Herbal medicine use among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Lusaka Province, Zambia: A cross-sectional, multicentre study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 2020, 40, 101218. 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101218
Background and purpose: The study of herbal medicine (HM) use which is related to maternal health, a public health priority in many sub-Saharan African countries including Zambia, has been limited. Accordingly, we aimed to determine the prevalence and patterns of HM use during pregnancy in Lusaka Province, Zambia. Materials and methods: A survey-based (interviewer-administered), cross-sectional, multicentre study was conducted in 446 adult pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in June/July 2019. Results: Overall, 57.8% of participants reported using HM during their current pregnancy, with a mean of 2.0 ± 1.5 remedies/woman. Logistic regression analysis showed that HM use was significantly associated with HM use in prior pregnancies (p < 0.001) and willingness to use HM in the future (p < 0.001). The most commonly used herbs were lemon for nausea/vomiting and common cold, soybean to boost energy, ginger for common cold and nausea/vomiting, and Aloe vera for skin care. The perceived safety of HM (37.6%) and its complementary action with conventional medicines (35.3%) were the main reasons for HM use. Conclusion: HM use among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Lusaka Province, Zambia is common, and a wide range of herbs is used.