Although consuming turmeric through food is probably safe while breastfeeding, turmeric may not be safe for these women when it is used medicinally. It is not known if turmeric passes through breast milk or if it would cause any problems in a breastfed infant. Just because turmeric is a "natural" product, it does not automatically mean that it is safe. Before using turmeric, breastfeeding women should talk to their healthcare provider about possible safety concerns.
An Overview of Turmeric and Breastfeeding
Turmeric is a spice and coloring agent that is often used in Indian cuisine. It is also used medicinally as an herbal remedy for various conditions. At this time, it is not known if it is safe for women to take turmeric medicinally while breastfeeding.
Turmeric and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?
It is thought that consuming turmeric in foods is safe for women who are breastfeeding. However, it is not known if using turmeric medicinally is also safe. It has never been studied in breastfeeding women, and it is not known if the active components of turmeric pass through breast milk (or if this would cause any problems in a breastfed infant).
It should be noted that just because turmeric is a "natural" product, it does not automatically mean that it is safe. Many toxins and poisons are natural.
Turmeric and Breastfeeding: Final Thoughts
You should talk with your healthcare provider about turmeric and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about turmeric and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed April 2, 2008.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: turmeric (March 2007). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/turmeric/. Accessed April 2, 2008.
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