Author(s): Ortiz BI, Clauson KA
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To provide insight into the use of herbs by Hispanic Americans, identify specific herbal products that health care professionals should inquire about in this population, and assess information sources and expenditures. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: South Florida. PARTICIPANTS: Convenience sample of 200 Hispanic adults. INTERVENTIONS: Participants completed a descriptive, self-administered survey. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Specific herbs and herbal remedies use, monthly expenditures, sources of information, and attitudes and beliefs regarding herbs. RESULTS: Of the 200 surveys that were distributed, 142 were completed for a response rate of 71\%. Of the respondents, 75\% reported using at least one herb in the last 12 months. Women between 25 and 34 years of age were most likely to be herb users (P = .001), while men in that age group were the least likely (P = .013). Chamomile (58.5\%) and aloe vera (45.3\%) were used most frequently. Two frequently used herbs--linden (35.8\%) and star anise (33.0\%)--are ones that are generally not well known to health care professionals. Family tradition (36\%) and safety (17\%) were the major reasons for use of herb/herbal remedies. Participants most commonly reported spending 25 dollars or less per month for herbs and herbal products. CONCLUSION: Hispanics in south Florida reported using herbs and herbal products at a higher rate than that those reported previously for the general population of the United States. While money spent on herbs and herbal products was generally minimal, study participants had a disconcerting level of confidence in the safety and efficacy of herbal products.
This article was published in J Am Pharm Assoc (2003)
and referenced in Epidemiology: Open Access