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The Use of Traditional Herbal Medicines Amongst South Asian Diasporic Communities in the UK

Heinrich, M; Bhamra, SK; Slater, A; Howard, C; Johnson, M; (2017) The Use of Traditional Herbal Medicines Amongst South Asian Diasporic Communities in the UK. Phytotherapy Research , 31 (11) pp. 1786-1794. 10.1002/ptr.5911. Green open access

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Abstract

Migrant South Asian communities in the UK have brought with them their own traditional forms of medicine, yet little is known about their current use of herbal medicines (HMs) in the UK. The aim of the study was to explore the origins, use and transmission of knowledge of traditional HMs used by diasporic South Asian communities in the UK. A researcher-administered questionnaire was used for data collection (n = 192). An opportunity sampling technique was used to recruit participants across several locations in Birmingham and Leicester. Two thirds of participants (n = 126) stated they used HMs to maintain their health and to treat various health conditions such as digestive problems, skin conditions and diabetes. Almost 2000 actively used HMs were documented including 123 plant species that were identified. Participants imported HMs from abroad as well as sourcing them locally and even growing some of their own plants. Up to 82% (n = 87) of participants who took prescription medicines did not tell their healthcare professionals about any HMs they consumed; this raises concerns about people's knowledge of herb–drug interactions, compliance and effect on prescribed medicine regimens. Similar studies to explore the use of HMs by other ethnic groups are imperative to help optimise pharmaceutical care of patients.

Type: Article
Title: The Use of Traditional Herbal Medicines Amongst South Asian Diasporic Communities in the UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/ptr.5911
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5911
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Ethnopharmacology; Herbal medicines; Traditional medicine; Polypharmacy; Urban ethnobotany.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > SoP Pharmaceutical and Bio Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1571000
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