Use of phytotherapy as an alternative to reduce recurrent symptomatology in pregnancy




Primary health care; Prenatal care; Phytotherapy; Pregnancy.


Natural plants extracts have been used for pharmacological purposes for thousands years. The use in popular medicine has been propagated from culture to culture and described in different literature. Therefore, sought to analyze the benefits of using herbal medicines in view of the recurrent signs and symptoms of the pregnancy period. It is an integrative literature review of a descriptive nature with a qualitative approach. To achieve the results, the abstracts of 284 articles available in full were analyzed as well as patents obtained based on that, the descriptors were crossed. Among these, 26 studies were selected for answering the guiding question: "Can the use of herbal medicines help in the control of signs and symptoms arising from pregnancy?". After reading the studies it was identified that 29 species of plants are used as herbal medicines for the treatment of recurrent symptoms during pregnancy especially the ginger, chamomile, mint and garlic. As for technological prospecting six patents were selected which, in their discussion, reported the pharmacological potential of ginger, watermelon, among others in the treatment of common symptoms during pregnancy. In this way, it is observed that despite the progressive growth in the importance of herbal medicines. Dessarte noted that the progressive growth in the importance of herbal medicines. A few studies have been carried out in order to prove the effectiveness of their use in face of the characteristic symptoms of the pregnancy period and that numerous medicinal plants are still applied from the knowledge well-employed.


Abreu da Silva, A. C., & Botelho de Santana, L. L. (2018). Os riscos do uso de plantas medicinais durante o período gestacional: uma revisão bibliográfica. Acta toxicol. argent, 118-123.

Abreu, L. P., Lira Filho, R., & de Santana, R. L. (2019). Características obstétricas das gestantes submetidas à cesariana segundo a Classificação de Robson [Obstetric characteristics of pregnant women undergoing cesarean section, by the Robson Classification]. [Características obstétricas de las mujeres embarazadas sometidas a cesárea según la Clasificación de Robson]. Revista Enfermagem UERJ, 27, 37858.

Ahmed, S. M., Nordeng, H., Sundby, J., Aragaw, Y. A., & de Boer, H. J. (2018). The use of medicinal plants by pregnant women in Africa: A systematic review. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 224, 297–313.

Akour, A., Kasabri, V., Afifi, F. U., & Bulatova, N. (2016). The use of medicinal herbs in gynecological and pregnancy-related disorders by Jordanian women: a review of folkloric practice vs. evidence-based pharmacology. Pharmaceutical Biology, 54(9), 1901-1918.

Ali-Shtayeh, M. S., Jamous, R. M., & Jamous, R. M. (2015). Plants used during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and infant healthcare in Palestine. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 21(2), 84-93.

Balbontín, Y. M., Stewart, D., Shetty, A., Fitton, C. A., & McLay, J. S. (2019). Herbal medicinal product use during pregnancy and the postnatal period: a systematic review. Obstetrics and gynecology, 133(5), 920.

Barnes, L. A., Barclay, L., McCaffery, K., & Aslani, P. (2019). Complementary medicine products: information sources, perceived benefits and maternal health literacy. Women and Birth, 32(6), 493-520.

Bina, F., Soleymani, S., Toliat, T., Hajimahmoodi, M., Tabarrai, M., Abdollahi, M., & Rahimi, R. (2019). Plant-derived medicines for treatment of endometriosis: a comprehensive review of molecular mechanisms. Pharmacological research, 139, 76-90.

Boltman-Binkowski, H. (2016). A systematic review: Are herbal and homeopathic remedies used during pregnancy safe?. Curationis, 39(1), 1-8.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Utilizando el análisis temático en psicología. Investigación cualitativa en psicología, 3(2), 77-101.

Camargo, F. R. (2015). Promoção da saúde Materno-Infantil: grupo reflexivo sobre o uso de plantas medicinais e medicamentos fitoterápicos na gravidez e lactação.

Cardoso, B. S., & Amaral, V. C. S. (2019). O uso da fitoterapia durante a gestação: um panorama global. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 24, 1439-1450.

Carvalho, C. S. C. D. (2016). Fitoterapia na gravidez: segurança e eficácia de produtos à base de plantas no alívio de sintomas e esconfortos associados à gravidez.

Catarino, L., Havik, P. J., & Romeiras, M. M. (2016). Medicinal plants of Guinea-Bissau: Therapeutic applications, ethnic diversity and knowledge transfer. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 183, 71-94.

Corroto, F., Gamarra Torres, O. A., & Macía, M. J. (2019). Different patterns in medicinal plant use along an elevational gradient in northern Peruvian Andes. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 239, 111924.

Deepika, M. S., Thangam, R., Sheena, T. S., Sasirekha, R., Sivasubramanian, S., Babu, M. D., & Thirumurugan, R. (2019). A novel rutin-fucoidan complex based phytotherapy for cervical cancer through achieving enhanced bioavailability and cancer cell apoptosis. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 109, 1181-1195.

Duarte, A. F. S., da Costa Martins, A. L., Miguel, M. D., & Miguel, O. G. (2018). O uso de plantas medicinais durante a gravidez e amamentação. Visão Acadêmica, 18(4).

ElMazoudy, R. H., & Attia, A. A. (2018). Ginger causes subfertility and abortifacient in mice by targeting both estrous cycle and blastocyst implantation without teratogenesis. Phytomedicine, 50, 300-308.

