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A cross-sectonal survey of herbal remedy taking by United Arab Emirate (UAE) citizens in Abu Dhabi

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Purpose: To determine patterns of United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizen herbal medicine taking. Methods: Questionnaire survey of UAE citizens attending a primary healthcare clinic in Abu Dhabi. Results: Three hundred and thirty surveys were analysed. Seventy-six per cent (250/330) had previously used herbal products, and of these 38% (94/248) were currently taking at least one herb. In total, 65 different herbs were being taken to treat 48 conditions. Respondents: overwhelmingly felt herbal medicines were safe, yet 27 people reported experiencing an adverse drug reaction. Causality was not established because of multiple herbal use and a propensity for concurrent herbal and Western medicine taking. Respondents relied heavily on family and friends for advice and bought herbs from a ‘condimental shop’ (local herbal seller/healer). Despite high herbal use, respondents still preferredWestern medicine to treat chronic diseases. Conclusions: This study has shown that UAE nationals have faith and confidence in herbal medicines and are consequently high users of them despite the country’s progressive adoption of Western approaches to health care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-732
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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