Last update: Aug. 22, 2021
Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.
There are two different camomile species with similar properties, the ordinary or sweet camomile (Matricaria recutita or Chamomilla recutita) and Roman, English or bitter camomile, (Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile).
The inflorescence is used. It contains essential oils, sesquiterpenes, flavonoids, lactones and tannins.
Properties attributed to it when taken orally: antispasmodic, digestive, anti-inflammatory and sedative, and a cutaneous anti-inflammatory when taken locally (EMA 2015 and 2011, WHO 2010 and 1999). There is a lack of scientific evidence of its properties as a sedative (Yurcheshen 2015).
Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.
Some of its components are suspected to diffuse well in breastmilk, because infants breastfed by mothers who were taking camomile, later recognized the smell of camomile (Delaunay 2010 and 2006).
Used topically for the treatment of cracks, inflammation and nipple pain, some authors describe better results than with lanolin (Nayeri 2019), although cases of contact dermatitis have been described due to the application of products with chamomile in the area of the nipple-areola ( McGeorge 1991).
It is also used as a galactogogue (Sim 2013) without evidence of its effectiveness except for some anecdotal reports (Silva 2018).
This plant is widely used in many cultures (Consolini 2010), even during pregnancy (Kennedy 2013, Cuzzolin 2010, Nordeng 2004) and in infants to calm colic and other problems (Zhang 2011, Abdulrazzaq 2009, Crotteau 2006, Savino 2005).
Given its lack of toxicity at usual doses, moderate consumption is considered compatible with breastfeeding (Briggs 2017, The Royal 2013, Amir 2011).
The best galactogogue is frequent on-demand breastfeeding with correct technique in a mother who maintains her self-confidence (Mannion 2012, Forinash 2012, ABM 2018 and 2011).
Precautions when taking plant preparations:
1. Ensure that they are from reliable source: poisoning has occurred due to confusion of one plant with another with toxic properties, poisonings from heavy metals that are extracted from the soil and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi (Anderson 2017).
2. Do not take too much; follow recommendations from experienced phytotherapy professionals. "Natural" products are not good in any quantity: plants contain active substances from which a large part of our traditional pharmacopoeia has been obtained and can cause intoxication or act as endocrine disruptors (they contain phytoestrogens: Powers 2015, Zava 1998) if they are taken in exaggerated quantities or over extended time periods.
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.
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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