Vervain use while Breastfeeding
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 20, 2021.
Vervain Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Vervain (Verbena officinalis) contains iridoid glycosides (e.g., verbenalin, hastatoside), verbascoside, and flavonoids. Vervain is a purported galactogogue;[1-3] however, no scientifically valid clinical trials support this use. Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[4,5] No data exist on the excretion of any components of vervain into breastmilk or on the safety and efficacy of vervain in nursing mothers or infants. Vervain is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a food by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is well tolerated, but gastrointestinal and allergic reactions have been reported.
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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
Sixty-six postpartum mothers (22 in each of 3 groups) with no concurrent illnesses were randomly assigned to receive an herbal tea, placebo, or nothing after delivering healthy, fullterm infants. Mothers in the herbal tea group received at least 3 cups daily of 200 mL of Still Tea (Humana-Istanbul, Turkey; containing hibiscus 2.6 grams, fennel extract 200 mg, fennel oil 20 mg, rooibos 200 mg, verbena [vervain] 200 mg, raspberry leaves 200 mg, fenugreek 100 mg, goat's rue 100 mg, and, vitamin C 500 mg per 100 grams, per manufacturer's web site November 2011). A similar-looking apple tea was used as the placebo. All women were followed by the same nurse and pediatrician who were blinded to what treatment the mothers received. Mothers who received the Still Tea produced more breastmilk with an electric breast pump on the third day postpartum than mothers in the other groups. The infants in the Still Tea group had a lower maximum weight loss, and they regained their birth weights sooner than those in the placebo or no treatment arms. No long-term outcome data were collected. Because many of the ingredients in Still Tea are purported galactogogues, including vervain, no single ingredient can be considered solely responsible for the tea's effects, although the authors attributed the action to fenugreek.
An herbal tea containing vervain, fenugreek, hibiscus, fennel, rooibos, raspberry, goat's rue, and vitamin C (Humana Still-Tee, Humana GmbH, Herford, Germany) or water was randomly given to nursing mothers in a dosage of 3 cups daily beginning on the day of delivery. Several markers of antioxidant capacity were measured in breastmilk on day 1 and again after 7 to 10 days. No difference was found in the markers between mothers who received the tea and the water.
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Breastfeeding challenges: ACOG Committee Opinion, Number 820. Obstet Gynecol. 2021;137:e42–e53. [PubMed: 33481531]
Turkyılmaz C, Onal E, Hirfanoglu IM, et al. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and short-term catch-up of birth weight in the first week of life. J Altern Complement Med. 2011;17:139–42. [PubMed: 21261516]
Kavurt S, Bas AY, Yucel H, et al. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on oxidant and anti-oxidant status of human milk. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013;26:1048–51. [PubMed: 23363373]
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