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Moringa use while Breastfeeding

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 2, 2022.

Moringa Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding

Summary of Use during Lactation

Moringa (Moringa oleifera, Moringa pterygosperma) leaves contain vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids as well as a number of glycosides. It has been used as a galactogogue in Asia,[1] particularly in the Philippines where it is called malunggay. Small studies from the Philippines indicate that it might have some activity as a galactogogue in mothers of preterm infants by increasing maternal serum prolactin and milk volume. Several small, poorly done studies found that Moringa did not improve milk quality. Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[2,3] Moringa oleifera leaves are widely used as a food and medicine in Asia and Africa and one small study found no adverse effects in nursing mothers who ingested Moringa leaves.[4] Moringa may stimulate blood clotting, so caution is advisable in anyone at risk for blood clots.[5] No other data exist on the safety of Moringa in nursing infants.

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 prove 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 not 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.

Drug Levels

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

Two meta-analyses by the same group analyzed the outcomes of 6 studies of Moringa olifera as a galactogogue. Two studies with 73 patients reported maternal serum prolactin levels and found that patients in the Moringa groups had a statistically significant average increase of 1950 mIU/L. and also found that weight gain at week 4 was 11.9% greater in the infants in the Moringa group. Pooling of two studies with a total of 51 patients revealed a significant mean increase of milk volume on Day 7 in the Moringa groups of by 124 mL.[6,7] One of the studies compared the effect of domperidone and metoclopramide to Moringa. On days 7 and 14, milk volume in all of the treatment groups was greater than in the placebo group. The highest volume was in the domperidone group, followed by metoclopramide, and Moringa oliefera. No correlation was found between serum prolactin and milk volume.[8]

A longitudinal study of 64 breastfeeding mothers given Moringa leaves powder 500 mg (n = 23), Moringa leaves extract 500 mg (n = 21), or iron-folic acid 60 mg or iron (n = 20) twice was carried out in a poor region of Indonesia. Mothers’ milk was analyzed for docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid at 6 months postpartum. No difference was found among the groups.[9]

A small study compared the milk quality of 10 mothers nursing infants between 1 and 4 months of age who ate one cookie containing 3.5 grams of Moringa flour daily to 7 mothers who did not eat the cookies. No difference was found after one month in the nutritional content of the milk of the two groups.[10]

References

1.
Mollik AH. Abstract. 1904;298 Plants from Sundarbans to the diet of lactating mothers during puerperium of Barguna district of Bangladesh. Pediatr Nephrol 2010;25. doi. [CrossRef]
2.
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]
3.
Breastfeeding challenges: ACOG Committee Opinion, Number 820. Obstet Gynecol. 2021;137:e42–e53. [PubMed: 33481531]
4.
Estrella MC, Mantaring JB, David GZ, et al. A double-blind, randomized controlled trial on the use of malunggay (Moringa oleifera) for augmentation of the volume of breastmilk among non-nursing mothers of preterm infants. Philipp J Pediatr. 2000;49:3–6.
5.
Ebhohon E, Miller D. Moringa oleifera leaf extract induced pulmonary embolism-a case report. Int J Emerg Med. 2022;15:16. [PMC free article: PMC9004112] [PubMed: 35413819] [CrossRef]
6.
King JS, Raguindin PF, Dans LF. Moringa oleifera (Malunggay) as a galactagogue for breastfeeding mothers: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Philipp J Pediatr. 2013;61:34–42.
7.
Raguindin PF, Dans LF, King JF. Moringa oleifera as a galactagogue. Breastfeed Med. 2014;9:323–4. [PubMed: 24892837]
8.
Co MM, Hernandez EA, Co BG. A comparative study on the efficacy of the different galactogogues among mothers with lactational insufficiency. Philipp J Pediatr. 2002;51:88–93.
9.
Sarih K, Siradjuddin S, Maddepungeng M, et al. Moringa oleifera intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding toward docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid levels in breast milk Open Access Macedonian J Med Sci 2020;8:757-61) doi:10.3889/oamjms.2020.4614. [CrossRef]
10.
Sumarni Puspasari I. Effect of Moringa oleifera cookies to improve quality of breastmilk. Enferm Clin. 2020;30 Suppl 4:99–103. Mallongi A, et al. PMID.

Substance Identification

Substance Name

Moringa

CAS Registry Number

93165-54-9

Scientific Name

Moringa oleifera

Drug Class

Breast Feeding

Lactation

Milk, Huuman

Complementary Therapies

Food

Galactogogues

Phytotherapy

Plants, Medicinal

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