The use of medicinal herbs in gynecological and pregnancy-related disorders by Jordanian women: a review of folkloric practice vs. evidence-based pharmacology
ESC Congress Library. Akour A. May 10, 2018; 208057; ESC1
Dr. Amal Akour
Dr. Amal Akour
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Context National statistical reports in Jordan indicate a decrease in the total fertility rate along with a parallel increase in contraceptive use. The folkloric use of medicinal herbs in gynecological disorders has been growing in Jordan, despite of deficient reports on the evidence-based safety and efficacy of these practices. Objective The aim of this comprehensive article is to review medicinal plants with claimed ethnonpharmacological usage in various gynecological and pregnancy-related issues in Jordan, and to assess their evidence-based pharmacological studies as well as their phytochemistry. Methods The published literature was surveyed using Google Scholar entering the terms ‘‘ethnopharmacology AND Jordan AND infertility AND gynecology OR gestation''. We included ethnopharmacological surveys in Jordan with available full-text. Results Twelve articles were reviewed. Plant species which are commonly used for female gynecological issues such as Artemisia monosperma Del. and A. herba-alba Asso. (Asteraceae) have been found to exert an antifertility effect. Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae) and Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad. (Cucurbitaceae) had antifertility effects in male rats, but Nigella sativa oil L. (Ranunculaceae) and Cinnamon zeylanicum J. Presl (Lauraceae) were found to enhance it. Conclusion Using plants for gynecological disorders is a common practice in Jordan. Many of them, whether utilised for gynecological or non-gynecological conditions equally, were found to have detrimental effects on female or male fertility. Thus, couples planning pregnancy should be discouraged from the consumption of these herbs. Further local studies are warranted to confirm the appreciable beneficial pharmacological effects and safety of these plants.
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