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Table 1 Overview of herbal medicines used in pregnancy according to safety classification and number of users

From: Safety classification of herbal medicines used in pregnancy in a multinational study

Classification Description Number of herbs (%) Number of users (%)
  Total: 126 (100.0) 4,911 (100.00)
Safe Evidence for the safety of the herb in pregnancy. 28 (22.2) 2,347 (47.8)
Caution Caution regarding this herb in pregnancy because there is either no or limited human evidence or results suggest that this herb should be used under the supervision of a qualified health care practitioner. 60 (47.6) 1,902 (38.7)
Contraindicated The use of the herb in pregnancy has demonstrated negative impacts on the pregnancy or fetus. 27 (21.4) 609 (12.4)
Unknown No reference regarding the use of this herb in pregnancy was found. 11 (8.7) 55 (1.1)
  1. It is important to note that being classified in the “caution” category, does not necessarily imply that the herbal medicine should not be used in pregnancy. Rather it is an indication that either the herbal medicine should be for a specific time period in the pregnancy or under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner