Last update: March 22, 2018
Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended.
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Plant widely used as a condiment and infusion in many cultures. It has been used even for pain relief during pregnancy and colicky pain in fussy babies (without proved data on this).
Since it is non toxic at appropriate dose, a moderate and occasional consumption is believed to be compatible while breastfeeding.
Fruits of this herb are used. Essential oil is composed basically by trans-anethol and Estragol with a mild estrogenic effect.
High dose of trans-anethol may decrease milk production and induce neurotoxicity along with development of seizures and coma. Estragol may be carcinogenic.
Based on this, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has disapproved it for children younger than 12 years old.
Reportedly, two young infants were severely intoxicated after ingestion by the mother, as galactagogue, of two daily liters of a mix infusion with Licorice, Fennel, Anise and Galega officinalis (gout's rue), Symptoms were attributed to Anethol from both Fennel and Anise.
Properties attributed but unproven are: anti-spasmodic, carminative and expectorant.
It has not been shown to improve milk production. The best method of milk production improvement should be mother's self-esteem reinforcement, frequent on-demand breastfeeding, appropriate breastfeeding technique and effective support to mothers willing to breastfeed their infants.
We do not have alternatives for Anise.
Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.
Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.
Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.
e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Asociación Española de Bancos de Leche Humana from Spain
Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM