Herbal Medicines Use During Pregnancy: A Review from the Middle East

Oman Med J. 2015 Jul;30(4):229-36. doi: 10.5001/omj.2015.48.

Abstract

The prevalence of the herbal medicines use is on the rise across the world, especially amongst pregnant women. The scenario in the Middle Eastern region was reviewed to explore the prevalence, usage pattern, motivation, and attitude towards use of herbal medicine by pregnant women. Literature published up to December 2012 showed the prevalence of herbal medicine use varied between 22.3-82.3%, implying a rising trend in the utilization of herbal medicine during pregnancy. The most common herbs used were peppermint, ginger, thyme, chamomile, sage, aniseed, fenugreek, and green tea. The most common reasons for use included the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders and cold and flu symptoms. The majority of women used these products during their first trimester, and did not reveal this information to their physician. Most women were advised by family and friends to use herbal medicines and believed they were more effective and had fewer side effects than modern medicine especially during pregnancy. In conclusion, the use of herbal medicine is prevalent among pregnant women in the Middle Eastern region and healthcare providers need to seek information pertaining to their use.

Keywords: Herbal Medicine; Middle East; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review