Herbal remedy use among hispanic women during pregnancy and while breastfeeding: Are physicians informed?

Komal Kochhar, Robert M. Saywell, Terrell W. Zollinger, Christina A. Mandzuk, David M. Haas, Laura K. Howell, Javier F. Sevilla Martir, Michael K. Reger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the knowledge and use of herbal remedies by Hispanic women with a history of pregnancy/breastfeeding; examine their comfort level discussing herbal remedies with their physician(s); and to determine the demographic/health characteristics that predict herbal remedy use. Methods: A cross-sectional patient survey of 461 Hispanic women was conducted from October 2003 to February 2004 at five urban health centers in Indianapolis, Indiana. Results: Majority of users were knowledgeable about the potential harm from using herbs while pregnant or breastfeeding and reported being able to communicate with their physicians. Few told their physician about all the herbs they used. Most reported their physician did not ask about their use of herbs. Few knew the English term for the herbs they were using. Four of the 11 demographic/health characteristics included in a multiple logistic regression model were predictors of Hispanic women's use of herbal remedies: age < 27, a high school graduate or greater, most comfortable speaking Spanish, and having greater knowledge of the benefits and consequences of using herbal remedies. Conclusion: Providers need to ask their parturient patients about their herbal remedy use and provide advice. Parturient patients should be encouraged to limit herb use until more scientific studies have been conducted to assess their safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-106
Number of pages14
JournalHispanic Health Care International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 17 2010


  • Herbal remedy knowledge
  • Herbal remedy use
  • Hispanic pregnant women
  • Hispanic women
  • Physician-patient communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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