Euphorbia use while Breastfeeding
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 28, 2022.
Euphorbia Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
There are over 2000 species of Euphorbia containing numerous chemical compounds, although no specific active ingredients have been identified. Several Euphorbia species have been used as galactogogues in various cultures, such as Euphorbia lancifolia (called ixbut in the local language) by the Mayans in Guatemala, Euphorbia hirta and Euphorbia fusiformis in India and Angola,[2-7] Euphorbia serpyllifolia and other species by American Indians and Euphorbia thymifolia. No scientifically valid clinical trials support this use; however, some evidence in animals found that a Euphorbia extract increases serum prolactin. Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[9,10] No data exist on the excretion of any components of Euphorbia into breastmilk. Euphorbia species exude a white sap, which is likely the reason for its use as a galactogogue via the “doctrine of signatures”. The sap can cause contact sensitization and ocular toxicity if it gets in the eye. Taken orally, Euphorbia can cause nausea and vomiting.
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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
Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
Animal studies have demonstrated an increase in serum prolactin after administration of an extract of Euphorbia hirta and Euphorbia fusiformis.[7,8]
Rosengarten F Jr. A neglected Mayan galactagogue -- ixbut (Euphorbia lancifolia). J Ethnopharmacol. 1982;5:91–112. [PubMed: 7033669]
Sayed NZ, Deo R, Mukundan U. Herbal remedies used by Warlis of Dahanu to induce lactation in nursing mothers. Indian J Tradit Knowl. 2007;6:602–5.
Rajith NP, Navas M, Muhammad Thata A, et al. A study on traditional mother care plants of rural communities of South Kerala. Indian J Tradit Knowl 2010;9 (Sp. Iss. 1):203-8.
Jendras G, Monizi M, Neinhuis C, et al. Plants, food and treatments used by BaKongo tribes in Uíge (northern Angola) to affect the quality and quantity of human breast milk. Int Breastfeed J. 2020;15:88. [PMC free article: PMC7583195] [PubMed: 33097071]
Sibeko L, Johns T. Global survey of medicinal plants during lactation and postpartum recovery: Evolutionary perspectives and contemporary health implications. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021;270:113812. [PubMed: 33450288]
Dandotiya H, Singh G, Kashaw SK. The galactagogues use by Indian tribal communities to over come poor lactation. Int J Biotechnol Bioeng Res. 2013;4:243–8. http://www
Ozarde YS, Choudhari VP. Euphorbia fusiformis: A rare, versatile species - A review. Int J Pharm Sci Res. 2021;12:4086–100. [CrossRef]
Sawadogo L, Thibault JF, Rouau X, et al. The lactogenic action of plant extracts. In, Martinet J, Houdebine LM, Herbert H, eds. Biology of lactation Paris Institut National de la Research Agrono 1999:553-64.
Brodribb W. ABM Clinical Protocol #9. Use of galactogogues in initiating or augmenting maternal milk production, second revision 2018. Breastfeed Med. 2018;13:307–14. [PubMed: 29902083]
Breastfeeding challenges: ACOG Committee Opinion, Number 820. Obstet Gynecol. 2021;137:e42–e53. [PubMed: 33481531]
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