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Table 3 Examples of ethno medicine / healing foods used by women during the perinatal period

From: Eating soup with nails of pig: thematic synthesis of the qualitative literature on cultural practices and beliefs influencing perinatal nutrition in low and middle income countries

Author Region Food substances Effect
Adams [43] Tibet Butter ingested by newborn In order for child to have a clear mind and well-developed senses
Chang warm barley beer ingested by mothers
Ayiasi [34] Uganda Waragi local alcohol Generally therapeutic, keeps infant’s skin clear
Farnes [38] Ghana Local herbs ingested by mothers Prevents sunsumyare (spiritual sickness), promotes maternal, fetal health, prevents complications
Hadwiger [50] Philippines Ginger, carried Protect unborn baby from aswang (evil spirits)
Lundberg [49] Vietnam Pig’s trotter with papaya or red bean and potato, meat and eggs Enrich blood, help recovery, encourage expulsion of the lochia, stimulate lactation
Maimbola [41] Zambia Traditional medicine applied to vagina Prepare and widen the birth canal in pregnant women
Ngomane [83] S Africa Mbita, Ritlangi, Mpundulo Strengthen and preserve pregnancy
Induction, management of labour and management of pain
Mbheswana, roots of Xirhakarhani, boiled Dinda
Radoff [103] Guatemala Teas and baths from grasses and trees, cypress, pine, oak, pear, eucalyptus Stimulate labour, reduce postpartum bleeding
Raven [48] China Ginger and wine Enrich blood, help recovery, encourage expulsion of the lochia, stimulate lactation
Meat and eggs
Sein [39] Myanmar Turmeric, ingested or applied on skin Prevent muscle pain and to prevent newborn from abdominal pain
Thapa [52] Nepal Mustard oil, turmeric, eggs ingested Regain energy post-partum, make womb strong, relieve pain
Theroux [58] Ghana Bitter leaf, dandelion, prekos, maringa, nim tree, and kontosi Treat minor illness and maintain/improve pregnancy
Fou-fou pounding Prepare for labour
Wulandari [44] Bali Tamarind, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, coconut Improve maternal and infant health
Herbal medicines