Use of Herbal Medicine Among the Public in Abu Dhabi

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Arab Journal of Nutrition and Exercise (AJNE)

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Background: Herbal remedies have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years to treat various human ailments. Aim: Given the rising increase in the use of herbal products among the United Arab Emirates (UAE) population, this study aims to explore the level of knowledge, attitude, and beliefs about the use of herbal medicine among the public in Abu Dhabi. Methods: A total of 410 male and female participants aged between 20 and 60+ years completed a 20-item face-to-face questionnaire that was composed of three sections. The first section of the questionnaire included demographic data (age, gender, nationality, marital status, and level of education), health status, and familiarity with herbal medicine. The second section included practices of using of herbal medicine among participants. The last section included respondents' beliefs and attitudes about herbal medicine based on its use. Results: The results of this study showed that almost half of the respondents were married and aged between 20 and 29 years. Only one-fifth of the participants were very familiar with the herbal medicine while more than one-third reported no familiarity. The results also showed that about 35% of the participants use herbal medicine. The only demographic features linked with the usage of herbal medications were age and marital state, where married respondents reported higher use of herbal medicine than unmarried. In addition, older respondents (40+ years) reported higher use compared to younger generations. Moreover, the patient's high cholesterol level was the sole connected health-related attribute. Interestingly, most users indicated that herbal medicine was recommended to them by family or friends, followed by herbalists and medical doctors. According to nonusers, the biggest deterrent to utilizing herbal remedies was being healthy and having no need for using herbal medicine, while lack of available information about herbal medicine was the second reason. The highest belief of respondents about the use of herbal medicine was their role in maintaining and promoting health. Conclusion: Although the results of this study showed that herbal medicine is moderately used in UAE, particularly by those who have hypercholesterolemia, it is important to emphasize the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing herbal remedies. Effective herbal medicine policies and health education programs must be developed. Patient counseling and education about medication use are needed to augment their awareness about their use. Keywords: herbal medicine, demographic features, hypercholesterolemia




Knowledge E DMCC

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Medicine and Health Sciences


herbal medicine, demographic features, hypercholesterolemia

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Open Access


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Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series