HERBAL MEDICINES USED DURING PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH AND POSTPARTUM CAREHTML Full Text
HERBAL MEDICINES USED DURING PREGNANCY, CHILDBIRTH AND POSTPARTUM CARE
M. N. Karemore* and J. G. Avari
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, R. T. M. Nagpur University, Nagpur - 440033, Maharashtra, India.
ABSTRACT: Pregnancy and childbirth have been an essential part of human existence for millennia, but unfortunately the experience has not been easy for all women. Although many pharmaceutical drugs are available but the potential of drugs to cause harm, exemplified by thalidomide in 1958 cannot be ignored. Therefore, many pharmaceutical drugs are not recommended for use during pregnancy either because of known or suspected problems or because not enough is known to say that they are safe. In this respect, herbal medicine is gaining popularity both in developing and developed countries because of their natural origin and relative safety with fewer side effects. This article briefly reviews some of those plants all over the world which are being used during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care. About 122 plants species belonging to different families were reviewed among which the most common were Asparagus racemosus (Liliaceae), Apium graveolens (Apiaceae), Rheum officinale (Polygonaaceae), Veratrum nigrum (Melanthiaceae). From the present studies it can be conclude that, herbal medicines can be used during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care after proper validation of the plants.
Herbal medicine, Pregnancy, Postpartum care, Childbirth
INTRODUCTION: Since ancient times, mankind has used plants to cure diseases and relieve physical sufferings1.The plants provided food, clothing, shelter and medicine. Much of the medicinal use of plants seems to have been developed through observations of wild animals and by trial and error. As time went on, each tribe added the medicinal power of herbs in their area to its knowledge base 2.
Because of better cultural acceptability, better compatibility with the human body, lesser side effects and effectiveness many traditional medicines is now an accepted fact.
More than 35,000 plant species are being used in various human cultures around the world for medicinal purposes 1. Herbal medicines, since times immemorial, have been used in virtually all cultures as a source of medicine. The widespread use of herbal remedies and healthcare preparations, as those described in ancient texts such as the Vedas and the Bible, and obtained from commonly used traditional herbs and medicinal plants, has been traced to the occurrence of natural products with medicinal properties. The use of traditional medicine and medicinal plants in most developing countries, as a normative basis for the maintenance of good health, has been widely observed. About 80% of world populations are still dependent on traditional medicines for primary healthcare 3.
Herbal Medicines: “Herbal formulation means a dosage form consisting of one or more herbs or processed herb(s) in specified quantities to provide specific nutritional, cosmetic benefits, and/or other benefits meant for use to diagnose treat, mitigate diseases of human beings or animals and/or to alter the structure or physiology of human beings or animals”. Herbal preparations are obtained by subjecting whole plant, fragmented or cut plants, plants parts to treatments such as extraction, distillation, expression, fractionation, purification, concentration or fermentation. These include comminuted or powdered herbal substances, tinctures, extracts, essential oils, expressed juices and processed exudates 2.
- Mostly herbal drugs are well tolerated by the patient, having fewer unintended consequences and fewer side effects than traditional medicine, and may be safer touse.
- Herbal drugs are more effective for long-standing health complaints that don't respond well to traditional medicine.
- Cost of herbal drugs is much less than prescription medications. Research, testing, and marketing add considerably to the cost of prescription medicines. Herbs tend to be inexpensive compared to drugs.
- Herbs are available without a prescription. Simple herbs, such as peppermint and chamomile, can be cultivated at home.
- An herbalist would not be able to treat serious trauma, such as a broken leg, nor would he be able to heal appendicitis or a heart attack as effectively as a conventional doctor using modern diagnostic tests, surgery, and drugs.
- Self-treatment with herbal drugs may consist of many risk factors. Moreover with no proper direction of doses may lead to overdose.
- Consumption of herbal drugs without correct identification of plant e. use of wrong part of plant may lead to poisoning.
- All herbal drugs are not safe; some may be poisonous or may cause allergenic reactions.
- Curing period is usually longer in comparison to conventional medication. Immense patience while undergoing herbal treatment is needed.
