The Extent and Reasons behind Herbal Medicine use among Saudis Herbal Consumers in Jeddah

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Mohammed W. Al-Rabia
Hani Z. Asfour


Herbal medicine; Saudi Arabia; Use; Practice; Outcome; Black seeds.


Background: Herbal remedies became common in both developed and developing countries although it is more prevalent in the latter. It is considered as a natural, acceptable, safe alternative to routine medicines. Objectives: This study aims to determine the extent and the character of herbal medicine use among Saudis in Jeddah and to identify the reasons behind its use and perceptions about its therapeutic outcome. Subjects and Methods: This comparative cross sectional study was conducted in randomly selected three primary health care centers in south Jeddah, Saudi Arabia over two consecutive weeks in 2016 by using a self-administered questionnaire. Data analysis was done by Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 16.
Results: Three hundred Saudis participated in the study with mean age (25 ± 11.4) year. 70% of the participants were using herbs in the past with 70% of them having used it for the treatment of acute conditions. A high significant prevalence of herbal use was recognized among the older age group (86.20%), females (87.50%), and people with low educational levels (83.40%). Myrrh (57.10%), ginger (50.40%), and black seeds (42.80%) were the most commonly used herbs by the participants. The most common reasons behind herbal use as a medication were accessibility (50%) and family and friends recommendation (50%). Conclusion: Herbal medicine use is considered common among Saudi citizens in Jeddah, especially among the older age, females and low educational levels and these groups should be targeted with orientation programs about the eff ectiveness, benefi ts and side effects.

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