Fereday, J., & Muir-Cochrane, E. (2006). Demonstrating rigor using thematic analysis: A hybrid approach of inductive and deductive coding and theme development. International journal of qualitative methods, 5(1), 80-92.

Frawley, J., Adams, J., Steel, A., Broom, A., Gallois, C., & Sibbritt, D. (2015). Women's use and self-prescription of herbal medicine during pregnancy: an examination of 1,835 pregnant women. Women's Health Issues, 25(4), 396-402.

Izzo, A. A., Hoon‐Kim, S., Radhakrishnan, R., & Williamson, E. M. (2016). A critical approach to evaluating clinical efficacy, adverse events and drug interactions of herbal remedies. Phytotherapy Research, 30(5), 691-700.

James, P. B., Bah, A. J., Tommy, M. S., Wardle, J., & Steel, A. (2018). Herbal medicines use during pregnancy in Sierra Leone: An exploratory cross-sectional study. Women and Birth, 31(5), e302-e309.

Kennedy, D. A., Lupattelli, A., Koren, G., & Nordeng, H. (2016). Safety classification of herbal medicines used in pregnancy in a multinational study. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 16(1), 1-9.

Kıssal, A., Güner, Ü. Ç., & Ertürk, D. B. (2017). Use of herbal product among pregnant women in Turkey. Complementary therapies in medicine, 30, 54-60.

Lewis, E., & Glover, P. N. (2017). Avaliação de segurança de medicamentos fitoterápicos na gravidez. Toxicologia Reprodutiva, 72, 16.

McLay, J. S., Izzati, N., Pallivalapila, A. R., Shetty, A., Pande, B., Rore, C., & Stewart, D. (2017). Pregnancy, prescription medicines and the potential risk of herb-drug interactions: a cross-sectional survey. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 17(1), 1-7.

Lima, R., Turrini, R., Silva, L. R., Melo, L., & Augusto, S. I. (2017). Popular healing practices and medical plants use for riparian mothers in early childhood care Práticas populares de cura e o uso de plantas medicinais por mães ribeirinhas no cuidado infantil. Revista de Pesquisa: Cuidado é Fundamental Online, 9(4), 1154-1163.

McParlin, C., O’Donnell, A., Robson, S. C., Beyer, F., Moloney, E., Bryant, A., & Vale, L. (2016). Treatments for hyperemesis gravidarum and nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: a systematic review. Jama, 316(13), 1392-1401.

Nega, S. S., Bekele, H. M., Meles, G. G., & Nordeng, H. (2019). Medicinal plants and concomitant use with pharmaceutical drugs among pregnant women. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 25(4), 427-434.

Nergard, C. S., Ho, T. P. T., Diallo, D., Ballo, N., Paulsen, B. S., & Nordeng, H. (2015). Attitudes and use of medicinal plants during pregnancy among women at health care centers in three regions of Mali, West-Africa. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 11(1), 1-11.

Peprah, P., Agyemang-Duah, W., Arthur-Holmes, F., Budu, H. I., Abalo, E. M., Okwei, R., & Nyonyo, J. (2019). ‘We are nothing without herbs’: a story of herbal remedies use during pregnancy in rural Ghana. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 19(1), 1-12.

Pereira A.S. et al. (2018). Metodologia da pesquisa científica. [e-book]. Santa Maria. Ed. UAB/NTE/UFSM. Recuperado de:


Pour, Z. S., Hosseinkhani, A., Asadi, N., Shahraki, H. R., Vafaei, H., Kasraeian, M., & Faraji, A. (2018). Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial on efficacy and safety of Lactuca sativa L. seeds on pregnancy-related insomnia. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 227, 176-180.

Sharifzadeh, F., Kashanian, M., Koohpayehzadeh, J., Rezaian, F., Sheikhansari, N., & Eshraghi, N. (2018). A comparison between the effects of ginger, pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and placebo for the treatment of the first trimester nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP). The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 31(19), 2509-2514.

Silva, M. G. D. (2015). Plantas medicinais na gravidez e aleitamento.

Tavakoly, R., Maracy, M. R., Karimifar, M., & Entezari, M. H. (2018). Does fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seed improve inflammation, and oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus? A parallel group randomized clinical trial. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 18, 13-17.

Trabace, L., Tucci, P., Ciuffreda, L., Matteo, M., Fortunato, F., Campolongo, P., & Cuomo, V. (2015). “Natural” relief of pregnancy-related symptoms and neonatal outcomes: above all do no harm. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 174, 396-402.

Yemele, M. D., Telefo, P. B., Lienou, L. L., Tagne, S. R., Fodouop, C. S. P., Goka, C. S., & Moundipa, F. P. (2015). Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used for pregnant women׳ s health conditions in Menoua division-West Cameroon. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 160, 14-31.

Yousaf, A., & Zuharah, W. F. (2015). Lethal response of the dengue vectors to the plant extracts from family Anacardiaceae. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 5(10), 812-818.



How to Cite

ROCHA, F. S. .; SANTOS, J. V. C. .; RESENDE, R. O. .; SANTOS, T. B. dos .; ALMEIDA JUNIOR, E. C. de .; ALMEIDA, D. D. .; SANTOS, D. M. S.; GALLOTTI, F. C. M. . Use of phytotherapy as an alternative to reduce recurrent symptomatology in pregnancy. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 10, n. 3, p. e11610313065, 2021. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v10i3.13065. Disponível em: Acesso em: 14 apr. 2021.



Health Sciences