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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 438139, 10 pages
Research Article

Herbal Medicines: Malaysian Women’s Knowledge and Practice

1Advanced Medical & Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 13200 Kepala Batas, Penang, Malaysia
2School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kelantan, Malaysia

Received 26 February 2013; Revised 22 July 2013; Accepted 25 July 2013

Academic Editor: Byung-Cheul Shin

Copyright © 2013 Law Kim Sooi and Soon Lean Keng. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This is a cross-sectional, descriptive study among Malay women admitted in the antenatal and postnatal ward to determine the prevalence and use of herbal medicines during pregnancy and elemental analysis in the most popular herbs. A total of 460 women were surveyed. Herbal medicine use during pregnancy was 34.3%, while 73% utilized herbal medicines during labor, because of a belief that it may shorten and ease labor. The most commonly used herbal medicines in pregnancy were Anastatica hierochuntica L. (60.1%) followed by coconut oil (35.4%). The majority of women (89.2%) used only one type of herbal medicines and took one capsule/glass (38%) per day. Herbal medicines use by pregnant women is largely unsupervised (81%), with most women getting information from their parents (60.7%) and buying the products directly from traditional midwives (32.2%) and 77% agreed upon its efficacy and safety. From the 460 respondents, 89.8% women were in the low end of the herbs knowledge. There was a significant difference found between knowledge score and income ( ). Microdiffraction analysis revealed significant presence of carbon, oxygen, silica, calcium, magnesium, aluminium, potassium, zinc, and iron that were found in Anastatica hierochuntica L. and proved to have good benefits for pregnancy.