Use of Herbs Among Adults Based on Evidence-Based Indications: Findings From the National Health Interview Survey

Bardia, Aditya; Nisly, Nicole L.; Zimmerman, M. Bridget; Gryzlak, Brian M.; Wallace, Robert B.
May 2007
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;May2007, Vol. 82 Issue 5, p561
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: To examine the extent to which US adults use herbs (herbal supplements) in accordance with evidence-based indications. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: The Alternative Health supplement of the 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is part of an annual, nationally representative survey of US adults. It contains data on adults' use of the 10 herbs most commonly taken to treat a specific health condition in the past year (January 1 to December 31, 2002). The Natural Standard database was used to formulate evidence-based standards for herb use. These standards were applied to the NHIS data to identify groups of people who used herbs appropriately and inappropriately, using a multivariable logistic regression model. RESULTS: Of the 30,617 adults surveyed, 5787 (18.9%) consumed herbs in the past 12 months; of those, 3315 (57.3%) used herbs to treat a specific health condition. Among people who used only 1 herb (except echlnacea and ginseng), approximately one third used it consonant with evidence-based indications. Women and people with a college education were more likely to use herbs (with the exception of echlnacea) concordant with scientific evidence. Adults younger than 60 years and black adults were significantly less likely to use herbs (with the exception of echinacea) based on evidentiary referents than their counterparts. However, for echlnacea users, no significant differences were detected. CONCLUSION: Roughly two thirds of adults using commonly consumed herbs (except echlnacea) did not do so in accordance with evidence-based indications. Health care professionals should take a proactive role, and public health policies should disseminate evidence-based information regarding consumption of herbal products.


Related Articles

  • Echinacea. Murray, Michael T. // Alive: Canada's Natural Health & Wellness Magazine;Oct2004, Issue 264, p80 

    Presents the study on the effect of Echinacea purpurea on immune functions. Influence of the ability of a compound to deliver an effective dosage of active compounds on the effectiveness of a herbal product; Role of polysaccharides, alkylamides, and cichoric acid in the immune-enhancing effects...

  • Echinacea: No cure for the common cold.  // Pharmaceutical Representative;Sep2005, Vol. 35 Issue 9, p15 

    Suggests that echinacea is not effective in the treatment or prevention of the common cold or its symptoms. Publication of the results of the study in the volume 353, number four issue of "The New England Journal of Medicine".

  • N.Y. eyes herbal supplements. Investor's Business Daily // Investors Business Daily;2/4/2015, pA02 

    The article reports on the testing samples on store-brand herbal supplements such as echinacea and ginseng in the U.S.

  • A pharmacist's guide to herbal remedies. Tebbett, Ian R. // Drug Topics;8/6/2007, Vol. 151 Issue 15, p36 

    The article focuses on concerns regarding the use of medicinal plants. It provides a historical background on the use of plants as medicines, beginning from 3000 BC in China, and the development of the use of natural products or semisynthetic derivatives of naturally occurring compounds in the...

  • Top-Selling Medicinal Herbs in the U.S., 1998-2002.  // World Almanac & Book of Facts;2004, p97 

    Presents a list of the top-selling medicinal herbs in the United States from 1998 to 2002. Consideration of the popularity of herbs such as echinacea, garlic, soy, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba.

  • Herbal hitman. Dickinson, Ben; Leclerc, Anita // Esquire;Nov97, Vol. 128 Issue 5, p150 

    Presents information about the herbal medicine Echinacea. Description of the plant; Physiological effect of the herbal medicine; Tips in the uses of the plant.

  • Herbs give life to ex-tobacco areas. Povah, Frank // Australian Geographic;Jan-Mar2000, Issue 57, p22 

    Focuses on the echinacea flowers and other medicinal herbs planted on the Molevale property, a former tobacco plantation in New South Wales. Description of the Molevale property; Details on the tobacco plantation; Significance of the medicinal herb plantation.

  • Herbs and Dietary Supplement Use in Patients with Stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease. Burrowes, Jerrilynn D.; Van Houten, Gloria; Brommage, Deborah // Nephrology Nursing Journal;Jan/Feb2006, Vol. 33 Issue 1, p85 

    The article presents information on the use and efficacy of herbs and dietary supplements in the nondialysis chronic kidney disease patients in the U.S. Facts about Echinacea, fish oils and garlic, as well as web sites for herbs and alternative medicine, are given. The implication of the...

  • Independent Nurse: Clinical - Herbal supplements in the elderly. Huntley, Alyson // GP: General Practitioner;1/26/2007, p98 

    The article presents information on efficacy of several herbal medicines used by older patients. It is stated that the Echinacea supplements can be used for prevention and treatment of respiratory infections. It is reported that garlic can be used as a herbal supplement that may lead to small...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics