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Are TCM herbs safe for breastfeeding mums during confinement?

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

Many mums ask about safety of TCM herbs during breastfeeding. “Are TCM herbs safe?” or “Which TCM herb is best to avoid?”

In TCM, "Qi" and "Blood" are essential for breast milk production and mums feel tired after breastfeeding. Herbs that strengthen "Qi" and "Blood", are commonly used to invigorate her body and reduce fatigue.

Examples of herbs that boost "Qi" and "Blood" - Astragalus propinquus, Codonopsis pilosula, Angelica sinensis, Pseudostellaria heterophylla (aka Prince ginseng), Rehmannia glutinosa, Lycium chinense (aka Wolfberry).

Some TCM herbs treat postnatal problems such as back pain, postnatal blues and poor appetite. TCM herbs boost milk production due to "Qi" insufficiency and treat breast discomfort from poor milk flow caused by "Qi" stagnation.

Some herbs, that are high in alkaloid contents, may affect the nervous system, and should be avoided during breastfeeding. They include Coptis, Phellodendron amurense, Ephedra, Sophora flavescens, Rheum palmatum and Tetradium ruticarpum (aka evodia).

So remember! See a TCM physician rather than self-medicate.

#1 TCM herbs are safe to use during breastfeeding under supervision of TCM physician with MOH.

#2 Do inform your physician that you are breastfeeding so that your physician can prescribe safe herbs for you and baby.

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