Pregnancy and childbirth have been an essential part of human existence for millennia, but unfortunately the experience has not been easy for all women. Medicinal plants have a significant role during pregnancy, birth and postpartum care in many rural areas of the world. Plants used in women’s health related conditions such as female fertility, menorrhea, birth control, pregnancy, birth (parturition), postpartum (puerperium) and lactation, including infant care, has been documented for various ethnic groups 5-10. Even though modern medical systems are available, most of the people are still depending on the rich local health traditions for mother and child care.
Therefore, herbal medicine is gaining popularity both in developing and developed countries because of their natural origin and relative safety with fewer side effects. Herbal medicines are finished, labelled medicinal products that contain active ingredients, aerial or underground part of plants or other plant materials, or combination thereof, whether in the crude state or as plant preparations 11. The aim of present article is to briefly review some of those plants all over the world which are being used during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care.
RESULT AND DISCUSSION: About 122 plants species belonging to 50 different families were reviewed among which the most common were Asparagus racemosus, Apium graveolens, Rheum officinale, Veratrum nigrum, Momordica charantia, Azadiracta indica, Emblica officinalis, Zea mays which were used for complications that are common during pregnancy (Table 1).
Induction of labour may be necessary in certain conditions, in this respect herbal medicines play an important role (Table 2). The nature of action involves the modulation of uterine contraction at labour, resulting in either the stimulation or inhibition of myometrial muscle contractions. Postpartum care includes the recovery of women after childbirth, to treat postpartum weakness, haemorrhage and reconstitute women. Table 3 gives the herbal plants used for postpartum care. Herbal plants used for other ailments during pregnancy and Childbirth are discussed in Table 4.
TABLE 1: HERBAL PLANTS USED DURING PREGNANCY
|Ethno medicinal uses / Mode of Administration|
|1||Asparagus racemosus||Shatavari||Asparagaceae||Root extract||Female tonic, in threatened abortion, preeclampsia associated with pregnancy, galactogogue, to treat diabetes|
|2||Apium graveolens||Celery||Apiaceae||Whole plant
|Fresh juice for hypertension associated with pregnancy|
|3||Rheum officinale or R. palmatum||Rhubarb||Polygonaceae||Root||Hypertension associated with pregnancy|
|4||Veratrum nigrum||Black false hellebore||Melanthiaceae||Root||to treat preeclampsia
|5||Picralima nitida||Akuamma plant||Apocynaceae||Seeds||in diabetic pregnancy|
|6||Nauclea latifolia||pin cushion tree||Rubiaceae||Root and stem||in diabetic pregnancy|
|7||Oxytenanthera abyssinica||Bamboo||Gramineae||Leaves||in diabetic pregnancy|
|8||Momordica charantia||Bitter melon||Cucurbitaceae||Fruit and leaf||Anti-diabetic|
|9||Azadiracta indica||Neem||Meliaceae||leaves||To treat anemia and anti-diabetic|
|10||Emblica officinalis||Amla||Euphorbiaceae||Fruit||Increases red blood cell counts and therefore improves anemia|
|11||Abrus precatorious||Chirmi||Mimosaceae||Roots||Grind roots, add water and drink infusion for Cough, Anti-diabetic|
|12||Zingiber officinale||Ginger||Zingiberaceae||Rhizomes||To treat hyperemesis gravidarum (serious cases of “morning sickness”), especially during the first trimester of pregnancy|
|13||Jateorrhiza bukobensis||Yellow fever||Menispermaceae||Tuber||Soak in water and drink infusion for Malaria|
|14||Breonadia microcephala||Chonya||Rubiaceae||Bark||Soak in water and drink infusion for Pneumonia|
|15||Ficus capensis||Nkuyu||Moraceae||Bark||Pound and add powder in porridge for Pneumonia and Trichomonas vaginalis|
