Türkiye Halk Sağlığı Dergisi, cilt.8, ss.1-9, 2010 (Diğer Kurumların Hakemli Dergileri)
Objective: The use of herbal supplements is steadily growing worldwide and raises concerns about safety and efficacy for patient care. We aimed to document the profile of herbal supplement use in patients who presented to a primary health care centre for any medical problem, and to relate this to environmental, personal and social factors in Turkey. Method: The data were collected between 2006 and 2007 by a face-to-face questionnaire with 336 consenting patients in a health care centre in Istanbul. Results: The most commonly used herbs were Tilia platyphyllos (45%), Salvia officinalis (sage; 29%), Camellia sinensis (green tea; 27%) and Linum usitatissimum (flaxseed oil; 21%). Sixty six percent of the participants stated that they used herbal products and would continue to use them since they believed in the efficacy of these products. The statistical analysis revealed that females used herbal supplements more than men (p<0.01); educational status and use of/ beliefs in alternative medicine were significant (p<0.01). Over the counter use of vitamins was also common in people who were using herbal products (p=0.01). Patients suffering from chronic diseases reported using these herbs concurrently with the drugs that they have to use for hypertension and diabetes. Conclusion: Primary health care providers need to pay particular attention to traditional/complementary and alternative medicine use while monitoring patients and patients should be made aware of the risks of herbal usage.