Question

I am a breastfeeding mother and i want to know if it is safe to use Blue Cohosh? Is Blue Cohosh safe for nursing mother and child? Does Blue Cohosh extracts into breast milk? Does Blue Cohosh has any long term or short term side effects on infants? Can Blue Cohosh influence milk supply or can Blue Cohosh decrease milk supply in lactating mothers?

Answer by DrLact: About Blue Cohosh usage in lactation

Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) root contains N-methylcytosine, which has nicotine-like effects, and caulosaponin, a glycoside that constricts coronary vessels and may have oxytocic activity. It has been used to promote labor.[1][2][3] Blue cohosh has no specific uses during breastfeeding. No data exist on the safety and efficacy of blue cohosh in nursing mothers or infants; however, it can cause severe gastrointestinal and cardiovascular toxicity, including in neonates whose mothers used it to stimulate labor. Most sources recommend strongly against its use during breastfeeding because of lack of safety data and potential toxicity.[2][4] Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed information #about dietary supplements# is available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.

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