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


  • Aveen N. Adham Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Author
  • Mohammed N. Sabir Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Author
  • Dilbreen H. Abdulqader Department of Pharmacognosy & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Author
  • Alaadin M. Naqishbandi Department of Pharmacognosy & Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Author



Herbal medicines, Concurrent medicines, Kurdistan Region


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.


WHO."Traditional Medicine": Definitions. Geneva. (2000).

Koehn, F. E. and Carter, G. T. "The evolving role of natural products in drug discovery", Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Vol. (4), PP.206−220. (2005).

Kamboj, V.P. "Herbal medicine", Current Science, Vol. (78), No.1, pp.35-39. (2000).

Bhattarai, N.K. "Traditional phytotherapy among the Sherpa of Helambu, Central Nepal", Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. (27), No. 1/2, pp.45-54. (1989).

Ghimire, S.K. McKey, D, and Aumeeruddy-Thomas, Y. "Conservation of Himalayan medicinal plants: harvesting patterns and ecology of two threatened species Nardostachysgrandiflora and Neopicrorhizascrophulariiflora", Biological Conservation, Vol. (124), pp.463-475. (2005).

Bonifácio, B.V. Da Silva, P. B. Ramos, M. A. Negri, K.M.S. Bauab, T.M. and Chorilli, M. "Nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems and herbal medicines: a review", International Journal of Nanomedicine, Vol. (9), pp. 1–15. (2014).

Bussmann, R.W. "Ethnobotany and biodiversity conservation". In ModernTrends in Applied Terrestrial Ecology, Edited by: Ambasht RS, Ambasht NK. Kluwer publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp.345-362. (2002).

Patwardhan, B. Warude, D. Pushpangadan, P. and Bhatt, N. "Ayurveda andTraditional Chinese Medicine: A comparative overview". Evidence- Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol. (2), No. 4, pp.465-473. (2005).

Goswami, S. Annalakshmi, C. Panda, N. Banerjee, S. Sahu, N.P. Achari, B. and Das, P.K. "Preclinical experimental evidence for anti gastric ulcer activity in an Indian medicinal plant". 2nd International Conference, Bundelkhand University, India. (2005).

Miller, G. L. Hume, A. Harris, I. M. Jackson, E. A. Kanmaz, T. J. Cauffield, J. S. Chin, T. W. F. and Knell M. "White Paper on Herbal Products-American College of Clinical Pharmacy", Pharmacotherapy, Vol. (20), No. 7, pp.877–891. (2000).

Kelly, J. P. Kaufman, D. W. Kelley, K. Rosenberg, L. Anderson, T. E. and Mitchell, A. A. "Recent Trends in Use of Herbal and Other Natural Products", Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. (165), No. 3, pp. 281-286. (2000).

Soejarto, D. D. and Farnsworth, N. R. "Tropical rain forests": potential source of new drugs, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Vol. (32), No. 2, pp. 244–256. (1989).

Priya, M.L. Priya, K.B. Kotakadi, V.S. and Josthna, P. "Herbal and Medicinal Plants Molecules Towards Treatment of Cancer: A Mini Review", American Journal of Ethnomedicine, Vol. (2), pp. 136-142. (2015).

Evans, W.C. "Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy", 15 Ed., Edinburgh London, New York, oxford philadelphia. (2000).

PDR for Herbal Medicines, 3 Ed., Thomson. (2004).

Oreagba, I.A. Oshikoya, K.A. and Amachree, M. "Herbal medicine use among urban residents in Lagos, Nigeria", BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol. (11), pp. 117–125. (2011).

Humidat, S. A. and Khamaysa, S.I. “The use of herbal medicines by people with hypertension in palestine”, International Journal of Technology Enhancement and Emerging Engineering Research, Vol. (2), No. 7, pp. 131. (2014).

Adibe, M.O. "Prevalence of concurrent use of herbal and conventional medicines among outpatients in a mission hospital in Nigeria", International Journal of Drug Development and Research, Vol. (1), pp.60-66. (2009).

Wheaton, A. G. Blanck, H. M. Gizlice, Z. Reyes, M. "Medicinal Herb Use in a Population-Based Survey of Adults": Prevalence and frequency of use, reasons for use, and use among their children, Annals of Epidemiology, Vol. (15), No. 9, pp. 678–685. (2005).

Folashade, K. O. Omoregie, E. H. andOchogu, A. P. "Standardization of herbal medicines" - A review, International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. (4), No.3, pp. 101-112. (2012).

Andel V. T. and Carvalheiro G. L. "Why Urban Citizens in Developing Countries Use Traditional Medicines": The Case of Suriname", Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, pp. 13.(2013).

Picking, D. Younger, N. Mitchell, S. and Delgoda, R. "The prevalence of herbal medicine home use and concomitant use with pharmaceutical medicines in Jamaica", Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. (137), No. 1, pp. 305–311. (2011).

Delgoda, R. Younger, N. Barrett, C. Braithwaite, J. and Davis, D. "The prevalence of herbs use in conjunction with conventional medicines in Jamaica", Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Vol. (18), No. 1, pp. 13–20. (2010).

Bussmann, W. R. Sharon, D. and Lopez, A. "Blending traditional and Western medicine": medicinal plant use among patients at clinicaanticona in el porvenir, Peru, Ethnobotany Research and Applications, Vol. (5), pp. 185–199. (2007).

Bennett, J. and Brown, C.M. "Use of herbal remedies by patients in a health maintenance organization", Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, Vol. (40), pp. 353-358. (2000).



How to Cite

Concurrent self-use of Herbal and Synthetic Medicines in Kurdistan Region-Iraq. (2016). Journal of Zankoy Sulaimani, 18(2), 243-248.