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Journal of Integrative Nursing ›› 2023, Vol. 5 ›› Issue (1): 66-72.doi: 10.4103/jin.jin_56_22

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Traditional medicine use during pregnancy and labor in African context: A scoping review

Modupe Motunrayo ADAMOLEKUN1, Oluwaseyi Abiodun AKPOR1, Olaolorunpo OLORUNFEMI2, Oghenerobor Benjamin AKPOR3   

  1. 1Department of Nursing Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Afe Babalola University, Ado‑Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria; 2Department of Medical Surgical/Nursing, Federal University, Oye‑ Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria; 3Department of Biological Science, Afe Babalola University, Ado‑Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria  
  • Received:2022-06-21 Revised:2023-01-28 Accepted:2023-01-30 Online:2023-03-31 Published:2023-03-31
  • Contact: Mr. Olaolorunpo OLORUNFEMI, Department of Medical Surgical/Nursing, Federal University, Oye‑Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria.

Abstract: Traditional medicine (TM) has been more popular among pregnant women worldwide and has played a significant part in maternal health-care services in many nations. Herbs, herbal preparations, and finished herbal products all contain active substances that are derived from plant parts or other plant components that are thought to have medicinal advantages. To diagnose, prevent, and treat illnesses as well as to enhance general well-being, about 80% of people use a variety of TM, including herbal remedies. A systematic search of Google Scholar and PubMed was performed utilizing an established scoping review framework by Joanna Briggs Institute from January 2012 to December 2022. A consequent title and abstract review of articles published on TM in the African context were completed. Of over 15,000 published studies identified, 15 meeting the inclusion criteria were integrated into the following seven categorical themes: prevalence of TM use, source of information on TM use, reasons for use of TM, route of administration, common herbs used in pregnancy and labor, the effect of herbs used in pregnancy and labor, and predictors of use of TM. The studies reviewed were primarily in the context of an African setting on the use of TM regarding herbal medicine. Of all the articles, the highest number of studies was conducted in Zimbabwe. This review shows increased use of TM by women during pregnancy and labor with a reported prevalence rate varying from 12% to 60%. However, a decrease in use in the third trimester of pregnancy was reported. The most frequent source of information on the use of TM was from family and friends, while age, parity, education, and income were factors affecting use. In conclusion, the participants do not often disclose the use of TM during their antenatal attendance and the reason for use was accessibility and cost. Therefore, there is a need for further study on the safety and efficacy of TM use in pregnancy and labor.

Key words: Africa context, labor, pregnancy, traditional medicine