Use of herbal drugs during pregnancy among 600 Norwegian women in relation to concurrent use of conventional drugs and pregnancy outcome

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Aug;17(3):147-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.09.002. Epub 2010 Oct 5.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of herbal drugs by pregnant women in relation to concurrent use of conventional drugs, delivery, and pregnancy outcome.

Method: 600 women at Stavanger University Hospital Norway were interviewed using a structured questionnaire within five days after delivery. Medical birth charts were reviewed with respect to pregnancy outcome.

Results: In all, 39.7% of the women reported having used herbal drugs during pregnancy, most commonly ginger, iron-rich herbs, echinacea and cranberry. Although 86.3% of the women reported having used conventional drugs during pregnancy there were few potential interactions between herbal drugs and conventional drugs. There was a significant association between the use of iron-rich herbs during pregnancy and high birthweight, and use of raspberry leaves and caesarean delivery.

Conclusion: Use of herbal drugs is common during pregnancy and indicates a need for documentation about their safety in pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Weight / drug effects
  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Herb-Drug Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Iron, Dietary / therapeutic use*
  • Norway
  • Phytotherapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Polypharmacy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Iron, Dietary
  • Plant Preparations