Author(s): Thiel MT, Lngler A, Ostermann T
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Abstract BACKGROUND: There is an enormous economical significance of phytotherapy at least in Germany, the huge demand of patients was repeatedly proven. Simultaneously data exist for different application areas and ages as for younger children and pregnancy until birth. The actual neonatal period can be of interest because phytotherapy is used in younger children and until birth, it is not very likely that there is a gap in this period of life. AIM: To give an overview on the current literature on phytotherapy in neonatology. METHODS: A systematic review was performed in the following databases: Cochrane, EM-BASE Alert, AMED, NCCAM, NLM, DIMDI, CAMbase, BIOSIS Previews, DAHTA, SciSearch, and Medline as well as in the archives of GMS, Karger, Kluwer, Thieme, Krause and Pachernegg, Wiley-Interscience/Phytotherapy Research, Springer and Merkurstab publishers. Keywords were neonatology, newborn, preterm, phytotherapy, phytomedicine, and herbal drugs in clinical randomized controlled studies. RESULTS: We found 14 articles that fulfilled the inclusion criteria: 10 case control studies, 1 observational study, 1 study with interview, 1 with a questionnaire, and 1 retrospective study. Topics were aromatherapy, external applications, and internal effects of herbal teas. CONCLUSION: Indications, study design and explantory power of these publications were quite heterogeneous. Most promising was the study situation in aromatherapy. Due to the fact that phytotherapy is frequently used and there is a high demand of parents, methodologically excellent studies are needed to evaluate the significance of phytotherapy in the neonatal period. The aim is to fulfill scientific as well as economical needs. This review shows that there is no such evidence yet. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.
This article was published in Forsch Komplementmed
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology