Herbs for Constipation when Breastfeeding
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: September 4, 2002

My sister is experiencing constipation for the first time in her life. My husband and I use an excellent herbal preparation for cleansing and I offered some to her but since she nurses we need to find out if these specific herbs are OK through the milk. It would be one tablet a day containing the following: curacoa and cape aloe leaf, senna leaves and pods, cascada sagrada aged bark, Jamaican ginger rhizome, barberry root bark, garlic bulb, and habanero peppers. Some of these, such as garlic, habanero peppers and I assume the aloe are of course not going to hurt the little one. We were wondering about the other herbs.

This combination is not suitable in breastfeeding. In fact this combination should never be used long term. Being strong laxatives, they may sometimes be recommended for short term use, but should be stopped as soon as the bowels start moving regularly. Long term use causes the bowels to become lazy, resulting in chronic constipation. Usually diet changes, daily exercise and increased water intake are recommended to help the bowels move naturally.

Safe alternatives include yellow dock root (Rumex crispus), taken as a tea or tincture; psyllium seeds, one to two teaspoons in a cup of water first thing in the morning. (Note: phyllium seeds cause bulking of the stool, and sufficient water must be taken to avoid bulking without elimination); 1 - 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seeds, taken in water or with sprinkled on food. Helpful foods are prunes, fresh fruit (especially apples) and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables) and lots of warm water (at least 8 cups daily).

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