Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Herbs, Breastfeeding May Be a Harmful Mix


The growing use of herbs by nursing mothers has caught the attention of author Arlene Eisenberg, who tells WebMD that she plans to add a section on herbs in the next edition of What to Expect the First Year,one of the best-selling books in the What to Expect series authored by Eisenberg and her daughters, Heidi Murkhoff and Sandee Hathaway, BSN. Eisenberg says her message will be "natural doesn't equal safe."

While Lawrence says that nursing mothers should be steered away from most herbs, she says there are some exceptions.

"There are some teas that I can recommend for women who want a nice herbal tea. Chicory, peppermint, orange spice, and red bush tea are all fine. Rose hips is an especially good tea because it has a very high concentration of vitamin C," Lawrence says.

Finally, she says, doctors should caution nursing mothers who have postpartum depression that self-medicating with St. John's wort might be risky. St. John's wort contains a type of drug called a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Some serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to slightly affect infant weight gain. Because the FDA does not regulate herbs, there is no way to determine how much of this drug is passed to the infant.

Eisenberg, who attended the meeting seeking material for the new book, says that she thinks "mothers are just using these things without asking. They don't realize that these herbs and so-called natural substances can act just like any other drugs."

1 | 2

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
parents and baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

mother holding baby at night
mother with sick child
Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
Track Your Babys Vaccines
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Woman holding feet up to camera
Father kissing newborn baby
baby gear slideshow