Drug Levels and Effects:

Summary of Use during Lactation:

There are over 2000 species of Euphorbia containing numerous chemical compounds, although no specific active ingredients have been identified. Several Euphorbia species have been used as galactogogues in various cultures, such as Euphorbia lancifolia (called ixbut in the local language) by the Mayans in Guatemala,[1] Euphorbia hirta in India,[2][3] and Euphorbia serpyllifolia and other species by American Indians. No scientifically valid clinical trials support this use; however, some evidence in animals found that a Euphorbia extract increases serum prolactin.[4] Galactogogues should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors that affect milk production.[5] No data exist on the excretion of any components of Euphorbia into breastmilk. Euphorbia species exude a white sap that can cause contact sensitization and ocular toxicity if it gets in the eye. Taken orally, Euphorbia can 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.


1. Rosengarten F Jr. A neglected Mayan galactagogue -- ixbut (Euphorbia lancifolia). J Ethnopharmacol. 1982;5:91-112. PMID:7033669
2. Sayed NZ, Deo R, Mukundan U. Herbal remedies used by Warlis of Dahanu to induce lactation in nursing mothers. Indian J Tradit Knowl. 2007;6:602-5.
3. Rajith NP, Navas M, Muhammad Thata A et al. A study on traditional mother care plants of rural communities of South Kerala. Indian J Tradit Knowl. 2010;9:203-8.
4. Sawadogo L, Thibault JF, Rouau X et al. [Lactogenic action of certain plant extracts]. Chapter 21 in Martinet J, Houdebine LM, eds. Biologie de la lactation. 1993;477-89.
5. 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:


Scientific Name:

Euphorbia sp.

Drug Class:

  • Complementary Therapies

  • Phytotherapy

  • Plants, Medicinal

  • Administrative Information:

    LactMed Record Number:


    Last Revision Date:

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