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Medicinal plants for women's healthcare in southeast Asia: a meta-analysis of their traditional use, chemical constituents, and pharmacology
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology. (de Boer Lab)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Organismal Biology, Systematic Biology. (de Boer Lab)
2014 (English)In: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, ISSN 0378-8741, E-ISSN 1872-7573, Vol. 151, no 2, 747-767 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ethnopharmacological relevance

This is an extensive review of plants used traditionally for women's healthcare in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. Medicinal plants have a significant role in women's healthcare in many rural areas of the world. Plants with numerous efficacious observations have historically been used as a starting point in the development of new drugs, and a large percentage of modern pharmaceuticals have been derived from medicinal plants.

Materials and methods

A review was conducted for all plant use mentioned specifically for female healthcare, such as medicine to increase fertility, induce menstruation or abortion, ease pregnancy and parturition, reduce menstrual bleeding and postpartum hemorrhage, alleviate menstrual, parturition and postpartum pain, increase or inhibit lactation, and treat mastitis and uterine prolapse, in 200 studies focusing on medicinal plant use, either general studies or studies focusing specifically on women's healthcare.


Nearly 2000 different plant species are reported to be used in over 5000 combinations. Most common areAchyranthes asperaArtemisia vulgarisBlumea balsamiferaCarica papayaCurcuma longaHibiscus rosa-sinensisLeonurus japonicusPsidium guajava and Ricinus communis, and each of these species had been reported in more than 10 different scientific articles.


This review provides a basis for traditional plant use in women's healthcare, and these species can be used as the starting point in the discovery of new drugs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 151, no 2, 747-767 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-213728DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.11.030ISI: 000331421700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-213728DiVA: diva2:683270
Available from: 2014-01-03 Created: 2014-01-03 Last updated: 2014-03-27Bibliographically approved

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