Herbs to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Herbs to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Some of the constituents in herbs can decrease milk supply, and excreted in breast milk just like the foods we eat.  Some of the herbs on this list are included because they are traditional antilactagogues, herbs used to decrease milk supply when weaning. Others are included as they could pose possible health risks for baby. 

This list includes common herbs that you might see in foods, herbal preparations, and supplement. Some herbs are considered to be generally toxic and should not be ingested by anyone. Of course this is not a complete list of herbs to avoid during breastfeeding.

Herbs That Can Decrease Milk Supply

Using large therapeutic amounts of the following herbs should be avoided while nursing because they have been known to decrease milk supply. The amounts of these herbs normally used in cooking are unlikely to be of any concern.

  • Black Walnut
  • Chickweed
  • Herb Robert
  • Lemon Balm
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint 
  • Periwinkle Herb
  • Sage
  • Sorrel
  • Spearmint
  • Thyme
  • Yarrow

Herbs That Could Be Dangerous For Baby

  • Bladderwrack
  • Borage
  • Buckthorn, berry and bark
  • Butterbur
  • Cascara Sagrada bark
  • Chaparral
  • Cinchona bark
  • Coltsfoot (Farfarae folium)
  • Comfrey
  • Dong Quai (Angelica Root)
  • Elecampane
  • Ephedra / Ephedra sinica / Ma Huang
  • Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
  • Indian Snakeroot
  • Kava-kava (piper methysticum)
  • Madder root
  • Petasites root
  • Phen-fen, herbal
  • Rhubarb
  • Senna Leaf
  • Star anise
  • Tabacco
  • Tiratricol (TRIAC)
  • Uva Ursi
  • Wintergreen
  • Wormwood

As always, for your safety and your child’s safety, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding check with your healthcare provider before taking herbs, prescription or over-the-counter medications.

5th Mar 2020 THT Steph

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