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herbals: dandelion root (galactogogue?) and elderberry juice (general remedy, colds,

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  • herbals: dandelion root (galactogogue?) and elderberry juice (general remedy, colds,

    What can you tell me about the efficacy/risks, etc. of using dandelion root as a galactogogue?

    Different patient, asking OK? to use elderberry juice as a general remedy for colds/congestion, by BF mom with 6mo baby?

  • #2
    Dear Kay,

    Dr. Hale states that there are literally thousands of herbal products and teas used today. Many are safe and some are unsafe for breastfeeding mothers. Consult an authority in herbal products before ingesting these drugs while pregnant or breastfeeding. From Natural Standard, not enough information to say dandelion root is safe for breastfeeding. Many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and thus should be avoided. Dandelion is on the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list from the FDA, but should not be used in higher amounts than found in food while pregnant, breastfeeding, or in pediatric patients. There is a lack of high-quality study on the safety and efficacy of dandelion for any indication. From Natural Standard, there is not enough information to say elderberry is safe during breastfeeding. There is a risk of cyanide toxicity especially from elder bark, root, leaves, or juice (when berries are not cooked sufficiently). Unfortunately, since herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, there is a lack of scientific study so we do not have enough data to say they are safe, thus the L4 rating.

    Cindy Pride, MSN, CPNP
    TTUHSC InfantRisk Center