Question

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

Answer by DrLact: About Willow Bark usage in lactation

Willow (Salix sp.) bark contains salicylic acid and its derivative salicin. Willow bark has no specific lactation-related uses. It is traditionally used to treat fever and inflammatory conditions, but it also is found in some weight loss products. After salicylate or salicin ingestion, salicylic acid is excreted into breastmilk. The excretion of salicylate into breastmilk increases disproportionately as the maternal dosage increases. Long-term, high-dose maternal aspirin ingestion probably caused metabolic acidosis in one breastfed infant. Reye's syndrome is associated with aspirin administration to infants with viral infections, but the risk of Reye's syndrome from salicylate in breastmilk is unknown. Willow bark is best avoided during breastfeeding. Safer drugs are available for pain and fever. 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.

Willow Bark Side Effects in Breastfeeding

A 16-day-old breastfed infant developed metabolic acidosis with a salicylate serum level of 240 mg/L and salicylate metabolites in the urine. The mother was taking 3.9 g/day of aspirin for arthritis, and salicylate in breastmilk probably caused the infant's illness, but the possibility of direct administration to the infant could not be ruled out.[7] Thrombocytopenia, fever, anorexia and petechiae occurred in a 5-month-old breastfed infant 5 days after her mother started taking aspirin for fever. One week after recovery, the infant was given a single 125 mg dose of aspirin and the platelet count dropped once again. The original symptoms were probably caused by salicylate in breastmilk.[8]

Alternate Drugs

Oregano(Low Risk)
Garlic(Safe)
Ginger(Safe)
Alfalfa(Unsafe)
Cranberry(Safe)
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Aloe(Low Risk)
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Dong Quai(Low Risk)
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Rhubarb(Low Risk)
Calendula(Safe)
Ginkgo(Low Risk)
Sage(Low Risk)
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Cumin(Safe)
Hops(Low Risk)
Lecithin(Safe)
Fenugreek(Safe)
Coenzyme Q10(Low Risk)
Lavender(Low Risk)
Basil(Unsafe)
Chasteberry(Unsafe)
Nutmeg(Low Risk)
Castor(Unsafe)
Ginger(Safe)
Cranberry(Safe)
Aloe(Low Risk)
Echinacea(Low Risk)
Dong Quai(Low Risk)
Coriander(Safe)
Rhubarb(Low Risk)
Calendula(Safe)
Ginkgo(Low Risk)
Sage(Low Risk)
Licorice(Unsafe)
Caraway(Safe)
Chamomile(Safe)
Cumin(Safe)
Hops(Low Risk)
Lecithin(Safe)
Fenugreek(Safe)
Lavender(Low Risk)
Basil(Unsafe)
Chasteberry(Unsafe)
Nutmeg(Low Risk)
Castor(Unsafe)
Oregano(Low Risk)
Garlic(Safe)
Cranberry(Safe)
Aloe(Low Risk)
Echinacea(Low Risk)
Dong Quai(Low Risk)
Rhubarb(Low Risk)
Coriander(Safe)
Calendula(Safe)
Ginkgo(Low Risk)
Sage(Low Risk)
Licorice(Unsafe)
Caraway(Safe)
Chamomile(Safe)
Cumin(Safe)
Hops(Low Risk)
Lecithin(Safe)
Fenugreek(Safe)
Lavender(Low Risk)
Basil(Unsafe)
Chasteberry(Unsafe)
Nutmeg(Low Risk)
Castor(Unsafe)
Oregano(Low Risk)
Garlic(Safe)
Ginger(Safe)
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.