|Vitaceae||Roots||Soak in water and drink concoction for Trichomonas vaginalis|
|17||Ormocarpum kirkii||Nsungachuma||Papilionaceae||Leaves and stem||Boil and drink infusion for Trichomonas vaginalis|
|18||Vaccinium macrocarpon||Cranberry||Ericaceae||Fruit||Cranberry extract for Urinary tract infection|
|19||Zea mays||Corn/maize||Poaceae||Fruit||Fruit to treat Urinary tract infection|
|20||Aspalathus linearis||Rooibos tea||Fabaceae||Leaves and stem||Herbal tea is used during pregnancy to relieve heat burn and nausea|
|Root||Decoction is used as an antihypertensive and health promotion tonic|
|22||Boerhaavia diffusa||Sarandakodi||Nyctaginaceae||Root||To treat anaemia|
|23||Citrullus colocynthis||bitter cucumber||Cucurbitaceae||Fruit||Used in Pregnancy|
|24||Diplazium esculentum||Vegetable fern||Athyriaceae||Leaf||Given to Pregnant mothers for nutrition|
|25||Arctostaphylos uva-ursi||Bearberry||Ericaceae||Fruit||Fruit to treat Urinary tract infection|
|26||Rubus idaeus and R. occidentalis||Raspberry||Rosaceae||Leaf||To prevent miscarriage, ease morning sickness and ensure a quick birth|
|Euphorbiaceae||Roots||Soak in water and drink infusion for diarrhoea|
|Chrysobalanaceae||Roots||Warm on fire and make a compress on ribs to treat Pneumonia|
|Musaceae||Fruits||Wear around waist to treat Pneumonia|
|Meliaceae||Roots||Cook and drink infusion for the treatment of Trichomonas vaginalis|
|31||Sida alnifolia||Arrow leaf sida||Malvaceae||Whole plant||Fresh whole plant paste in milk is taken (after 7 months of pregnancy) for normal delivery|
|32||Cissus quadrangularis||Perandai||Vitaceae||Roots||Used during Pregnancy|
|33||Syzygium jambolanum||Black plum||Myrtaceae||Fruit||in diabetic pregnancy|
|34||Syzygium cuminii||Naval palam||Myrtaceae||Seed Powder||Taken orally for diabetes|
|35||Biophytum sensitivum||Jhalai||Oxalidaceae||leaves||Leaves of this plant and groundnut seeds are crushed and eaten twice daily by pregnant women as diuretic|
|36||Eremurus himalaicus||Tache||Asphodelaceae||Whole plant||young leaves are used as vegetables in case of anaemia|
TABLE 2: HERBAL PLANTS USED TO INDUCE LABOUR AND EASE CHILDBIRTH
|Ethno medicinal uses / Mode of Administration|
|1||Aerva lanata||Cherula||Amaranthaceae||Whole plant||Decoction mixed with cow’s milk is taken twice daily from 7th month of pregnancy for easy delivery|
|2||Mullugo pentaphylla||Parpadakapullu||Aizoaceae||Whole plant||Whole plant decoction with water is given to ease delivery|
|3||Cleome gynandra||Eshogi||Capparaceae||Roots||aqueous herbal extract to induce childbirth hence hasten labour process|
|4||Vernonia amygdalina||Bitter leaf||Asteraceae||Leaves||aqueous herbal extract to induce childbirth hence hasten labour process|
|5||Clivia miniata||Boslelie||Amaryllidaceae||whole plant (leaves,
roots and rhizome)
|Infusions are taken regularly during pregnancy to help with childbirth. Stronger concentrations are used to induce labour.|
|6||Cassia fistula||Garmala||Leguminosae||Pods and bark||Pods bark paste with kesar, mishri and rose water is given for easy and painless delivery|
|7||Carica papaya||Papaya||Caricaceae||Latex||Crude papaya latex is used to induce labour|
|8||Bidens pilosa||Sere||Asteraceae||Leaf||aqueous extract used to induce labour|
|9||Luffa cylindrica||Ekyangu||Cucurbitaceae||Leaf, fruit and root||aqueous extract used to induce labour|
|10||Musa acuminata||Banana||Musaceae||Root||chewing after roasting used to induce labour|
|11||Cajanus cajan||Pigeon pea||Papilionaceae||Leaf||aqueous extract used to induce labour|
|Fabaceae||Gum||25 gm gum mixed with 200 gm jiggery, given orally at the time of delivery for easy delivery|
|13||Brassica oleracea||Cabbagge||Brassicaceae||Root||Root is chewed to induce labour|
|14||Achyranthes aspera||Kadaladi||Amaranthaceae||Whole plant||Given orally to ease childbirth and mitigate labour pain|
|15||Quassia cedron||Hikuribianda||Simaroubaceae||Inner bark||Decoction is used to assist childbirth|
