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Abstract

PREVALENCE OF USING HERBAL DRUGS AS ANTI-DIABETIC AGENTS IN MEDINA, KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA

*Babar Ali and Abdullah M. Alahmadi

ABSTRACT

Objectives: The present study was conducted to investigate role of herbal drugs for the treatment of diabetes in Medina region of KSA. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the patients of two major hospitals and two primary health care centers of Medina region of KSA, where 339 diabetic patients were interviewed through a predesigned questionnaire that contains items related to diabetes and the use of herbs. The results were statistically analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software (SPSS software version 18) under windows 7; simple descriptive analysis was done in the form of percentage. Results: The survey response rate was 92%. In the current study, 209 (62%) patients were found to use 37 herbal drugs and 130 (38%) did not use any herbs to treat their diabetes. From the herbal drugs user 73.2% were male while 36.8% were female diabetic patients. Most of the herbal drugs users were Saudi Nationals (90.2%). The most commonly used herbs were Olive, Fenugreek, Green tea, Lupin, Bitter guard, Garlic, Myrrh, Thyme and Pomegranate. Olive oil/ olive leaves, Fenugreek seeds and Green tea leaves were used by twenty-six, twenty and fourteen patients respectively. Conclusion: Present study revealed that 62% diabetic patients use herbs to treat diabetes. This study showed that folk medicine is still practiced among diabetic patients. It is further added that knowledge about herbal drugs in terms of efficacy, safety, risks, interactions and toxicities, should be updated to the healthcare professional through continued scientific programs.

Keywords: Herbal drugs, diabetes, folk medicine, efficacy and toxicities.


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