Document Detail

Do no harm: avoidance of herbal medicines during pregnancy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15863553     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
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.
Donald M Marcus; Wayne R Snodgrass
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Obstetrics and gynecology     Volume:  105     ISSN:  0029-7844     ISO Abbreviation:  Obstet Gynecol     Publication Date:  2005 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-05-02     Completed Date:  2005-06-30     Revised Date:  2009-10-26    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401101     Medline TA:  Obstet Gynecol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1119-22     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Fetal Diseases / prevention & control*
Gestational Age
Herbal Medicine
Patient Compliance
Patient Education as Topic
Phytotherapy / adverse effects*,  methods
Plant Extracts / adverse effects*,  therapeutic use
Plants, Medicinal / adverse effects*
Pregnancy Complications / prevention & control*
Risk Assessment
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Plant Extracts
Comment In:
Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Aug;106(2):409-10; author reply 410-1   [PMID:  16055599 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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