Is Turmeric Safe When Breastfeeding? Teas, Lattes + More

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Turmeric is a warm and peppery spice that many like to add to teas, lattes, and even savory dishes. Therefore, it makes sense that you may wonder if you can safely consume turmeric while you are breastfeeding.

Turmeric is safe for breastfeeding women in food amounts only. However, it is best to avoid consuming turmeric in any higher quantities, including tea, lattes, and supplemental doses. Speak with your physician before taking any turmeric supplements while you are breastfeeding. 

This article will cover more information about turmeric’s safety and any potential side effects while breastfeeding. Read on to learn more. 

Is Turmeric Safe During Breastfeeding? 

Consuming turmeric in food is safe while you are breastfeeding. Turmeric is classified as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (also known as GRAS) by the United States Food and Drug Administration, or FDA (source: FDA). This specification means that turmeric is safe for all individuals, including breastfeeding women. 

Aromatic turmeric tea with black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and ginger

Additionally, a study found that infants exposed to turmeric through breast milk did not experience any adverse reactions (source: Drugs and Lactation Database). For you, consuming large amounts of turmeric is generally tolerated well. However, some instances of nausea, vomiting and allergic reactions have been reported.

In terms of amount, there needs to be more information on the safety of consuming turmeric in higher amounts than present in food, namely supplemental doses (source: Drugs and Lactation Database). 

Also, turmeric supplements or any dietary supplement are not regulated for safety or effectiveness by the FDA before it is available to the general public (source: FDA). However, after the supplement is on the market, the FDA monitors for adverse reactions that may result from the product. 

Therefore, turmeric supplements should be avoided in breastfeeding women. If you do decide to take turmeric supplements, make sure you speak with your physician first. 

A study was performed in which curcumin, a compound present in turmeric, was examined in vitro to observe its effect on milk production (source: Phytomedicine). Researchers found that curcumin actually suppressed milk production in lactating mammary epithelial cells. 

While studies are still needed to examine this effect in human lactating mothers further, this research does suggest that turmeric may have a negative impact on breast milk production. 

Besides milk production, turmeric has many potential health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving memory, and helping with pain (source: Cleveland Clinic).

Also, turmeric contains some antioxidants that help protect the body against free radicals. Free radicals are harmful compounds that can cause oxidative stress, which plays a role in many chronic health conditions. 

Can I Drink Turmeric Tea When Breastfeeding? 

Since there is not much research that exists on the safety of turmeric in amounts higher than as a flavoring for food, it is best to avoid turmeric tea when breastfeeding (source: Drugs and Lactation Database). Make sure you are looking at the ingredients list of tea blends to make sure they do not contain turmeric. 

If you are still looking for a comforting and warm herbal tea, stick with herbs that are known as safe in tea, such as ginger tea or peppermint tea. 

turmeric lattes in glasses

Are Turmeric Lattes OK When Nursing?

Turmeric lattes contain almond or coconut milk with ground turmeric added in. Similar to turmeric tea, the lattes contain concentrated amounts of turmeric, with some recipes recommending up to one tablespoon of turmeric for just one serving! 

Since it is best to limit your turmeric consumption to food flavoring amounts, avoid turmeric lattes while you are breastfeeding.

Hopefully, this article helped break down the recommendations regarding consuming turmeric while breastfeeding.