Interfering factors with prescribing herbal medicines by medical practitioners in Isfahan

AM Sabzghabaee, Z Bakhtiari, S Badri


Although remarkable advances in modern medicine have brought about new strategies to cure diseases, there are still many people who tend to take herbal remedies to regain their own wellbeing. Despite this tendency among the ordinary Iranian patients, the issue is somehow controversial between medical practitioners. Today it is known that physicians' attitude towards efficiency of herbs affects their decision to recommend and prescribe such remedies for their patients. In the present study we aim to unearth underlying factors of physicians' attitude towards phytomedicine in Isfahan. A questionnaire was prepared and validated by a gallery of relevant experts. The questions were including physicians' demographic characteristics and their knowledge and attitude about herbal therapy. Participants (either general practitioners or specialists) were randomly selected and were asked to fill in the questionnaires. The analyzed data revealed that the tendency towards the use of herbal remedies is greater among general physicians. It was found that physicians' knowledge of phytotherapy is not satisfactory and this was an important factor in considering phytomedicine as an unreliable therapeutic approach. Very few physicians claimed that they knew standard herbal products available in the market. Most of the physicians believed in the importance of herbal random clinical trials and scientific evidences for the herbal drug regimens on the credence of phytotherapy among medical practitioners. Physicians' interest in phytomedicine was much affected by their knowledge of this issue. Therefore, changing the existing pessimistic attitude requires coordination between physicians and academic centers. Also preparing herbal medicine into standard dosage forms by pharmaceutical companies is an important measure to make herbal remedies more reliable prescriptions.


Phytotherapy; Herbal medicine; Isfahan

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