Blessed Thistle

Drug Levels and Effects:




Summary of Use during Lactation:


Blessed thistle (Cardui benedicti) contains sesquiterpene lactones, triterpenoids, lignans, tannins, essential oils, flavonoids, and polyenes. Blessed thistle is a purported galactogogue,[1][2][3][4][5][6] and is included in some proprietary mixtures promoted to increase milk supply; however, no scientifically valid clinical trials support this use. Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[7] Blessed thistle is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a flavoring in alcoholic beverages (e.g., Benedictine) by the US Food and Drug Administration. Because it is a member of the ragweed family, allergy is a concern and high doses reportedly cause nausea and vomiting.

Dietary supplements do not require extensive pre-marketing approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Manufacturers are responsible to ensure the safety, but do not need to prove the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements before they are marketed. Dietary supplements may contain multiple ingredients, and differences are often found between labeled and actual ingredients or their amounts. A manufacturer may contract with an independent organization to verify the quality of a product or its ingredients, but that does not certify the safety or effectiveness of a product. Because of the above issues, clinical testing results on one product may not be applicable to other products. More detailed informationabout dietary supplementsis available elsewhere on the LactMed Web site.


Drug Levels:


Maternal Levels.

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.

Infant Levels.

Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


Effects in Breastfed Infants:


Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


Possible Effects on Lactation:


Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.


References:


1. Howard CR, Lawrence RA. Drugs and breastfeeding. Clin Perinatol. 1999;26:447-78. PMID:10394496
2. Petrie KA, Peck MR. Alternative medicine in maternity care. Prim Care. 2000;27:117-36. PMID:10739460
3. Westfall RE. Galactagogue herbs: a qualitative study and review. Can J Midwifery Res Practice. 2003;2:22-7.
4. Low Dog T. The use of botanicals during pregnancy and lactation. Altern Ther Health Med. 2009;15:54-8. PMID:19161049
5. Dennehy C, Tsourounis C, Bui L, King TL. The use of herbs by California midwives. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2010;39:684-93. PMID:21044150
6. Abascal K, Yarnell E. Botanical galactagogues. Altern Complement Ther. 2008;14:288-94.
7. The 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. 2011;6:41-9. PMID:21332371



Substance Identification:




Substance Name:

Blessed Thistle

Scientific Name:

Cardui benedicti

Drug Class:


  • Complementary Therapies

  • Galactogogues

  • Phytotherapy

  • Plants, Medicinal


  • Administrative Information:




    LactMed Record Number:


    867


    Last Revision Date:


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