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Maternal and child health
Use of herbal products in pregnancy: harms are reported but the benefit to harm balance is uncertain
  1. Igho Onakpoya
  1. Primary Care, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Igho Onakpoya, Primary Care, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK; igho.onakpoya{at}

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Herbal products are often used in pregnancy; however, the authors of a recently published review advise against using them because of potential harms.

Herbal products are often used during pregnancy. Estimates vary from 29% in Europe, North America and Australia1 to 80% in African women.2 Despite this, many national guidelines do not contain recommendations about the use of herbal products in pregnancy.

The authors of a recent systematic review3 have assessed the incidence and nature of adverse events and herb–drug interactions when herbal products are used during pregnancy and postnatally. They conducted searches in eight databases, including articles published in English of any study type that reported relevant outcomes and focused on pregnancy and the postnatal …

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