Question

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

Chamomile lactation summary

Chamomile is safe in breastfeeding
  • DrLact safety Score for Chamomile is 1 out of 8 which is considered Safe as per our analyses.
  • A safety Score of 1 indicates that usage of Chamomile is mostly safe during lactation for breastfed baby.
  • Our study of different scientific research also indicates that Chamomile does not cause any serious side effects in breastfeeding mothers.
  • Most of scientific studies and research papers declaring usage of Chamomile safe in breastfeeding are based on normal dosage and may not hold true for higher dosage.
  • Score calculated using the DrLact safety Version 1.2 model, this score ranges from 0 to 8 and measures overall safety of drug in lactation. Scores are primarily calculated using publicly available case studies, research papers, other scientific journals and publically available data.

Answer by Dr. Ru: About Chamomile usage in lactation

It is a widely used plant even in infants. Because of lack of toxicity, a moderate use is considered to be safe. If topically used, do not apply it on the nipple because risk of contact dermatitis has been reported. There are two different species with similar properties: 1) Common or Sweet Chamomile (Matricaria recutita or Chamomilla recutita). 2) Roman, English or Bitter Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis o Chamaemelum nobile). Inflorescence of the herb is used. Contains Essential Oil, Flavonoids, Lactones and Tannins. Unproven properties are: Anti-spasmodic. Digestive, Anti-inflammatory, Sedative.

Answer by DrLact: About Chamomile usage in lactation

Two different plant species with similar effects are known as chamomile: German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). Both contain similar ingredients, including sesquiterpenes (e.g., bisabolol, farnesene), sesquiterpenelactones (e.g., chamazulene, matricin), flavonoids (e.g., apigenin, luteolin), and volatile oils. Chamomile is used orally as a sedative and for gastrointestinal conditions; it is used topically for wound healing. Both herbal and homeopathic preparations have been used to treat mastitis and cracked, bleeding nipples.[1] Chamomile has been used as a galactogogue;[2][3] however, no scientifically valid clinical trials support this use. Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[4] Chamomile is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) for use in food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a spice, seasoning, or flavoring agent. No data exist on the safety of chamomile in nursing mothers or infants, although rare sensitization may occur (see below).[5] It has been safely and effectively used alone and with other herbs in infants for the treatment of colic, diarrhea, and other conditions,[6][7][8][9] so the smaller amounts expected (but not demonstrated) in breastmilk are likely not to be harmful with usual maternal doses. Note Clostridium botulinum (botulism) spores have been found in some loose-leaf chamomile teas sold in health food stores. Topical chamomile is a known sensitizing agent, even with homeopathic products.[10] Two women developed contact dermatitis of the nipples and areolas after applying Kamillosan ointment for cracked nipples. The product was purchased in England and contained 10.5% Roman chamomile extracts and oil. Reactions were confirmed to be caused by Roman chamomile by patch testing in both women. Drinking chamomile tea can exacerbate topical skin rashes and has caused anaphylaxis in sensitized individuals.[11] Chamomile has possible cross-reactivity with other members of the aster family (e.g., echinacea, feverfew, and milk thistle).[5] 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.

Chamomile Possible Effects in Breastfeeding

A mother nursing her 3-month-old infant began drinking 1.5 to 2 L daily of a chamomile infusion made by pouring 1.5 L of hot water over 1 to 3 grams of chamomile flowers. Each time after drinking the infusion, she noticed fullness and tenderness of the breasts 4 to 6 hours later. She also found that she was able to pump 90 mL of milk after chamomile use, compared to 60 mL without chamomile use. During this time she was also mildly hypothyroid.[3]

Alternate Drugs

Calendula(Safe)
Ginkgo(Low Risk)
Sage(Low Risk)
Licorice(Unsafe)
Caraway(Safe)
Hops(Low Risk)
Chamomile(Safe)
Cumin(Safe)
Lecithin(Safe)
Fenugreek(Safe)
Coenzyme Q10(Low Risk)
Lavender(Low Risk)
Basil(Unsafe)
Chasteberry(Unsafe)
Castor(Unsafe)
Nutmeg(Low Risk)
Garlic(Safe)
Oregano(Low Risk)
Ginger(Safe)
Cranberry(Safe)
Alfalfa(Unsafe)
Echinacea(Low Risk)
Dong Quai(Low Risk)
Melatonin(Safe)
Aloe(Low Risk)
Rhubarb(Low Risk)
Coriander(Safe)
Sage(Low Risk)
Licorice(Unsafe)
Caraway(Safe)
Hops(Low Risk)
Chamomile(Safe)
Cumin(Safe)
Lecithin(Safe)
Fenugreek(Safe)
Lavender(Low Risk)
Basil(Unsafe)
Chasteberry(Unsafe)
Castor(Unsafe)
Nutmeg(Low Risk)
Garlic(Safe)
Oregano(Low Risk)
Ginger(Safe)
Cranberry(Safe)
Echinacea(Low Risk)
Dong Quai(Low Risk)
Aloe(Low Risk)
Rhubarb(Low Risk)
Coriander(Safe)
Ginkgo(Low Risk)
Calendula(Safe)
Caraway(Safe)
Hops(Low Risk)
Chamomile(Safe)
Cumin(Safe)
Lecithin(Safe)
Fenugreek(Safe)
Lavender(Low Risk)
Basil(Unsafe)
Chasteberry(Unsafe)
Castor(Unsafe)
Nutmeg(Low Risk)
Garlic(Safe)
Oregano(Low Risk)
Ginger(Safe)
Cranberry(Safe)
Echinacea(Low Risk)
Dong Quai(Low Risk)
Aloe(Low Risk)
Rhubarb(Low Risk)
Coriander(Safe)
Ginkgo(Low Risk)
Calendula(Safe)
Sage(Low Risk)
Licorice(Unsafe)
Disclaimer: Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. We do not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.