Blessed Thistle use while Breastfeeding
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on April 13, 2021.
Blessed Thistle Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Blessed thistle (Cardui benedicti) contains sesquiterpene lactones, triterpenoids, lignans, tannins, essential oils, flavonoids, and polyenes. Blessed thistle is a purported galactogogue,[1-6] and is included in some proprietary mixtures promoted to increase milk supply; however, no scientifically valid clinical trials support this use. Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[7,8] Blessed thistle is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a flavoring in alcoholic beverages (e.g., Benedictine) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Because it is a member of the ragweed family, allergy is a concern and high doses reportedly cause nausea and vomiting. Elevated liver enzymes occurred in a woman taking Mother's Milk Tea, which contains blessed thistle.
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Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
A small manufacturer-sponsored, double-blind, randomized study compared Mother's Milk tea (Traditional Medicinals, Sebastopol, CA) to lemon verbena tea in exclusively breastfeeding mothers with milk insufficiency. Each Mother's Milk tea bag contained 35 mg of blessed thistle herb as well as several other herbs. Mothers were instructed to drink 3 to 5 cups of tea daily. No differences were seen between groups in infant digestive, respiratory, dermatological, and other maternal-reported adverse events. No differences were seen in the growth parameters of the breastfed infants between the two groups.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
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