The use of herbal medicines amongst out-patients at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) Ilorin, Kwara State – Nigeria

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Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 42: 158-163. Published by Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Background: In Africa, particularly Nigeria, there is an increasing interest in natural product remedies with a basic approach towards nature. This research studies the prevalence of use, pattern of use and awareness of outpatients at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria on the use of herbal medicines. Methodology: Based on an informed consent, semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect data from a total of 112 outpatients attending different outpatient clinics of the hospital about the use of herbs. This sample size was derived from the Kish formula. Data obtained were analyzed by IBM SPSS Statistics software V23 and inferences made accordingly. Results: All (100.00%) of the outpatients were familiar with herbal medicines, 67.86% had used herbal medicines in the past and 25.00% were currently taking herbal medicines as at the time of study. It was also found that 54.35% of the respondents use herbal medicines in no specific dose, 47.83% use the herbs with various additives, and 39.13% take their herbs concurrently with orthodox medicines. A total of 13.73% of the respondents prefer to use herbs when sick and another 35.29% prefer a combination of herbs and orthodox medicines. Conclusions: Most of the patient-respondents prefer to include herbal medicines in their therapies. It is concerning that over one-third of the respondents concomitantly use herbal and orthodox medicines, some others use the herbs inappropriately. More efforts should be geared towards ensuring general improved use of herbal medicines.


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Awareness; Herbal medicines; Opinions; Orthodox medicines; Outpatients; Prevalence.