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