Herbal breast enhancers seem attractive to many women considering breast augmentation surgery, particularly because the price tag on these herbal options seems easier. However, in my experience these so-called “natural” breast enhancement techniques are not effective, and they often carry hidden costs.
How They Work
There is no convincing evidence that herbal enhancers work, but the claims usually seem to have a scientific basis: it’s true that some herbs do have estrogen-like effects on the body, that could theoretically augment breast size. However, the human endocrine system is very delicately balanced, and different people respond very differently to the same stimuli. The supplements that do have any effects on estrogen levels may not impact different people the same way, and in many cases they can have unwanted side effects and negative interactions with certain medications. As just one example, estrogenic substances can often trigger the body to reduce how much estrogen it is producing – the reverse of the effect these products aim for!
In my opinion, the use of herbal breast enhancers in general should be strongly discouraged, as there isn’t any evidence of their safety. Unfortunately, many women assume that supplements sold over the counter are proven safe, or that any side effects would be too mild to cause concern, but often this is not the case.
Natural ingredients found in many herbal breast enhancement supplements and pills can have significant adverse impacts on your health. For example: fenugreek, dandelion, blessed thistle and chasteberry are some of the ingredients used in many natural breast enhancers that can cause gastrointestinal distress. Some others, such as black cohosh and kava, can even cause liver damage depending on how much you take. Sensitivity to sun, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhea, muscle spasms, and skin rash are just a few of the other possible side effects from herbs found in many over-the-counter herbal breast enhancers.
High Risk Warnings
Some women are at a greater risk than others from these side effects. Women with fibrocystic breasts, gall bladder disease, or endometriosis are at a higher risk of some side effects. And in some cases the estrogenic effects of some herbs create an extra risk for breast cancer for women who are pregnant, undergoing hormone replacement therapy, or taking birth control pills. Taking any natural herbal enhancer may lead to complications with a wide variety of medications, so this creates additional concerns for many women.
Of course, surgical breast augmentation carries its own risks, and I work carefully to evaluate whether each of my patients is a good candidate for surgery. If you have reservations or concerns about surgery, now is probably not the time to move forward with it. But I strongly encourage anyone considering breast enhancement supplements as an alternative to breast implants not to move forward with that option. In the absence of reliable evidence regarding the safety, consistency, and longevity of the results, why take the risk?
As one of the leading Orange County plastic surgeons, Dr. Michael Niccole founded and is the Medical Director of CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center & MedSpa. Since opening the doors in 1982, he has turned CosmetiCare into one of the most successful multi-specialty cosmetic rejuvenation centers in Southern California.
Dr. Niccole has extensive experience and a refined technique in performing many cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. His skills as a surgeon and the positive results seen on thousands of satisfied patients have helped him create recognition for CosmetiCare around the world receiving patients from Germany, Italy, France, England, Australia, Israel, Costa Rica, and a host of other countries.
Dedicated to his work as a plastic surgeon, Orange County resident Dr. Niccole loves helping people, and it shows with every patient he sees. He has been honored over the years for his abilities as a surgeon and his countless humanitarian efforts. The MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) chose him as their “Man of the Year” in 2008 for his continued humanitarian efforts dedicated to reconstructing lives for children and adults through donated plastic surgery.
Dr. Niccole was honored at one of the MDA’s Gala fundraiser, “Gift of Hope”. He was selected by the Consumer’s Research Council of America as one of the TOP PLASTIC SURGEONS IN AMERICA and included in the “Guide to America’s Top Plastic Surgeons”. CosmetiCare was voted one of the “Best Plastic Surgery Centers in Orange County” (multiple times) by The Orange County Register’s “Peoples’ Choice” and published in its guide “The Best of Orange County.”