13.01.2014

Pregnancy herbal medicine

There is no evidence that the use of culinary herbs such as garlic orginger is harmful during pregnancy, but the growing popularity ofmedicinal herbs may increase the deliberate or inadvertent use of medicinal herbs during pregnancy, raising the possibility of adverse fetal or neonatal effects.
The effect of echinacea use during pregnancy was investigated by Motherisk, a Toronto information center that handles telephone calls from women with concerns about pregnancy exposures. The major strength of this study is the prospective enrollment of women based on exposure, prior to the women’s awareness of pregnancy outcome. Also called thunder god vine, Tripterygium wilfordii is a Chinese herb used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and dermatological conditions.
Besides flavoring candy, licorice commonly is used in both Western and Chinese herbal medicine. Although useful for morning sickness, ginger traditionally has been used for “suppressed menses,” a term that is sometimes a euphemism for early pregnancy.
Other causes of headaches during pregnancy could entail a number of of the following Caffeine withdrawal.
Background: There is limited data on the use of herbal medicine by pregnant women in Nigeria.
The world has long been alerted of the risks associated with herbal medicines1 but they continue to play significant roles in the management of minor and major ailments in developed and developing countries where their use is reported to be on the increase2,3,4.The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 80% of people living in Africa use traditional medicines for the management of their prevailing diseases5. This study therefore aims at determining the prevalence of use, socio- demographic pattern, knowledge base and attitude of pregnant women to the use of herbal medicines in this part of the country.
We initially sought to recruit about 10% of the population of pregnant women going through the antenatal Clinic of AKTH each year, which would be 412 women.
Pregnant women attending the antenatal Clinic of AKTH between April and June, 2010 were eligible for inclusion in the study. All questionnaires administered on the 500 pregnant women recruited into the study were completed. About forty percent of those using herbal medicine admitted to have been engaged in self medication of orthodox drugs during pregnancy. Over thirty one percent (31.4%) of all pregnant women in this study used at least one herbal medicine during their current pregnancy. This study reveals a 31.4% prevalence of herbal medicine use among pregnant women in our cohort. A small study in South Africa of 229 patients in labor found that 55% had taken herbs during pregnancy.
A survey of 172 certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) found that 90 CNMs prescribed or encouraged use of labor-stimulating herbs.
Pregnancy outcome was obtained for 206 women who took this herb, 112 of whom used it during the first trimester.
It would be reasonable to conclude, then, that echinacea is not another thalidomide, but it would be premature to recommend use of this herb during pregnancy based on this study. The McFarlin survey of CNMs found that 64% of those who prescribed herbs for labor facilitation used blue cohosh and 45% used black cohosh.
Neonatal hirsutism in a baby noted to have hair on the forehead, pubic hair, swollen nipples, and enlarged testes was attributed to the use of Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosis) throughout pregnancy and during lactation. Headache Medicine Prescribed During Pregnancy Medicine Herbal they are also associated with a Serotonin (ain chemical) imbalance. Use Of Herbal Medicine Among Pregnant Women Attending A Tertiary Hospital In Northern Nigeria. We also factored the prevalence of herbal medicine use as reported in published studies using a 95% confidence level and allowing for a 5 – 10% variation.


There was a statistically significant association between use of herbal medicine during pregnancy and self medication with orthodox drugs during pregnancy (P=0.006). It also unveils an association between herbal medicine use and illiteracy, low socioeconomic status and self medication with orthodox drugs . Like all self reported exposure assessments, under reporting is very likely, especially in our environment where patients, for fear of rebuke by their physicians may down play their use of medicines not prescribed by their doctors.Furthermore, the inability of patients to reliably define the various herbs used ostensibly due to the nature of the herbal product industry, made characterization difficult. Herbal medicines used during first trimester and major congenital malformation: an analysis of data from a pregnancy cohort study. Effect of maternal raspberry leaf consumption in rats on pregnant outcomes and the fertility of the female offspring.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng, other Panax species) Ginseng is an adaptogenic, tonic herb commonly used in Chinese medicine; it also has become popular in the West.
Twenty-one percent of the CNMs reported complications when herbs were used, including nausea, meconium-stained fluid, and transient fetal tachycardia with use of blue and black cohosh.
However, the wrong herb was blamed; subsequent analysis showed that the herb consumed was actually Chinese silk vine (Periploca sepium). In a rat teratology study, an herbal combination of nine agents, one of which was licorice root, did not increase congenital anomalies and appeared to protect against valproic acid-induced defects.
In a clinical trial of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, one patient experienced a spontaneous abortion; another underwent induced abortion for non-medical reasons. An Australian retrospective record review of 57 women who had consumed raspberry leaf products during their pregnancy and 51 controls (randomly selected from hospital records of women who stated they had not consumed raspberry leaf products) found no safety problems for women or their babies when raspberry leaf products were consumed during pregnancy.
As is true for therapeutics in nonpregnant women, medications, including herbal therapies, should not be used unless there is adequate evidence of safety and efficacy. While pregnant women and their health care provides are increasingly aware that they should avoid unnecessary exposures during pregnancy, a paradoxical increase in the quantity of self administered herbal and over the counter(OTC) medication have been reported10,11.Majority of the traditional herbal medicines used in Africa are provided by practitioners who live within the communities, have been trusted over time and are often willing to assist the patients with their knowledge and skills, sometimes at minimal costs to the patients6,12. A letter to the editor presented 88 women who reported using ginseng during pregnancy.There was no apparent increase in adverse pregnancy outcome compared to unexposed women. Midwives and herbalists who care for pregnant women should use an evidence-based approach and should recognize that almost all effective medicines can have problematic side effects. Most of these herbal medicines are procured in their crude forms although some pharmaceutical prepackaged forms also exist and are available over the counter.Herbal use among pregnant women raises particular concerns of safety. There was no statistically significant association between the use of herbal medicine and the gravidity groups (P>0.05). Community mobilization is needed to control advertisements and ensure that information on the risks and safety of herbal medicines to the fetus and mother in pregnancy are included in the package.
Pregnancy outcome information was collected using a questionnaire that was completed by the women.
These safety concerns have been attributed to the herbal ingredients itself13,14, interactions between a herbal product and other pharmaceuticals (example, ginseng and insulin)15,16 and contamination of products by unlabeled toxins (example, lead and mercury)17.In spite of these known concerns, many patients do not disclose use of herbal medicines to their health care providers18, although some herbal use by pregnant women have been reported to have been recommended by health care providers19, natural or alternative health care providers, pharmacists,20 friends or family20,21 and even in response to information from media sources(22). In several parts of the world, particularly in developing countries access to herbal medicines is largely unrestricted.. There is also a need for health care providers to take adequate drug history and counsel pregnant women on possible dangers of herbal medicine use.
Use of herbal medicine in pregnancy showed statistically significant association with no formal education(POver 70% of pregnant women had an income of at least 20,000 naira (130 USD) monthly.
In contrast to prescription and newer over the counter medications, herbal products are usually marketed without the benefit of clinical trials to demonstrate either efficacy or safety18. Regulatory agencies may also need to strengthen regulations relating to licensing and use of herbal medicines in pregnancy in our environment.


