Do no harm: Avoidance of herbal medicines during pregnancy

Donald M. Marcus, Wayne R. Snodgrass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Herbal medicines are regarded by the public and some health care providers as gentle and safe, but there is no scientific basis for that belief. The active ingredients of plant extracts are chemicals that are similar to those in purified medications, and they have the same potential to cause serious adverse effects. This commentary summarizes recent data on the poor quality control and toxicity of herbal remedies and on the pharmacologic activities of ginger, which is used for treatment of morning sickness. There are no rigorous scientific studies of the safety of dietary supplements during pregnancy, and the Teratology Society has stated that it should not be assumed that they are safe for the embryo or fetus. Obstetricians should advise women not to expose their fetuses to the risks of herbal medicines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1122
Number of pages4
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Volume105
Issue number5 I
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Herbal Medicine
Morning Sickness
Fetus
Ginger
Pregnancy
Plant Extracts
Dietary Supplements
Quality Control
Health Personnel
Embryonic Structures
Public Health
Safety
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

Do no harm : Avoidance of herbal medicines during pregnancy. / Marcus, Donald M.; Snodgrass, Wayne R.

In: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 105, No. 5 I, 05.2005, p. 1119-1122.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Marcus, Donald M. ; Snodgrass, Wayne R. / Do no harm : Avoidance of herbal medicines during pregnancy. In: Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2005 ; Vol. 105, No. 5 I. pp. 1119-1122.
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