at this time for use during lactation.
Pulsatilla is mentioned as a category C- but that is leaf, stem & not homeopathic strength (homeopathic strengths are usually tiny tiny quantities). I think the reason it would theoretically do both is because of the homeopathic concentration - I think many homeopathics work that way. Taking herbs via parts of the actual plant, or in tinctures, teas, etc. is different than using the substance homeopathically - two different things.
Anyway, it says to seek an expert herbalist as well as a lactation consultation before use.
I have heard of most of those things you mentioned for increasing/decreasing supply, going into each one would be kind of a lot of work.
The textbook probably mentions them just to be familiar with things you may hear of
Peppermint can also contribute to drying up (think eating tons of peppermint altoids). We somtimes remind moms to be careful during the holidays when they may be eating sage, peppermint, parsely, and (probably more importantly) being very busy & missing feedings, not eating/hydrating well, getting too little rest, stressing out, etc. But usually just a normal small amount of sage in Thanksgiving dinner is not going to affect anything so it's not a real big deal - like I said, it's usually other factors at hand although taken all together it can be something.
If you are just wanting to know about common herbs used during breastfeeding, again, I would probably start withfenugreek
first since it is fairly commonly used. Some of the other galactogoues you mention are used in 'nursing mother's teas'. Some may have effects on GI health, which some lactation people have anecdotally noticed can be related to lactation (better GI health - better lactation, but that's really getting into anecdotal/casual theories in lactation circles). Here's a page on herbs and breastfeeding