The Use of Herbal Products during Breastfeeding: A Study from a Public Italian HospitalVincenzo Aleandri1,2, Giuliano Bertazzoni1,3, Daniela Romanzi2, Giuseppe Vetrano2, Federico Durazzi4, Gabriela Mazzanti4 and Annabella Vitalone4*
- *Corresponding Author:
- Annabella Vitalone
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology “V. Erspamer”
Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185, Rome, Italy
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: July 05, 2014; Accepted date: August 22, 2014; Published date: August 29, 2014
Citation: Aleandri V, Bertazzoni G, Romanzi D, Vetrano G, Durazzi F, et al. (2014) The Use of Herbal Products during Breastfeeding: A Study from a Public Italian Hospital. J Food Process Technol 5:354. doi:10.4172/2157-7110.1000354
Copyright: © 2014 Aleandri V, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: The use of herbal products is steadily increasing worldwide, especially by women, also during pregnancy and breastfeeding, even if safety data are lacking. Aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of use and the attitude toward herbal remedies among women during breastfeeding, by an interview-based survey. Methods: Participants were interviewed after receiving the informed consent, by a structured and validated questionnaire. Results: Two hundred forty-four breastfeeding women completed the questionnaire. The majority of them were non-smokers and non-drinkers, whereas they were regular consumers of herbal products during breastfeeding (97%). Medicinal plants most commonly used were sweet almond oil (68%) and fennel (37%). Herbal products were often associated with other prescription drugs (89%). Five percent of women have experienced dermatological and gastrointestinal adverse reactions, potentially due to herbal products. Conclusions: This study reports that nursing mothers are generally no smokers, avoid alcohol consumption, and they reduce the use of drugs to those really needed. At the main time, this study highlights that breastfeeding mothers have limited knowledge on the risk/benefit profile of plant-derived products. As data on the excretion of chemical components of herbal products and their metabolites in breast milk are lacking, it is generally better to avoid during breastfeeding the use “natural remedies” whose safety has not been well established.