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A Comparative Assessment of Herbal and Orthodox Medicines in Nigeria

DOI: 10.3923/rjmsci.2011.280.285

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Abstract:

This study assessed attributes of herbal and orthodox medicines such as affordability, packaging, availability, efficacy, safety, side-effects and level of advertisement in print and electronic media which were hitherto neglected. Structured questionnaires and interview schedule were the instruments used to elicit information from 300 herbal and orthodox medicine consumers selected from six geo-political zones in Nigeria through a purposive and convenient sampling method. Data were analyzed with appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that the respondents rated herbal medicines higher than orthodox medicines in terms of safety and the degree of advertisement. Other parameters were rated higher for orthodox medicines. The mean values of all parameters were significant at p≤0.05. Also only 41% of the respondents took herbal medicines as their first drug of choice. This is contrary to the widely held view in literature that >80% of the population in developing countries takes only herbal medicines.

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