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Can herbal products be used safely during pregnancy? Focus on echinacea.

Author(s): Gallo M | Koren G

Journal: Canadian Family Physician
ISSN 0008-350X

Volume: 47;
Issue: 9;
Start page: 1727;
Date: 2001;
Original page

QUESTION: Many of my patients are now using herbal medicines; some even use them during pregnancy. As we enter the "cold and flu" season, many are inquiring about use of the herb echinacea to prevent these ailments. Is there any evidence to suggest that use of echinacea during pregnancy is safe? ANSWER: Although herbal products have been used in the past during pregnancy and delivery, there is little evidence showing they are safe. Many authoritative reviews of echinacea report that its safety for use during pregnancy has not been established. A recent Motherisk study showed that use of echinacea during the first trimester of pregnancy was not associated with increased risk of major malformations.
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