Last update Feb. 9, 2022

Caralluma

Low Risk

Moderately safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

The Caralluma are a genus of succulent species, cacti, of the apocynaceae family. Several of them are used in traditional medicine for the treatment of diabetes, inflammatory processes, leprosy, obesity and rheumatism (Adnan 2014, Dutt 2012). They contain pregnane glycosides, flavonoid glycosides and flavones. (Adnan 2014, Dutt 2012

Caralluma fimbriata is widely used in India as food and to reduce appetite. Anorexigenic and slimming properties are attributed to it, without proven scientific evidence. (Jayawardena 2021, Arora 2015)

Caralluma europaea, distributed in Morocco, Sicily and southeastern Spain, are traditionally attributed numerous medicinal properties (antidiabetic, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory), pending scientific confirmation. (Ouassou 2021)

At the date of the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breast milk.

There is very little published data on the therapeutic use of this plant, but it appears to be devoid of toxicity.

Given its wide traditional use and its lack of toxicity, moderate consumption would be compatible with breastfeeding.

Precautions when taking plant preparations (Anderson 2017, Powers 2015, Posadzki 2013, Efferth 2011, Kopec 1999, Hsu 1995):

  • Make sure they are from a reliable source: poisonings have occurred due to confusion of one plant with another with toxic properties (Hsu 1995), poisonings due to containing heavy metals extracted from the soil, and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi. (Anderson 2017)
  • Do not take in excess; follow the recommendations of expert phytotherapy professionals. “Natural” products are not good in any quantity: plants contain active substances from which much of our traditional pharmacopoeia has been obtained and can cause poisoning or act as endocrine disruptors if consumed in quantity or for an exaggerated time because they contain phytoestrogens. (Powers 2015, Zava 1998)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

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.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Caralluma in other languages or writings:

Group

Caralluma belongs to this group or family:

References

  1. Ouassou H, Bouhrim M, Kharchoufa L, Imtara H, Daoudi NE, Benoutman A, Bencheikh N, Ouahhoud S, Elbouzidi A, Bnouham M. Caralluma europaea (Guss) N.E.Br.: A review on ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry, pharmacological activities, and toxicology. J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Jun 12;273:113769. Abstract
  2. Jayawardena R, Francis TV, Abhayaratna S, Ranasinghe P. The use of Caralluma fimbriata as an appetite suppressant and weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials. BMC Complement Med Ther. 2021 Nov 10;21(1):279. Abstract
  3. Anderson PO. Herbal Use During Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Abstract
  4. Powers CN, Setzer WN. A molecular docking study of phytochemical estrogen mimics from dietary herbal supplements. In Silico Pharmacol. 2015 Mar 22;3:4. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Arora E, Khajuria V, Tandon VR, Sharma A, Mahajan A, Gillani ZH, Choudhary N. To evaluate efficacy and safety of Caralluma fimbriata in overweight and obese patients: A randomized, single blinded, placebo control trial. Perspect Clin Res. 2015 Jan-Mar;6(1):39-44. Abstract
  6. Adnan M, Jan S, Mussarat S, Tariq A, Begum S, Afroz A, Shinwari ZK. A review on ethnobotany, phytochemistry and pharmacology of plant genus Caralluma R. Br. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2014 Oct;66(10):1351-68. Abstract
  7. Posadzki P, Watson L, Ernst E. Contamination and adulteration of herbal medicinal products (HMPs): an overview of systematic reviews. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Abstract
  8. Dutt HC, Singh S, Avula B, Khan IA, Bedi YS. Pharmacological review of Caralluma R.Br. with special reference to appetite suppression and anti-obesity. J Med Food. 2012 Feb;15(2):108-19. Abstract
  9. Efferth T, Kaina B. Toxicities by herbal medicines with emphasis to traditional Chinese medicine. Curr Drug Metab. 2011 Abstract
  10. Kopec K. Herbal medications and breastfeeding. J Hum Lact. 1999 Jun;15(2):157-61. Review. No abstract available. Abstract
  11. Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Abstract
  12. Hsu CK, Leo P, Shastry D, Meggs W, Weisman R, Hoffman RS. Anticholinergic poisoning associated with herbal tea. Arch Intern Med. 1995 Abstract

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