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Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medical Research

Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medical Research, ISSN: 2456-6276,Vol.: 3, Issue.: 1

Short Research Article

Utilization of Herbal Medicines among Diabetic Patients Attending Kenyatta National Hospital Outpatient Clinic


Okoth Molly Elsa1,2*, Kimani Kuria1, David Nyamu1 and Evans Mwangangi1

1School of Pharmacy, University of Nairobi, P.O.Box 19676-00202, Nairobi, Kenya.

2Ministry of Health, P.O.Box 30016-00100, Nairobi, Kenya.


Article Information


(1) Dr. Sabyasachi Chatterjee, Burdwan University, India.


(1) M. V. N. L. Chaitanya, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeswara University, India.

(2) Wagih Mommtaz ghannam, Mansoura Faculty of Medicine, Egypt.

Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/19553




Background: World Health Organization has estimated that 70-90 % of Africa’s population still relies on herbal remedies in order to meet their healthcare needs. Although the role of herbal medicines in the management of diabetes is an emerging health issue, use of herb remedies is common among diabetics.

Objectives: To evaluate knowledge, perception and describe the pattern of utilization of herbal medicines among diabetic outpatients at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Methodology: The study was a tertiary hospital-based cross sectional study. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 251 adult diabetic outpatients who were interviewed. Data was captured into Microsoft Excel computer software and then exported to SPSS version 17.0 for analysis. Descriptive data was analyzed quantitatively and presented in form of charts and tables as appropriate. Statistical significance was determined using Pearson Chi Square at p<0.05. Where numbers of participants were too small, Fishers exact results were used.

Results: The prevalence of use of herbal remedies for managing diabetes mellitus was 7.2%. However, the total prevalence of use of herbs among the diabetic outpatients was 39.5% implying that 32.3% of the study participants used herbs for other medical conditions. The commonest herbs used were ginger and Aloe vera used by 50% of the herbal users. Almost half of the herb users did not regard it important to inform the doctor about their use of herbs. The reasons given for use of herbal medicines were varied; the commonest being that herbs could easily be accessed 13 (13.1%) of the herbal users.

There was no statistically significant relationship between socio-demographic characteristics and use of herbs (P>0.05).

Conclusion: About 40% of diabetic outpatients are in some form of herbal remedy.  In addition, 1 out of 5 of diabetic herbal users use them for managing diabetes; commonest herbs being Aloe vera and ginger. Therefore, healthcare workers and researchers should find ways of harmonizing the utilization of herbal and conventional medicines amongst diabetic patients.


Keywords :

Diabetes mellitus; herbal medicines; conventional medicines.


Full Article - PDF    Page 1-18    Article Metrics


DOI : 10.9734/JOCAMR/2017/33962

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