|16||Wrightia tinctoria||Khirni||Apocynaceae||Whole plant||Applied externally on vagina for easy delivery|
|17||Physalis peruviana||Kitutu||Solanaceae||Leaf||aqueous extract used to induce labour|
|18||Pennisetum purpureum||Elephant grass||Poaceae||Leaf||aqueous extract used to induce labour|
|19||Merwillana talensis||Blue Squill||Hyacinthaceae||Bulb||For menstrual pains, infertility and to support the process in women to deliver their babies|
|20||Apeiba echinata||barudaballi||Tiliaceae||Inner bark||Decoction is used to hasten childbirth|
|21||Eugenia michelii||Pitanga, Suriname cherry||Myrtaceae||Stem and Leaves||Stem shows antimicrobial activity, leaf infusion is used for easy delivery|
|22||Dactyloctenium aegyptium||Egyptian crowfoot grass||Poaceae||Leaf||Infusion is used to accelerate childbirth|
|23||Guazuma ulmifolia||bay cedar||Sterculiaceae||Stem||Decoction is used to facilitate childbirth|
|24||Sterculia excelsa||Sterculiaceae||Inner bark||Soaked and boiled in water; used to hasten childbirth|
|25||Agapanthus africanus||Lily of the Nile||Liliaceae||Whole plant||To ensure easy childbirth|
|26||Anastatica hierochuntica||white mustard flower||Brassicaceae||Whole plant||For infertility problems and to ensure easy childbirth|
|27||Caulophyllum thalictroides||Blue cohosh||Berberidaceae||Whole plant||To augment labour during pregnancy and to treat urinary tract infection|
|28||Gloriosa superba||glory lily||Liliaceae||Root||Fresh root paste is applied on the supra pubic region and the vagina to promote labour pain|
|29||Franseriaambrosioides||Canyon Ragweed||Asteraceae||Whole plant||Promotes labour, given near parturition|
|30||Tectonagrandis||Theku||Verbenaceae||Bark||Orally given to ease labour and mitigate abdominal pain during labour|
|31||Anogeissus latifolia||dhawra||Combretaceae||Bark||Infusion of bark given for easy delivery|
|32||Musa sapientum||French plantain banana||Musaceae||Leaf||Infusion of leaf is used to hasten childbirth|
TABLE 3: HERBAL PLANTS USED FOR POSTPARTUM CARE
|Ethno medicinal uses / Mode of Administration|
|1||Cardiospermum halicacabum||Mudakathan||Sapindaceae||Seeds||Infusion of seedling is used to clear the uterus after childbirth|
|2||Cestrum latifoluim||Bitawali||Solanaceae||Stem and leaf||The tops are used for recovery of women after childbirth|
|3||Sida cordifolia||Khironti||Malvaceae||Root||For postpartum weakness|
|4||Pentanisia prunelloides||Icimamliloq||Rubiaceae||Root||Decoction is taken to aid in the expulsion of retained placenta|
|5||Euphorbia hirta||Snake Weed, Asthma weed||Euphorbiaceae||Whole plant||To increase lactation after childbirth|
|6||Zingiber montanum||Moorada||Zingiberaceae||Rhizome||To treat postpartum haemorrhage and weakness of women after childbirth|
|7||Acorus calamus||Sweet Flag, Calamus||Araceae||Root||To treat postpartum haemorrhage|
|8||Cynara scolymus||Kharchouf, tagemmut, Amazzûgh||Compositae||Roots||Decoction is taken for postpartum care|
|9||Salvia leucantha||Mexican bush sage||Lamiaceae||Leaves||Leaf infusion is taken to reconstitute women after childbirth|
|10||Achyanthes aspera||Kadaladi||Amaranthaceae||Whole plant||Whole plant is ground, cooked/boiled in coconut oil and taken after delivery to get rid of debris in the womb|
|11||Clitoria ternatea||Sankupushpam||Fabaceae||Flower||Flowers crushed and mixed with honey, taken early morning to clean the uterus after delivery and also to check the bleeding from the uterus|
|12||Moringa oleifera||Muringa||Moringaceae||Roots and leaves||Roots are used to expel the placenta. Leaves are highly nutritious food for pregnant women before and after delivery|
|13||Argemone mexicana||Dhaturi||Papaveraceae||Whole Plant||To treat postpartum bleeding|
|14||Physalis angulata||winter cherry||Solanaceae||Seeds||Preparation given to women after childbirth|
