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Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2004 Feb;10(1):30-6.

Use of anti-emetic herbs in pregnancy: women's choices, and the question of safety and efficacy.

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Department of Biology, Box 3020, STN CSC, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 2Y2.


The majority of North American pregnant women experience some degree of nausea and vomiting, usually in the first few months of pregnancy. Women utilize many coping strategies, including self-treatment with herbal medicine and other alternative therapies. In a qualitative study of self-care in pregnancy, birth and lactation within a non-random sample of 27 women in British Columbia, Canada, 20 women (74%) experienced pregnancy-induced nausea. Ten of these women used anti-emetic herbal remedies, which included ginger, peppermint, and Cannabis. The safety and efficacy of each of these herbal remedies is discussed here. Only ginger has been subjected to clinical trials among pregnant women, though all three herbs were clinically effective against nausea and vomiting in other contexts, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and post-operative nausea. While safety concerns exist in the literature for all three herbs with regards to their use by pregnant women, clinical evidence of harm is lacking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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