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Skip Navigation LinksJRI > Archive > July-September 2006, Volume 7, Issue 2 > Use of herbal medicines by pregnant women in Shahr-e-Kord



Volume 7, Issue 2, Number 27 / July-September
(pages 125-131)


Use of herbal medicines by pregnant women in Shahr-e-Kord




 Corresponding Author
Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Shahrekord University of Medical Science & Health Services, Shahr-e-Kord, Iran

Department of Medicine & Surgery, Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Shahr-e-Kord University of Medical Sciences, Shahr-e-Kord, Iran

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahr-e-Kord University of Medical Sciences, Shahr-e-Kord, Iran

Department of Statistic& Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahrekord University of Medical Science, Shahr-e-Kord, Iran


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Abstract
Introduction: Researchers have shown that herbal medicines are used by a large portion of pregnant women. Herbs are generally perceived as safe, harmless and free from side-effect but there have been reports on side-effects in pregnant mothers and their fetuses as well as on drug interactions. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of the use of herbal medi-cines among pregnant women referring to health care centers in Shahr-e-Kord. Materials & Methods: In this descriptive and cross-sectional study, 447 pregnant women, referring to health care centers and Hajar Hospital in Shahr-e-Kord, were interviewed while employing a structured questionnaire. The cases were chosen by simple random sampling. For the data analysis, student t-test and 2 were used. Results: In all, 51.9% of the pregnant women reported the use of herbal medicines during pregnancy. 91.7% of the women, had a positive attitude toward the use of herbal medicines during pregnancy, but 15% believed that the use of herbal medicines in pregnancy was unsafe. Among respondents, 55.9% had not reported the use of herbs to their physicians and the most common reasons for nondisclosure were the belief that herbal medicines were natural and safe (39.1%) and that doctors never asked about them (34.8%). The most commonly reported uses of herbs were for common cold (29.1%), abdominal pain (17.4%) and induction of labor (11.7&). Anchusa officinalis was the most commonly used herb among 55 other species of herbs. 74.2% of medicinal herb consumers cited family and relatives as their main source of information on the herbs. Factors associated with the use of herbal medicines in pregnancy were number of parities 1-3, monthly income more than 1,500,000 Rials and age 20-29, but none were statistically significant. There were significantly lower frequencies of herbal use in pregnancy among women with academic education (p=.004). Conclusion: The widespread use of herbal medications and the positive attitude toward them during pregnancy, indicates an increased need to educate health-care providers on these issues to advise women not to expose themselves and their fetuses to the probable risks of herbal preparations.

Keywords: Pregnancy, Pregnant women, Herbal medicine, Side-effect, Self treatment, Traditional medicine


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