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Table 2 Overview of the top ten medicinal plants considered harmful by the traditional practitioners (TPs) and support in the literature for maternal-fetal use and toxicity

From: Traditional medicine practitioners’ knowledge and views on treatment of pregnant women in three regions of Mali

Name of medicinal No. TPs who Plant parts Relevant traditional use Relevant toxicological and pharmacological data [[10],[12]-[14]]
plant considered the    
  plant harmful    
Khaya senegalensis 14 Stem and root bark Stem and root bark are used as arrow and fishing poison. The bark used as a purgative and as an emetic. No contractile effect was found on the uterus of pregnant rat [15]. In high doses extracts of the plant was shown to be hepatotoxic [16].
Opilia amentacea (syn. Opilia celtidifolia) 11 Stem and roots The stem and roots are used as diuretic and purgative remedies. Reported variable effect on non-pregnant and pregnant uterus.
Cassia sieberiana 7 Root bark The root bark has a use as a purgative and has a strong bitter taste. The plant is also used against infertility. Hepatotoxic and neurotoxic effects were shown on rats [17]. Hepatotoxic effects was shown after long time use of extracts of C. sieberiana[18].
Sarcocephalus latifolius (syn. Nauclea latifolia) 5 Stem and root bark Roots used as arrow poison. Root and stem bark are used as a purgative and to provoke vomiting. The plant contains indol-alkaloids and saponins that often are toxic products, but they are relatively little soluble in water. It has been shown that root extracts will reduce the effect of oxytocin, ergometrine and acetylcholine induced uterus contractions that normally will stimulate birth [19].
Trichilia emetica 5 Bark The bark is used as a purgative and as an emetic in small doses. No toxicity data.
Securidaca longipedunculata 4 Roots Roots used as arrow poison and to commit suicide. Also traditionally used against menstruation problems. The root appears to be toxic in large doses, possibly due to a saponin. The roots also contain methyl salicylate that may cause harmful effects [20].
Anogeissus leiocarpa 3 Bark A cold infusion is given to new born babies to drink. It is a laxative, and the plant is also used to treat diarrhea. The bark has a high content of tannins, so are the leaves as well. No toxic effects reported in the literature.
Adansonia digitata 2 Bark Infants are given extracts of the bark for gaining weight [21]. No toxic effects reported in the literature.
Detarium microcarpum 2 Root The root is used against various ailments as vaginal discharge, sterility and fungal infections. No toxic effects reported in the literature.
Ximenia americana 2 Leave, roots Leaves and roots are traditionally used against dysmenorrhea, diarrhea, nausea, heartburn and jaundice. Cyanogenic compounds are present which may cause harmful effects [22]. The bark has astringent properties due to the content of tannin.