Herbal medicine use among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Lusaka Province, Zambia: a cross-sectional, multicentre study
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- Master theses 
Background: We aimed to determine the prevalence and patterns of herbal medicine (HM) use during pregnancy in Lusaka Province, Zambia. Methods: A survey-based, cross-sectional, multicentre study was conducted in 446 adult pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in June/July 2019. Results: 57.8% of participants reported using HM during their current pregnancy, with a mean of 2.0±1.5 remedies/woman. HM use was significantly associated with conventional medicine use (p=0.032), HM use in prior pregnancies (p<0.001), and willingness to use HM in the future (p<0.001). 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. Conclusions: Given the widespread use of HM, Zambian health care providers should educate pregnant women on risks and benefits of HM.