Studies have also reported different characteristics of women more likely to take herbal medicine in pregnancy. Women with monthly income of less than 130 USD showed statistically significant association with the use of herbal medicine in pregnancy(P0.05).
Besides, manufacturers and purveyors of herbal medicines usually offer broad range of therapeutic claims which constitute powerful temptations for consumers12.. The definition of herbal medicine was explained to the women to include those procured from the traditional herbal medicine man, those bought over the counter in shops, local markets and medicine stores or pharmacies.
About forty percent of the herbal medicine using women used herbal medicine in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. While our knowledge of the potential side effects of many herbal medicines used in pregnancy are limited,25 even amidst reports of teratogenicity in human and animal models25,26, data on herbal medicine use in pregnancy in sub Saharan Africa is Scanty. One study had found that use of complementary and alternative medicines are associated with a 30% lower ongoing pregnancy and live birth rate during fertility treatment31. Responses were also sought on use of herbs during pregnancy, self medication during pregnancy, safety of herbal medicines at different stages of pregnancy and to the fetus, mother or both.The questionnaire was pre piloted using a sample of women from the same antenatal clinic who were not chosen to be part of the study. Among reported herbs or products used, respondents who used herbal medicine could only easily identify Ginger(zingiber officinalle) and Garlic(allium sativa).
Interactions between herbs and conventional prescriptions should evolve serious concerns among pregnant women and the general public as some herbs may amplify the effects of anticoagulants while some, including common fruits, interfere with cytochrome P450 enzyme systems which are critical to drug metabolism32.33. All herbal medicine using respondents had used other herbal medicines in addition to the Ginger and Garlic which they could remember.Table 2 shows the use, attitude and knowledge of the herbal medicine using respondents. This is evident in this study where a large majority of our respondents claim that herbal medicine is their traditional medicine which they have always used and will, even in the face of uncertain efficacy, continue using in the future. Garlic is considered to be non toxic as a food additive, but in large quantities, there are concerns that it may act as an abortificent calling for avoidance of medicinal doses in pregnancy9. Ginger is known to cause increased uterine activity and its action as a thromboxane synthetase inhibitor could affect testosterone receptor binding36 warranting cautious use and possibly avoiding doses above 1g per day during pregnancy. This does not agree with reports from Norway28 , India37, and Sweden38 where education and higher socio- economic status were associated with herbal medicine use in pregnant women. In much of the developing world, the largely unrestricted access to herbal medicines leads to indiscriminate use which is encouraged by the usually untested therapeutic claims by the ubiquitous herbal medicine man and other purveyors of these herbs most of whom live, are known, and accepted in the communities.
This makes the herbs more acceptable to the unenlightened and less discerning groups in the society who are also more on the lower economic rung of society. Over forty percent of the women taking herbal medicine in this study admitted to have been engaged in self medication with orthodox drugs during pregnancy. Ironically, less than a quarter of them believe that herbal drug use is dangerous to the fetus. Consistent education and counseling is required to bring harmony between their knowledge and practice in relation to herbal drug use during pregnancy. Our finding calls for community mobilization which should include the husbands, community and religious leaders in order to change the orientation of the community and create awareness on the risks involved in indiscriminate use of herbal medicines during pregnancy and the need to get herbal drug use information from health practitioners.
In the light of a high prevalence of use of herbal medicines in pregnancy in developed and developing countries, there is an urgent need to evaluate the safety of phytomedicine use during pregnancy; and until definitive data emerge , we agree with Ernst29 that the best advice is to consider all herbal products contraindicated during pregnancy and to inform the pregnant women accordingly.



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Comments to «Pregnancy herbal medicine»

  1. Naina writes:
    From normal signs of being pregnant as a result of most 37,1-37,3 C for.
  2. RomeO_BeZ_JulyettI writes:
    Via the placenta resulting in start defects later if indicators of pregnancy.