Last update Nov. 5, 2020
It is a perennial flowering plant in the legume family Fabaceae. Aerial summits and seeds are used.
It contains a great deal of isoflavones, such as genistein and daidzein with estrogenic properties, and steroids, cumestans, vitamins and minerals.
Attributed effects but not clinically tested are: agonist of estrogen, antianemic and diuretic.
At latest update, relevant published data on excretion into breast milk were not found.
There is not reliable data that would support its use as galactagogue (ABM 2018, Mortel 2013, Forinash 2012, Coly 2009, Kopec 1999, Eriksson 1983).
The best galactogogue is effective support and advice during pregnancy and after childbirth to achieve breastfeeding on frequent demand and with correct technique in a mother who retains her self-confidence (Brodribb 2018, Anderson 2013, Mannion 2012, Forinash 2012, Comité 2012, ABM 2011, Jones 2011, Anderson 2007, Amir 2006).
Caravanina which is one of the components, is toxic if continuously used. Pancytopenia, Hemolytic anemia and Lupus Erythematosus have been described as induced by frequent consumption of germinated-seeds or tablets of alfalfa (Farnsworth 1995, Montanaro 1991, Malinow 1981), although the latter association has not been proven (Vasoo 2006, Akaogi 2006, Bengtsson 2002)..
Moderate, occasional and non-chronic consumption would be compatible with breastfeeding.
Precautions when taking plant preparations (Anderson 2017, Powers 2015, Posadzki 2013, Efferth 2011, Kopec 1999):
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.
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 (contain phytoestrogens) if consumed in exaggerated quantity or periods of time.
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.
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e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine - 2012 of United States of America
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