|15||Gunnera perpensa||River Pumpkin||Halorrhagidaceae||Root||Decoction of root is used to facilitate the due expulsion and proper cleaning of the womb|
|16||Bouteloua gracilis||blue grama||Poaceae||Whole plant||Whole plant is made into a soup and used as a postpartum medicine|
|17||Adiantum caudatum||tailed maidenhair||Adiantaceae||Leaf||Extract of leaf juice is used to stop excess bleeding after childbirth|
|18||Melastoma malabathricum||Malabar melastome||Melastomataceae||Whole plant||To treat leucorrhoea and post childbirth problems|
|19||Trigonella foenum-graecum||Fenugreek||Fabaceae||Seeds||Lactagogues or galactagogues|
|20||Galega officinalis||Goat’s rue||Fabaceae||Leaf||Lactagogues or galactagogues|
|21||Calotropis gigantea||Madar||Asclepidaceae||Latex and plant leaves||To prepare medicated water for bathing the mother after delivery|
|22||Limnophila geoffrayi||Hummingbird tree||Scrophulariaceae||Whole plant||Lactagogues or galactagogues|
|23||Borassus flabelifer||Palmira||Araceae||Roots||Lactagogues or galactagogues|
|24||Ficus amplisima||Piper, Pipali||Maraceae||Latex||Lactagogues or galactagogues|
TABLE 4: HERBAL PLANTS USED TO FOR OTHER AILMENTS DURING PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH
|Ethno medicinal uses / Mode of Administration|
|1||Abarema jupunba||Caracoli||Mimosaceae||Seeds||As a fertility drug|
|2||Cynosurus indicus||sambali||Poaceae||Whole plant||Boiled with black sago and used to treat fever, cold, malaria and for post childbirth cleansing of mother|
|3||Datura metel||Karuoomathai||Solanaceae||Whole plant||For painful menstruation|
|4||Artemisia abrotanum||southernwood||Asteraceae||Whole plant||Used for female problems|
|5||Hamamelis virginiana||witch hazel||Hamamelidaceae||Whole plant||Used to treat women’s problems|
|6||Stachys lavandulifolia||wood betony||Lamiaceae||Whole plant||Abortifacient|
|7||Sphaeralcea coccinea||scarlet globemallow||Malvaceae||Leaves||Used by pregnant women for pains associated with pregnancy|
|8||Atylosia scarabaeoides||Wild kulthi||Fabaceae||Whole plant||For the treatment of delivery problems and swelling and pain in leg during pregnancy|
|9||Maesa indica||Wild Berry||Myrsinaceae||Whole plant||For headache and dizziness of mothers after childbirth|
|11||Mangifera indica||Mango||Anacardiaceae||Stem bark||Infusion is used to cure stomach pain|
|12||Bauhinia petersiana||Kalahari White Bauhinia||Fabaceae||Stem bark||To prevent miscarriage|
|13||Ricinus communis||castorbean||Euphorbiaceae||Roots and leaves||Soak in water and drink infusion to cure for post maturity|
|14||Dalbergia melanoxylon||African blackwood||Fabaceae||Seeds||To avoid miscarriage|
|15||Apodytes dimidiata||white pear||Icacinaceae||Leaves and roots||Pound add water and drink infusion for post maturity cure|
|16||Ficus kirkii||Crown-fruited fig||Moraceae||Bark||Pound, cook in water and add to porridge for damage in the stomach after delivery|
|17||Dalbergia nitidula||Glossy flat-bean||Papillionaceae||Roots||Boil in water and drink infusion for infertility|
|18||Cissampelos species||velvetleaf||Menispermaceae||Tuber||Grind, squeeze and drink the part of the fluid. Add remnant to cooked porridge for pseudo pregnancy|
|19||Vitex doniana||Afetewa||Verbenaceae||Leaves||Add to porridge for stomach pains (associated with miscarriage)|
|20||Cissus integrifolia||Chikomba||Vitaceae||Roots||Mix with hot water and make a compress over the leg|
|21||Cissus species||veldt grape||Vitaceae||Roots||Pound make an infusion and drink to avoid miscarriage|
|22||Hippocratea parviflora||Celastraceae||Leaves and roots||Leaves pound and add to porridge to avoid miscarriage. Roots- boil and drink infusion to cure stomach pain|
|23||Adhatoda vasica||Malabar nut, adulsa||Acanthaceae||Leaves||For curing body aches|
|24||Bacopa monnierii||brahmi||Scrophulariaceae||Whole plant||For getting relief from abdominal pain and for increasing foetal growth|
|25||Benincasa hispida||white gourd||Cucurbitaceae||Fruit||To prevent gas trouble|
