Natural medicines

A Preliminary Report on Herbal Medicine Use Among Patients Hospitalize | RMHP – Dove Medical Press

Summary

Introduction

Globally, herbal medicines use has been reported as a common practice both in the prevention and treatment of diseases.1–3 This is especially common with diseases with high mortality, morbidity or those without conventional therapy that cure the disease. Previous studies in Uganda report that more than 60% of the population depended on traditional medicine before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.4 Due to the high mortality associated with the second wave of…….

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Introduction

Globally, herbal medicines use has been reported as a common practice both in the prevention and treatment of diseases.1–3 This is especially common with diseases with high mortality, morbidity or those without conventional therapy that cure the disease. Previous studies in Uganda report that more than 60% of the population depended on traditional medicine before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.4 Due to the high mortality associated with the second wave of COVID-19, this practice is likely to have increased.

Many factors have been identified as drivers of herbal medicine use. In many parts of the world, users have reported that herbal remedies are safe, effective, and are cheap.1,5 In Uganda, easy access, and cultural familiarity as well as the higher number of traditional health practitioners compared to health-care professionals are some of the common factors influencing this practice.4,6 A recent study in Uganda reported that media has increased the use of herbal medicines in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.7 However, there is limited information concerning the level of herbal medicine use among hospitalized COVID-19 patients and the reasons why they resort to this practice even with the existence of conventional supportive treatment and vaccines.

Although some studies have reported the role of combining herbal remedies with westernized medicine in the treatment of COVID-19,8 the side effects of these remedies are not well studied. This is in addition to the wide variation in the types of herbal medicines on the market which may wrongly influence their use. Various studies have documented harmful consequences of herbal remedies including hepatotoxicity and allergies, which may be worsened by confounders such as self-medication.1,9 The continued use of herbal medicines without question may lead to long-term health consequences for both the individual and the government.

The Uganda National Drug Policy and Authority Statute (1993) gives the National Drug Authority (NDA) a mandate to regulate herbal medicine use including approving of all manufacturers. During the pandemic, several manufacturers have hit the market with herbal medicine products, but only a few of these are approved by the NDA and little has been done to regulate their practice.10 This study, therefore, aimed to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with herbal medicine use among hospitalized patients at the two large COVID-19 treatment units in Uganda.

Methods

Study Design and Setting

An observational, cross-sectional study was conducted between July and August 2021 in two large CTUs in Kampala, Uganda, namely, Mulago National Referral Hospital CTU and Namboole Stadium CTU. These are the main referral CTUs in the country with bed capacities of over 30,000 beds catering for a diverse range of patients from all over the country. The CTUs run daily, seeing both patients referred from other health facilities across the country as well as patients who are being followed up routinely.

Study Population

We approached all patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in …….

Source: https://www.dovepress.com/a-preliminary-report-on-herbal-medicine-use-among-patients-hospitalize-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-RMHP