Last update Oct. 31, 2018

Goat´s Rue

Likely Compatibility

Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.

The flowering tops of this herbaceous plant are consumed. It contains guanidine and galegine, with supposed hypoglycemic effects (Blumenthal 1998 p 332).
It has been used as a galactagogue in domestic animals since ancient times and at the beginning of the 20th century it was seen to increase milk production in cows (Zuppa 2010).

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.

Despite its widespread use (Sim 2013, Forinash 2012, Zuppa 2010), there is little quality scientific evidence on its effect as a galactagogue (Mortel 2013, Forinash 2012, Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Pediatric Association 2012, ABM 2011).

The few studies that claim to demonstrate its galactagogue properties (Serrao 2018, Ozalkaya 2018, Zecca 2016, Turkyilmaz 2011) use a mixture of herbs, all allegedly galactagogues, in mothers from the test group, so that the effect found can not be attributed to one herb in particular.
Other studies found a maternal sensation of increased milk production and good tolerance (Salatino 2017).

No greater antioxidant capacity has been found in the breastmilk of women who drank mixed infusions of this and other plants (Kavurt 2013).

Two newborns and their mothers were seriously intoxicated after the latter drank an average of two litres a day of an infusion mixed with licorice, fennel, anise and galega (Rosti 1994).
A mother was severely intoxicated (gastroenteritis, liver inflammation) by continuously drinking a mixed infusion of fennel, fenugreek and galega (Sahin 2016).

It can cause hypoglycemia (Zuppa 2010, Blumenthal 1998 p 332), although no study has ever been published.

It is a very toxic plant for sheep (Puyt 1981).

The Commission E of the German Ministry of Health discourages its use in humans due to lack of evidence of its therapeutic usefulness (Blumenthal 1998 p. 332).

Given its widespread use, low toxicity and good tolerance at correct doses, moderate consumption would be compatible with breastfeeding. Do not use as a galactagogue without health checks.

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 y 2011).

Precautions when taking plant preparations:
1. Make sure they are from a reliable source: poisonings have occurred due to confusion of one plant with another with toxic properties, poisonings due to heavy metals that are extracted from the soil and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi (Anderson 2017).
2. Do not take in excess; follow recommendations from experts in phytotherapy. “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 (they contain phytoestrogens: Powers 2015, Zava 1998) if consumed in exaggerated quantities or periods of time.


  • Domperidone (Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.)
  • Metoclopramide (Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.)
  • Sulpiride (Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.)

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

Goat´s Rue is also known as

Goat´s Rue in other languages or writings:


Goat´s Rue belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Goat´s Rue in its composition:


  1. ABM: Brodribb W. ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of Galactogogues in Initiating or Augmenting Maternal Milk Production, Second Revision 2018. Breastfeed Med. 2018 Jun;13(5):307-314 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Serrao F, Corsello M, Romagnoli C, D'Andrea V, Zecca E. The Long-Term Efficacy of a Galactagogue Containing Sylimarin-Phosphatidylserine and Galega on Milk Production of Mothers of Preterm Infants. Breastfeed Med. 2018 Abstract
  3. Özalkaya E, Aslandoğdu Z, Özkoral A, Topcuoğlu S, Karatekin G. Effect of a galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and prolactin secretion by mothers of preterm babies. Niger J Clin Pract. 2018 Jan;21(1):38-42. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Salatino S, Giacomelli L, Carnevali I, Giacomelli E. The role of natural galactagogues during breast feeding: focus on a Galega officinalis based food supplement. Minerva Pediatr. 2017 Abstract
  5. Anderson PO. Herbal Use During Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Abstract
  6. Şahin B, Kaymaz N, Yıldırım Ş. Herbal remedies for perceived inadequate milk supply are perhaps not as safe as women think: A brief case report. Women Birth. 2016 Abstract
  7. Zecca E, Zuppa AA, D'Antuono A, Tiberi E, Giordano L, Pianini T, Romagnoli C. Efficacy of a galactogogue containing silymarin-phosphatidylserine and galega in mothers of preterm infants: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Abstract
  8. 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)
  9. Castoldi F, Pivetti V, Moiraghi L, Marangione P, Lista G. [Silymarin/galega administration in term and preterm mothers to sustain breast feeding: an observational study]. Minerva Pediatr. 2014 Abstract
  10. Sim TF, Sherriff J, Hattingh HL, Parsons R, Tee LB. The use of herbal medicines during breastfeeding: a population-based survey in Western Australia. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. Kavurt S, Bas AY, Aydemir O, Yucel H, Isikoglu S, Demirel N. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on oxidant and anti-oxidant status of human milk. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013 Abstract
  12. Mortel M, Mehta SD. Systematic review of the efficacy of herbal galactogogues. J Hum Lact. 2013 May;29(2):154-62. Abstract
  13. CLM - Comité de Lactancia Materna de la AEP. Preguntas frecuentes sobre lactancia materna. Folleto. 2012 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Mannion C, Mansell D. Breastfeeding self-efficacy and the use of prescription medication: a pilot study. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2012;2012:562704. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  15. Forinash AB, Yancey AM, Barnes KN, Myles TD. The use of galactogogues in the breastfeeding mother. Ann Pharmacother. 2012 Oct;46(10):1392-404. Abstract
  16. ABM. Academy Of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee. ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of galactogogues in initiating or augmenting the rate of maternal milk secretion (First Revision January 2011). Breastfeed Med. 2011 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  17. ABM. Comité de Protocolos de la Academia Médica de Lactancia Materna. ABM Protocolo Clínico #9: Uso de Galactogogos para Iniciar o aumentar la tasa de secreción de Leche Materna. Breastfeed Med. 2011 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  18. Turkyılmaz C, Onal E, Hirfanoglu IM, Turan O, Koç E, Ergenekon E, Atalay Y. The effect of galactagogue herbal tea on breast milk production and short-term catch-up of birth weight in the first week of life. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Abstract
  19. Zuppa AA, Sindico P, Orchi C, Carducci C, Cardiello V, Romagnoli C. Safety and efficacy of galactogogues: substances that induce, maintain and increase breast milk production. J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2010;13(2):162-74. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  20. Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Abstract
  21. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS, editors. The American Botanical Council. The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Integrative Medicine Com; Boston, MA, USA: 1998
  22. Rosti L, Nardini A, Bettinelli ME, Rosti D. Toxic effects of a herbal tea mixture in two newborns. Acta Paediatr. 1994 Jun;83(6):683. No abstract available. Abstract
  23. Puyt JD, Faliu L, Keck G, Gedfrain JC, Pinault L, Tainturier D. Fatal poisoning of sheep by Galega officinalis (French honeysuckle). Vet Hum Toxicol. 1981 Abstract

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