Background: Despite advances and the availability of newer drugs to facilitate childbirth, the interest in using natural treatments is on the rise. More than 20 percent of pregnancies require induction of labor, which is associated with side effects and increased risk of cesarean surgery. For this reason, the use of medicinal plants is considered healthier.
Objective: The present study is a systematic review of the role of oral herbs in facilitating childbirth.
Method: This review was conducted via searching the Medline/PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and SID databases. The review began systematically and with no time constraints. It lasted until December 29, 2020.
Results: Twenty clinical trials investigated the impact of edible plants on increasing cervical readiness, stimulating labor onset, reducing pain intensity, and shortening the duration of labor. Five studies have revealed the positive impact of saffron. Two studies reported the same effect by chamomile. Three studies showed the positive impact of boiled dill seeds, and two studies showed the impact of date and date syrup. Another study reported the impact of Descurainia Sophia, and six studies also showed the positive effect of castor oil on uterine stimulation, strengthening and relieving labor pains, which eventually lead to facilitating labor. One study also showed no improvement in bishop score after consumption of primrose capsules.
Conclusion: The positive effect of edible medicinal plants on facilitating childbirth has been shown in the mentioned studies. However, more studies with a larger sample size are needed, and there is also a need for a more detailed study of the possible mechanisms of plant effects.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.5812/ircmj.27241] [PMID: 28180016]
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2009.06.006] [PMID: 19631507]