groups » Introductions and discussion » Traditional Medicines in Pregnancy

I am a Nurse Midwife working in Haiti and am running into problems with the over- use and/ or mis-use of herbal teas and natural remedies taken by pregnant women here.

We have many traditional teas, some more dangerous than others that women very frequently take, some detrimental to their and/ or their baby's health.

Any ideas or suggestions on how to address traditional herbal medicinal use in pregnancy and during breastfeeding?


Herbal Pregnancy dangerous remedies

  • wgrube Wendy Grube, PhD, CRNP Jan. 27, 2014

    I am an herbalist, nurse practitioner, and faculty member teaching women's health at a university. I have a number of excellent resources that you might find useful in advising your pregnant patients. You pose some very important concerns, and we have so little evidence-based information at this time. We need to develop a central repository to catalog herbal products that are being used throughout the world along with what is currently known about safety and efficacy. I have attached some information for you.

    Wendy Grube, PhD
    Practice Assistant Professor
    University of Pennsylvania

    Attached files: Botanical_Medicine_for_Womens_Health.pdf
  • merlinwillcox Merlin Willcox Jan. 29, 2014

    Herbal medicine use in pregnant women is common in many countries, and whenever something goes wrong with the pregnancy, it is common to blame the herbs - although often there is little evidence as to whether or not they are harmful - and many women take herbs without having any problems. I agree that there is a need for more evidence on this issue and the idea of a database or repository is an excellent one. For herbs commonly used in Europe and the USA, the book by Simon Mills and Kerry Bone "The Essential guide to herbal safety" is an excellent reference, and makes clear which herbs are safe or not to use in pregnancy. See:

  • khadidjah Meredith Feb. 11, 2014

    Thank you both for your replies. Thank you also for the chapter on herbs in pregnancy. I am wondering if you have any information on using peanut shell/skin tea? Or if you ever heard of using peanut shells/ skin tea as a uterine stimulant (it containts prostaglandins PGE2 which has this effect similar to that of misoprostol)? I have seen many women who have taken this tea to induce labor and who end up with meconium stained amniotic fluid from the stress of uterine hyperstimulation on the foetus.

  • Please I am interested in the book chapter on herbs in pregnancy. I need to know which herbs are permitted and which are contraindicated in pregnancy. Thanks

  • I have seen the chapter on botanical medicine for women. The peanut shell information is very interesting and worth investigating. Thanks.

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