Herbs: Breast Feeding and Pregnancy

BREASTFEEDING

From the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association (March-April 2000 page 240):

Common Herbs to Avoid While Breastfeeding:

  • Aloe
  • Black Cohosh
  • Buckthorn
  • Cascara Sagrada
  • Kava Kava
  • Ma Huang
  • Sage
  • Senna
  • Wintergreen

Avoid excessive cocoa, coffee, and tea.

Herbs that traditionally stimulate milk flow:

  • Caraway
  • Celery
  • Chaste Berry Tree
  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek
  • Goat’s Rue
  • Raspberry
  • Rauwolfia
  • Verbena

Herbs that traditionally reduce milk flow:

  • Castor Bean
  • Jasmine Flower
  • Sage

PREGNANCY

Medicinal Herbs to be used with caution during pregnancy:

  • Agave americana
  • Angelica archangelica
  • Angelica sylvestris
  • Anthemis nobilis (Roman chamomille)
  • Apium graveolens (Celery)
  • Arctium lappa (Burdock)
  • Arcostaphylos uva-ursi leaves (Bearberry)
  • Artemesia vulgaris (Mugwort)
  • Berberis vulgaris
  • Calendula officinalis (Pot marigold)
  • Capsella bursa-pastoris ( Sheperd’s purse)
  • Caulophyllum thallictroides
  • Chelidonium majus
  • Cichorum intybus (Chicory)
  • Cinchoma
  • Cinnamomu cassia (Cassia)
  • Citrus (Lemon and grapefruit)
  • Commiphora myrrha (Myrrh)
  • Crocus
  • Dryopteris
  • Ferula asafoetida
  • Gossypium herbaceum (Cotton)
  • Heracietum lanatum (Cow parsnip)
  • Hibiscus roas-senensis flower ( Rose of China)
  • Hydocotyle asiatica (Gotu Kola)
  • Hydrastis canadenesis
  • Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort)
  • Hyssopus officinalis (Hyssop)
  • Jateorhiza palmata (Columba)
  • Juniperis communis
  • Ledum palustre (Marsh Tea)
  • Leonurus cardiaca (Motherswort)
  • Marrubium vulgare (Horehound)
  • Matricaria chamomile (German chamomile)
  • Medicago sativa (Alfalfa)
  • Melissa officinalis (Balm)
  • Mentha piperita (Peppermint)
  • Nasturtium officianal (Watercress)
  • Nepeta cataria (Catnip)
  • Ocymum basilicum (Basil)
  • Origanum margorana (Marjoram – sweet)
  • Origanum vulgare (Wild Majoram)
  • Oxalis acetosella (Wood sorrel)
  • Paeonia officinalis (Peony)
  • Phytolacca decandra
  • Piper nigrum (Black pepper)
  • Plantago (Plantain)
  • Polygonum aviculare (Knot grass)
  • Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary)
  • Ruta graveolens
  • Salvia officinalis
  • Sanguisorba canadensis
  • Santalum album (Sandalwood)
  • Silybum marianum (Milk thistle)
  • Tanacetum parthenium and vulgare (Feverfew)
  • Thuja occidentalis
  • Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fenugreek)
  • Turnera (Damiana)
  • Tussilago farfara (Coltsfoot)
  • Urtica dioica (stinging nettles)
  • Zingiber officinale (Ginger)

From the Eclectic Dispensatory of Botanical Therapeutics

Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy (by S Mills and K Bone)

Medications that have been associated with birth defects:

  • Androgens like DHEA, testosterone
  • Iodides
  • Lithium
  • ACE-I
  • High dose of vitamin A (not beta-carotene)

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