Last update: Oct. 31, 2018

Common Box

High Risk probable for breastfeeding

Poorly safe.
Evaluate carefully.
Use a safer alternative.
Read the Comment.

The bark and leaves of the tree are used.
It contains steroidal alkaloids such as buxine and potentially toxic derivatives (EMA 2012).
Properties attributed to it: laxative, antiseptic when used topically.

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

Due to the lack of proven curative effects and potential toxicity, it is included in the European list of potentially dangerous plants (EMA 2012) and its sale has been banned in some countries, such as Spain (MSC 2004).

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.

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.

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

Common Box is also known as Box. Here it is a list of alternative known names::

Common Box in other languages or writings:


Common Box belongs to these groups or families:


  1. Anderson PO. Herbal Use During Breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2017 Abstract
  2. Powers CN, Setzer WN. A molecular docking study of phytochemical estrogen mimics from dietary herbal supplements. In Silico Pharmacol. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. EMA-EFSA. Compendium of botanicals reported to contain naturally occuring substances of possible concern for human health when used in food and food supplements. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). 2012 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo, España. ORDEN SCO/190/2004, de 28 de enero, por la que se establece la lista de plantas cuya venta al público queda prohibida o restringida por razón de su toxicidad. BOE nº 32. 2004 Full text (in our servers)
  5. Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998 Abstract

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