Self-medication with herbal remedies: Understanding the practices in Iraqi society


  • Kadhim Fadhil Kadhim
  • Hussein Ali Aldabis
  • Hayder Hasan AL-Kabi
  • Nrjes Tarq Sary Al-Maliki



anxiety, self-medication, Symptoms, herbal remedies


Introduction and Aim: The growing popularity of herbal medicine can be attributed to its accessibility via the internet, cost, cultural tolerance, and perceived compatibility with the human body. However, since not all herbal therapies are safe or suitable for everyone, exercising caution and being mindful of the potential risks associated with their use are essential. The study aimed to determine the frequency, circumstances, and reasons for engaging in self-medication practices. It also explored the impact of self-medication and analyzed gender differences in anxiety levels related to such practices.


Materials and Methods: The research, based on a sample size of 1023 participants, sought to investigate and comprehend the patterns and characteristics of herbal self-medication across different sociological groups while considering various variables.


Results: The research findings indicated notable gender-related disparities in the prevalence of herbal self-medication. No significant differences were observed based on residence. Moreover, educational attainment played a role in self-medication practices, with individuals having postsecondary education displaying the highest inclination. Self-medication was observed across diverse health conditions, ranging from systemic illnesses to chronic diseases. Remarkably, 64.8% of women experienced anxiety, in contrast to only 20% of men, when engaging in self-medication practices. The research findings indicated a higher tendency for self-medication among women, with no notable variations based on residential location. Moreover, individuals with higher levels of education demonstrated a greater inclination towards self-medication.


Conclusion: The most prevalent reasons cited for self-medication were pain relief and inflammation management. Most participants reported experiencing no symptoms after self-medication, while women exhibited higher levels of anxiety.

Author Biographies

Kadhim Fadhil Kadhim

Department of Biology, College of Education, Qurna, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq

Hussein Ali Aldabis

Department of Biology, College of Education, Qurna, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq

Hayder Hasan AL-Kabi

Department of Biology, College of Education, Qurna, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq

Nrjes Tarq Sary Al-Maliki

Department of Biology, College of Education, Qurna, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq


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How to Cite

Kadhim KF, Ali Aldabis H, Hasan AL-Kabi H, Tarq Sary Al-Maliki N. Self-medication with herbal remedies: Understanding the practices in Iraqi society. Biomedicine [Internet]. 2023 Nov. 9 [cited 2023 Dec. 2];43(5):1484-9. Available from:



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