Concurrent self-use of Herbal and Synthetic Medicines in Kurdistan Region-Iraq.

Aveen N. Adham, Mohammed N. Sabir, Dilbreen H. Abdulqader and Alaadin M. Naqishbandi

Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Kurdistan Region-Iraq.
Department of Pharmacognosy & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of Sulaimani, Suleimaniyah, Kurdistan Region-Iraq.
Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of Duhok, Duhok, Kurdistan Region-Iraq. Corresponding author: Mohammed N. Sabir


In many parts of the world, there are rich traditions for the use of herbs in treatment of
many disorders. This study is compared self-use of concurrent medicines (herbal and
synthetic) (CM) with herbal only medicines (HM) among people of different genders,
ages, and education levels in Kurdistan Region major cities (Erbil, Suleimaniyah, and
Duhok). Self-administered structured questionnaires were randomly distributed among
587 respondents. The information obtained comprises the demography, gender, age,
education level, previous self-use of CM or HM and indications for which HM were
used.The highest ratio of respondents were males (50.6 %), herbal and concurrent
medicines users were (15.8%) and (84.2 %) respectively. In all age groups, ratio of
concurrent medicines users were higher than herbal medicines (p< 0.05), age groups of
31-40 and 51-60 years showed higher ratio among respondents with (23.5%) and
(94.3%) for herbal and concurrent medicines, respectively. Among users of different
educational levels, ratio of concurrent medicines were higher than herbal medicines (p<
0.01), university graduate and primary school educational levels were with higher ratio
of (33.9%) and (93.9%) for herbal and concurrent medicines, respectively. The highest
percentage of herb users was among people who suffered from gastrointestinal problems
(59%), respiratory tract (39%) and cardiovascular system problems (36%), while
musculoskeletal conditions were less often treated with herbs in Kurdistan Region (9%).
Almost 104 plant species were mentioned during the interviews with respondents
belonging to 57 families, the most diverse one Umbelliferae, followed by Brassicaceae,
Asteraceae and Rosaceae.

Key Words:
Herbal medicines
Concurrent medicines
Kurdistan Region


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