Is Garlic Necklace Effective in the Treatment of Neonatal Jaundice

Document Type: Original Article


1 University of KUFA- College of Medicines, Pediatrics Department

2 Jabir ibnHayyan Medical University, College of Medicine, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics


Background: Hyperbilirubinemia is a prevalent clinical problem which affects 60% of term and 80% of preterm neonates. Garlic is the most well-known remedy used in Iraq for the treatment of jaundice. To test the effectiveness of garlic necklace in the treatment of neonatal jaundice.
Methods: This cohort study was conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of Al Zahraa Teaching Hospital within January-November 2016. A total number of 110 neonates were included in the present study out of whom 36 neonates were allocated to the test group and 74 newborns were assigned to the control group. The neonates in both groups received the common treatment of jaundice, according to guidelines adopted in our hospital. Nonetheless, the neonates in the test group wear a seven-clove garlic necklace till discharge, in addition to the common treatment. We compared the two groups regarding the length of hospital stay and the rate of total serum bilirubin (TSB) decline.
Results: As illustrated by the obtained results, a significant reduction was detected in the hours of hospitalization in the control group, as compared to the test group (P= 0.006).
A significant reduction was observed in hours of hospitalization in the control group, as compared to the test group (P=0.006) suggesting the harmful effect of garlic on neonatal jaundice. This can be attributed to the long-time dependence of patients' families on garlic as a sole treatment before seeking medical help. Nonetheless, this treatment made jaundice worse needing prolonged phototherapy. The rate of decline in TSB in hospitalized patients was comparable in both groups (P= 85). This again suggests that garlic has no beneficial effect on the treatment of neonatal jaundice.
Conclusion: Based on the results of the present study, garlic has no effect on the treatment of neonatal jaundice, rather it may cause prolonged phototherapy and hospital stay.


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