Is Caraway compatible with breastfeeding? Do we have alternatives for Caraway?


July 10, 2017 (Very Low Risk)

Plant from the apiaceae family from which the fruit and its oil is used for medicinal purposes and as a food condiment.
Its essential oil contains carvone, limonene and other terpenes.

Its traditional use is as a carminative, antiflatulent and antispasmodic, even in very young infants to try to treat colic (Abdulrazzaq 2009, Stapleton 1995).

A plant devoid of toxicity at usual doses (Kazemipoor 2014), although cases of hypothyroidism induced by its consumption have been described (Naghibi 2015).

Carvone is excreted in milk in clinically insignificant amounts (Hausner 2011 and 2008).

Given its lack of toxicity at correct doses, moderate consumption during breastfeeding would have little or no risk.

Although in some cultures it is traditionally used to increase milk production (Alachkar 2011), there is no scientific evidence of its capacity as a galactogogue (Muresan 2011, Kopec 1999).

The best galactogogue is frequent on-demand breastfeeding with correct technique (Mannion 2012, ABM 2011). Do not use as a galactogogue without medical supervision.

Precautions when taking plant preparations:
1. Ensure that they are from a reliable source: poisoning has occurred due to confusing one plant with another with toxic properties, as well as poisoning from heavy metals extracted from the ground and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi.
2. Do not take in large amounts; follow recommendations from professional experts in phytotherapy. "Natural" products are not always good in any quantity: plants contain active substances from which much of our traditional pharmacopoeia has been obtained and can result in poisoning or act as endocrine disruptors if taken in excessive amounts or time periods.

Very Low Risk

Compatible. Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Low Risk

Moderately safe. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

High Risk

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

Very High Risk

Not recommended. Cessation of breastfeeding or alternative.


  • Meridian fennel
  • Persian cumin


  • Carum carvi (Latin, botanical name)
  • Bunium carvi (Latin, another name)
  • ヒメウイキョウ (Japanese)


  1. Naghibi SM, Ramezani M, Ayati N, Zakavi SR. Carum induced hypothyroidism: an interesting observation and an experiment. Daru. 2015Abstract
  2. EMA. European Union herbal monograph on Carum carvi L., fructus. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). 2015 Full text (in our servers)
  3. EMA. European Union herbal monograph on Carum carvi L., aetheroleum. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC). 2015 Full text (in our servers)
  4. Kazemipoor M, Radzi CW, Hajifaraji M, Cordell GA. Preliminary safety evaluation and biochemical efficacy of a Carum carvi extract: results from a randomized, triple-blind, and placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytother Res. 2014Abstract
  5. Mannion C, Mansell D. Breastfeeding self-efficacy and the use of prescription medication: a pilot study. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2012Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Johri RK. Cuminum cyminum and Carum carvi: An update. Pharmacogn Rev. 2011Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Alachkar A, Jaddouh A, Elsheikh MS, Bilia AR, Vincieri FF. Traditional medicine in Syria: folk medicine in Aleppo governorate. Nat Prod Commun. 2011Abstract
  8. Muresan M. Successful relactation--a case history. Breastfeed Med. 2011Abstract
  9. 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)
  10. 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. 2011Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  11. Hausner H, Nicklaus S, Issanchou S, Mølgaard C, Møller P. Breastfeeding facilitates acceptance of a novel dietary flavour compound. Clin Nutr. 2010Abstract
  12. Abdulrazzaq YM, Al Kendi A, Nagelkerke N. Soothing methods used to calm a baby in an Arab country. Acta Paediatr. 2009Abstract
  13. Hausner H, Bredie WL, Mølgaard C, Petersen MA, Møller P. Differential transfer of dietary flavour compounds into human breast milk. Physiol Behav. 2008Abstract
  14. Kopec K. Herbal medications and breastfeeding. J Hum Lact. 1999Abstract
  15. Stapleton H. The use of herbal medicine in pregnancy and labour. Part II: Events after birth, including those affecting the health of babies. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 1995Abstract