Is Star Anise compatible with breastfeeding? Do we have alternatives for Star Anise?

Star Anise

July 1, 2015 (Very High Risk)

The fruits of the tree are used. Contains essential oils (anethole), flavonoids and tannins. Allegedly, attributed properties are: antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, estrogen agonist.

Indications from the Commission E of the German Ministry of Health are: anorexia, cough, bronchitis.

Anethole is neurotoxic and is excreted into the milk.

A high risk of accidental contamination exists with Illicium religiosum (Illicium anisatum, Japanese star anise) which is a substance not fit to be eaten and very toxic

It has been withdrawn from the Spanish market in 2000 after several cases of severe poisonings.

Estrogen agonists may decrease the production of milk. Product which is totally unnecessary.

Alternatives

We do not have alternatives for Star Anise.

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.

Synonyms

  • Chinese Star Anise

Writings

  • Illicium verum (Latin, botanical name)
  • Анис Звёздчатый (Cyrillic)

References

  1. Perret C, Tabin R, Marcoz JP, Llor J, Cheseaux JJ. Malaise du nourrisson pensez à une\ intoxication à l’anis étoilé. [Apparent life-threatening event in infants: think about star anise intoxication!]. Arch Pediatr. 2011Abstract
  2. Perret C, Tabin R, Marcoz JP, Llor J, Cheseaux JJ. [Apparent life-threatening event in infants: think about star anise intoxication!]. Arch Pediatr. 2011Abstract
  3. de la Rubia Fernández L, Orizaola Ingelmo A, Hurtado Barace L, Lozano de la Torre MJ. Intoxicación por anís estrellado [Star anise poisoning]. An Pediatr (Barc). 2009Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  4. de la Rubia Fernández L, Orizaola Ingelmo A, Hurtado Barace L, Lozano de la Torre MJ. [Star anise poisoning]. An Pediatr (Barc). 2009Abstract
  5. Hausner H, Bredie WL, Mølgaard C, Petersen MA, Møller P. Differential transfer of dietary flavour compounds into human breast milk. Physiol Behav. 2008Abstract
  6. Ize-Ludlow D, Ragone S, Bruck IS, Bernstein JN, Duchowny M, Peña BM. Neurotoxicities in infants seen with the consumption of star anise tea. Pediatrics. 2004Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Minodier P, Pommier P, Moulène E, Retornaz K, Prost N, Deharo L. Intoxication aiguë par la badiane chez le nourrisson. [Star anise poisoning in infants]. Arch Pediatr. 2003Abstract
  8. Minodier P, Pommier P, Moulène E, Retornaz K, Prost N, Deharo L. [Star anise poisoning in infants]. Arch Pediatr. 2003Abstract
  9. Garzo Fernández C, Gómez Pintado P, Barrasa Blanco A, Martínez Arrieta R, Ramírez Fernández R, Ramón Rosa F; Grupo de Trabajo del Anis Estrellado. Casos de enfermedad de sintomatología\ neurológica asociados al consumo de anís\ estrellado empleado como carminativo. [Cases of neurological symptoms associated with star anise consumption used as a carminative]. An Esp Pediatr. 2002Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  10. Garzo Fernández C, Gómez Pintado P, Barrasa Blanco A, Martínez Arrieta R, Ramírez Fernández R, Ramón Rosa F; Grupo de Trabajo del Anis Estrellado. [Cases of neurological symptoms associated with star anise consumption used as a carminative]. An Esp Pediatr. 2002Abstract
  11. Rosti L, Nardini A, Bettinelli ME, Rosti D. Toxic effects of a herbal tea mixture in two newborns. Acta Paediatr. 1994Abstract