Last update April 19, 2023
Woody shrub plant native to high Andean regions of Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. There are around 12 species of muña belonging to various plant genera of the family Lamiaceae: Minthostachys mollis, Minthostachys setosa, and Satureja boliviana or Micromeria boliviana. (Salcedo 2021, Lock 2016, Torrenegra 2016, Ormachea 1979)
They are used in agriculture to preserve potatoes, grains, and other foods and prevent their decomposition (Salcedo 2021, Ormachea 1979). The leaves and flowers in infusion are used in popular medicine as a carminative and bronchodilator to treat stomach colic and flu-like disorders, menstrual pain, and facilitate childbirth. It has an antiseptic, antimicrobial effect (staphylococci, E. coli, salmonella), fungicidal (candida, trichophytes), acaricidal, parasiticidal, and insecticidal properties. Muña is also used as a food ingredient. (Salcedo 2021, Lock 2016, Torrenegra 2016, Mora 2009, Cano 2008)
The leaves contain phenols (kaempferol, quercetin, and ursolic acid). The essential oil contains 98% monoterpenes (carvacrol, eucalyptol (10%), thymol, pulegone (10%), germacrene, limonene, nerolidol, carvone, and linalool) and 1% sesquiterpenes and other compounds. (Salcedo 2021, Pellegrini 2017, Lock 2016, Torrenegra 2016, Jaramillo 2012, Mora 2009, Cano 2008, Fuertes 2001, Alkire 1994)
As of the last update, we did not find any published data related to lactation.
There are very few scientific references to this plant in the literature. No secondary reactions or toxic effects have been published. This plant has been widely used by Andean populations for centuries. Given its lack of toxicity at correct doses, moderate culinary or infusion consumption would be compatible with lactation.
Due to the risk of toxicity from its essential oil due to its eucalyptol and pulegone content, it is not advisable to use it during lactation except for occasional and moderate use.
Eucalyptol is neurotoxic and convulsant; it can cause severe neurological depression in adults and children. See comments and bibliographic citations in Eucalyptus.
Pulegone is abortive and hepatotoxic, renal, and neurological toxic; it can cause seizures, hypertension, and be carcinogenic. See comments and bibliographic citations in Pennyroyal.
Topical use of the essential oil is compatible with lactation provided it is not applied to the chest.
Precautions when taking plant preparations (Anderson 2017, Powers 2015, Posadzki 2013, Efferth 2011, Kopec 1999, Hsu 1995):
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.
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.
e-lactancia is a resource recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine - 2006 of United States of America
Would you like to recommend the use of e-lactancia? Write to us at corporate mail of APILAM