Drug Levels and Effects:

Summary of Use during Lactation:

Parsley (Carum petroselinum) leaf, seed, and root contain the volatileoilsapiol and myristicin, which is pharmacologically active, as well as flavonoids, beta-phellandrene; bergapten; and vitamins A and C. Warm compresses or poultices of parsley have been used to treat breast engorgement and mastalgia[1][2] Oral capsules containing sage and parsley capsules are said to decrease milk flow;[3][4] however, no scientifically valid clinical trials support this use. No data exist on the excretion of any components of parsley into breastmilk or on the safety and efficacy of parsley nursing mothers or infants. Parsley is "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS) as a food by the US Food and Drug Administration. Adverse reactions are primarily allergic, including cross reactions to other members of the Apiaceae family, such as carrot, celery, and fennel. The essentialoilshould not be used because of potential toxicity of its apiol and myristicin content.

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. 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. 1995;1:165-7. PMID:9456733
2. Yarnell E. Botanical medicine in pregnancy and lactation. Altern Complement Ther. 1997;3 (April):93-100.
3. Petrie KA, Peck MR. Alternative medicine in maternity care. Prim Care. 2000;27:117-36. PMID:10739460
4. Larimore WL, Petrie KA. Drug use during pregnancy and lactation. Primary Care. 2000;27:35-53.

Substance Identification:

Substance Name:


Scientific Name:

Carum petroselinum

Drug Class:

  • Complementary Therapies

  • Phytotherapy

  • Plants, Medicinal

  • Administrative Information:

    LactMed Record Number:


    Last Revision Date:

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