Reviews | Challenge Journal of Perioperative Medicine

Herbal treatments used by patients before surgery: A literature review example

Meltem Dogan

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Aim: Herbs, which hold significant historical significance in medicine and have been utilized for centuries to manage and prevent illnesses, interact with medications. This interaction extends to anesthetics and drugs administered during surgical procedures. Identifying these herbal remedies and discontinuing their use at appropriate intervals is crucial. This study aimed to identify publications examining the utilization of herbal medicine by presurgical patients through the PubMed database.

Method: Literature published between 2000 and 2023 was scrutinized using the keywords "herbal medicine, presurgical patients" in the PubMed database for this study.

Results: Among the studies, 56.2% constituted research articles and were thus included in the study. Those conducted within the last decade accounted for 22.2% of our sample. The majority of the studies were conducted in the United States (44.4%). The most frequently used herbs among the publications included in the sample were Echinacea (Echinacea) (n=5), Ginseng (Panax), Ginkgo biloba (n=3), Perforate St John's-wort (n=3), and Garlic (Allium sativum) (n=3).

Conclusions: Insights into preoperative herbal use are pivotal. It is well-established that herbs interact with anesthetic medications. The findings of this review indicate a paucity of literature on this subject globally. Therefore, there is a demand for more rigorous, experimental studies to raise awareness among healthcare professionals.


anesthetic medications; herbal medicine; preoperative patients; traditional treatment

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