|26||Cuminum cyminum||Cumin||Apiaceae||Seeds||Powdered seeds mixed with ghee and honey is given orally to children against vomiting. Seeds boiled in water and given to the child for getting relief from stomach pain|
|Amaryllidaceae||Rhizome||To get relief from stomach pain after delivery|
|28||Trachyspermum roxburghianum||Wild Celery||Apiaceae||Seeds||For reducing stomach pain after delivery|
|29||Basella rubra||Kodipasalai||Basellaceae||Leaves||To decrease the hip pain during childbirth|
|30||Jatropha curcas||Kattaamankku||Euphorbiaceae||Bark and latex||Decoction prepared from bark is used for the treatment of stomach problems during pregnancy. Latex is taken orally for same purpose|
|31||Carissa congesta||Karvand||Apocynaceae||Roots||Decoction of roots is given to women to relieve from delivery pain after childbirth.|
|32||Vigna subterranean||Bambara groundnut||Fabaceae||Seeds||Infusion is used after delivery to dispose of remnant with placenta|
CONCLUSION: Even from early civilization, herbs have been considered to be a powerful tool in treating illnesses. In places where physicians cannot reach, people have invented their own concoction of herbs and plants to deal with the common afflictions of daily life. At times, these herbal treatments have proved more superior and effective than its chemical counterparts, not to mention even of its safety and economy. The knowledge of these valuable plant remedies have not been documented and was orally dissipated by the tribal populations. But these tribal possessed remarkably accurate knowledge about the medicinal use of the plants around them. Numerous drugs have entered the global market and international pharmacopoeia through the study of ethno-pharmacology and traditional medicine.
Major thrust by whole of the pharmaceutical industry is focused towards design and development of new innovative / indigenous plant based drugs through investigation of leads from traditional system of medicine. Ayurvedic medicinal plant products are most convenient and have greater acceptance amongst the users due to their easy availability easy biodegradability, easy to handling, economic cost, mankind and environment friendly nature both and minimum side effect. Pregnancy is a time of rapid physical and emotional changes in the body.
Herbs can be very useful in toning and nourishing the system to help allay potential problems and remedy discomforts that pregnant women may experience. Attention to nutrition can go long way inpreventing possible complications. Malnutrition during pregnancy can cause constipation, haemorrhoids, anaemia, and even preeclampsia. It's absolutely vital to get enough Vitamins, minerals and protein during pregnancy. Medicinal Plants (herbs) in their original form contain a host of natural ingredients-alkaloids, bio-flavonoids, glycosides, minerals, Vitamins, volatile oils, and other natural substances that not only support an herb’s healing benefits but also safeguard against potential toxicity. Herbal medicines can be very beneficial during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care but after proper validation of the plants.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST: Nil
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How to cite this article:
Karemore MN and Avari JG: Herbal medicines used during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care. Int J Pharm Sci Res 2017; 8(12): 5326-35.doi: 10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.8(12).5326-35.
All © 2013 are reserved by International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. This Journal licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
M. N. Karemore* and J. G. Avari
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, R. T. M. Nagpur University, Maharashtra, India.
20 April, 2017
19 June, 2017
29 June, 2017
01 December, 2017