Herbal and Nonherbal Alternative Medicine Use in Northwest Ohio Article (Web of Science)


  • OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and characteristics of herbal and nonherbal alternative medicine use among adults living in northwest Ohio. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Three grocery store intercepts in northwest Ohio. SUBJECTS: A consecutive sample of 326 English-speaking persons ≥18 years old. METHODS: A 26-item survey self-administered to participants over a 6-month period. OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of herbal remedy use. RESULTS: Forty percent of respondents have used an herbal remedy during the last 12 months. The average number of herbs used was 2.3 per person. Herbal remedy use was not associated with specific sociodemographic variables. Desire to improve general health was the most common reason for use of an herbal remedy (16%). Herbal users cited “herbals are natural” as the most common benefit. Magazines (17%), health food stores (16%), and friends (14%) were the most common sources of herbal remedy information. Only 50% of the population informed their physician of such use. Forty-one percent used an herbal remedy sometimes to always to self-treat before seeking medical care from a physician. Fifteen percent of adults treated their children with herbs. Nearly all (86%) respondents believed the herb was helpful or very helpful. CONCLUSIONS: A significant number of the adults surveyed in the Toledo metropolitan area commonly used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). There were no independent factors associated with herbal remedy use. It is important for healthcare providers to acknowledge this growing trend of CAM therapy use and begin to incorporate open discussion about CAM into the patient—provider relationship.


publication date

  • 2002

published in

number of pages

  • 7

start page

  • 1862

end page

  • 1869


  • 36


  • 12