Is herbal medicine good for pregnancy? Are you aware that a good number of African or Nigerian women (those pregnant) using herbal medicine believed that the use of herbal medicines during pregnancy is SAFE?
Actually, herbal medicine has been used for disease prevention and treating ailments not only in Africa or Nigeria rather globally.
It is known that between 65 and 85% of the world population used herbal medicine as their primary form of health care.
However, herbal medicine use during pregnancy is common across regions and countries.
The prevalence of herbal medicine use during pregnancy varied across regions, cultures and countries.
Multinational study conducted in different countries showed that 28.9% of pregnant women used herbal medicine during pregnancy.
Based on the available researches and reviews, the most commonly used herbal medicines during pregnancy are identified.
Is Herbal Medicine Good For Pregnancy? Let’s consider…..
Bitter kola is a plant that comes from Africa. Africans have been using bitter kola for pregnant women since ages.
Nowadays, bitter kola popularity has spread worldwide.
Drinking bitter kola has been proven to be good for pregnancy. Bitter kola contains nutrients and vitamins good for pregnancy.
For Africans, bitter kola is the best supplement for pregnant women. Health benefits of bitter kola include treating nausea and vomiting, making uterus healthier, strengthening pregnant women and normalizing blood circulation in pregnant women.
Bitter kola contains very strong caffeine. One bean of bitter kola contains the same amount of caffeine as two glasses of coffee.
Thus, pregnant women have to drink the recommended dose (one small cup of bitter kola in a day).
Countries within the Southeast Asian region are rich in coconut oil and other coconut by-products with Africa Included.
Studies showed that coconut oil has been used to facilitate labour, delivery and prevent congenital malformation.
Coconut oil during pregnancy can be used as part of a healthy nutrient-dense whole food diet. ]
Coconut oil supplies rich amounts of saturated fat with high amounts of lauric acid. The saturated fat content helps to build up adequate fat stores in pregnancy and in preparation for breast-feeding.
Ginger is used as anti-nauseant and anti-emetic for nausea and for hyperemesis gravidarum. The recommended daily dose of ginger is up to 1g dried powder.
A single blind clinical trial showed ginger as an effective herbal medicine for decreasing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
Study conducted on antimicrobial and antifungal activity of garlic showed antibacterial and antifungal features of garlic make it nutritious to consume during pregnancy.
Garlic enhances a woman’s immune system; this in turn helps women to have healthy pregnancy and healthy babies.
Eating garlic during pregnancy is important to reduce the risk of preeclampsia and protein retention in urine.
A randomized controlled study was conducted where 100 primigravida were treated with either garlic tablets (800 mg/day) or placebo during the third trimester of pregnancy to determine the effect of garlic tablets supplementation on preeclampsia.
With the exception of a garlic odour, the few side effects like nausea were reported because of garlic consumption during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Pregnancy outcomes were comparable in both treated with garlic and the placebo group.
The study did not report any incidence of major or minor malformations in newborn infants and there were no spontaneous abortions of the foetuses.
Green tea also known as Camellia sinensis is important to regulate blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
It also speeds up the body’s metabolic rate and provides a natural source of energy. It can help stabilize a pregnant mother’s mood.
However, drinking too high a dose of green tea is not recommended. The recommended dose of caffeine per day is 300 mg.
Peppermint or Mentha piperita is one of the world’s oldest medicinal herbs and is used in both Eastern and Western traditions.
Ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultures used the herbs in cooking and medicine.
Peppermint is currently one of the most economically important aromatic and medicinal crops produced in the US.
Several clinical trials have shown that peppermint essential oil, a super concentrated form of herbs, can help relive irritable bowel syndrome.
Natural medicine’s comprehensive database showed there are no reports in the scientific literature of peppermint being either safe or contraindicated during pregnancy.
Peppermint leaves and oil are believed to be safe during pregnancy when consumed in food amounts.
Study conducted on use of antiemetic herbs in pregnancy indicated that peppermint is used for treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea.
In conclusion, the use of herbal medicine during pregnancy is a common phenomenon especially in Nigeria or other African countries including some part of Aians.
However, different studies have shown that many women used one or more herbal medicines during pregnancy.
Some women used herbal medicine in first trimester while others used it in second or third trimester or throughout pregnancy.
In the other hand, there may be common effects of using herbal medicine in pregnancy which may include heartburn, premature labour, miscarriage, increase blood flow, abortion and allergic reactions.
Hence, talk to your healthcare provider or DOCTOR before taking any herbal medicine when pregnant.
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