Clinical Applications

Worldwide Prevalence

The prevalence of using Chinese herbal medicines during pregnancy is increasing worldwide. There are over 60% pregnant women in Canada used Chinese herbal medicine during their pregnancy (Hollyer et al., 2002), between 28% and 45% in United Kingdom, United States (Glover et al., 2003), and Australia (Forster et al., 2006), between 9% and 4% in Norway (Nordeng and Havnen, 2004), Finland (Hemminki et al., 1991), Nigeria (Gharoro and Igbafe, 2000), and Rhode Island (Gibson et al., 2001). In Pacific countries, the prevalence of Chinese herbal medicines used in pregnant women is relatively high; for example, 78.7% in Japan (Mantani et al., 2002), 36% in Australia (Forster et al., 2006), 32% in Mainland China (Wang et al., 1995), and 24% in Taiwan (Chuang et al., 2007). References: Forster DA, Denning A, Wills G, et al. 2006. Herbal medicine use during pregnancy in a group of Australian women. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 6: 21-29. Gharoro EP, Igbafe AA. 2000. Pattern of drug use amongst antenatal patients in Benin City, Nigeria. Med Sci Monit 6:84-87. Nordeng H, Havnen GC. 2004. Use of herbal drugs in pregnancy: a survey among 400 Norwegian women. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 13:371-380. Hemminki E, Mantyranta T, Malin M, Koponen P. 1991. A Survey on the Use of Alternative Drugs during Pregnancy. Scand J Soc Med 19:199-204. Mantani N, Kasahara Y, Kamata T, et al.2002. Effect of Seihai-to, a Kampo medicine, in relapsing aspiration pneumonia an open-label pilot study. Phytomedicine 9:195-201. Wang XJ, Shi SZ, Lin GW, Wang Q. 1995. Investigation on the application of drugs in 416 pregnant women in Shanghai. Chin J Pharmacoepid 4: 167-170. Chuang CH, Hsieh WS, Guo YL, et al. 2007. Chinese herbal medicines used in pregnancy: a population-based survey in Taiwan. Pharmaoepidemiol Drug Saf 16:464-468 Hollyer T, Boon H, Georgousis A, Smith M, Einarson A. 2002. The use of CAM by women suffering from nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. BMC Complement Altern Med 2, 5. Glover DD, Amonkar M, Rybeck BF, Tracy TS. 2003. Prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medicine use in a rural, obstetric population. Am J Obstet Gynecol 188, 1039-1045. Gibson PS, Powrie R, Star J. 2001. Herbal and alternative medicine use during pregnancy: a cross-sectional survey. Obstet Gynecol 97, S44-S45.