What Herbs are Dangerous During Breastfeeding?
1. About Herbs And Breastfeeding
Many women these days are opting away from harmful and potentially dangerous drugs and medications, and are instead turning to all natural herbal remedies as a way to stay healthy.
However, there are some special considerations to be aware of. Breastfeeding mothers need to keep in mind that any herbs that they ingest while they are breastfeeding will be transmitted to the baby as well. This can sometimes be a bad thing, as not all herbs are considered safe for babies.
Also, sometimes using herbs while breastfeeding can decrease milk supply. Keep reading for some information about some of the most popular herbs and their effect on nursing moms and babies.
2. St. John’s Wort
A popular herb for treating depression, some studies have shown that St. John’s Wort does not affect babies. However, there have been conflicting reports that state that St. John’s Wort actually can cause babies to become listless and drowsy, and some studies even say that it causes colic. Definitely ask your doctor before using this herbal supplement.
Women often take this herb in hopes that it will boost their milk supply. However, there is no proof that it really works, and some experts say it can actually be harmful. It can cause high blood pressure and low blood sugar in nursing moms, and can lead to diarrhea and colic in babies.
Comfrey is usually used as an ointment to soothe cracked, sore nipples due to breastfeeding. However, doctors say that it should never be used by nursing moms. It can cause liver damage in babies. As a result, comfrey has been banned in many countries.
There are a host of other herbs that are considered to be potentially dangerous to nursing moms. These are a few of those herbs, but this is not a complete list.
Chaparral Coltsfoot (Farfarae folium)
Dong Quai (Angelica Root)
Elecampane Ephedra / Ephedra sinica /
Ma Huang Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
Kava-kava (piper methysticum)
Phen-fen, herbal Rhubarb Star anise Tiratricol (TRIAC)
In addition, there are even more herbs that are known to decrease milk supply. These herbs, while not dangerous to the mom or baby, can hurt the milk supply, so therefore should be avoided by breastfeeding women. These herbs include:
Chickweed Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
Oregano Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Menthol Periwinkle Herb (Vinca minor)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Of course, there are many other herbs out there that are not on these lists. It is important to always discuss your herbal remedies with your doctor in order to keep you and your baby safe.