Evaluation of the knowledge level and usage attitudes of the medical students on the medicinal herbs and herbal products: a project of special study module in the first three years of the school of medicine

Hulya Guven, Sule Kalkan, Nil Hocaoglu, Engin Yildiztepe, Gamze Gokalp


Background: In this survey, it was aimed to determine the types of medicinal herbs and herbal products, reasons of use and consciousness levels among the medical students in the first three years of the School of Medicine.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive questionnaire consisting of 50 questions was applied to all the students in the first three years of Dokuz Eylül University School of Medicine between September 1, 2016 and June 1, 2017.

Results: The results of 571 participating students were evaluated. Of these students, 301 (52.7%) were females and 270 (47.3%) were males. It was found that 73.4% (n=419) of the students used these products for treatment and mostly consumed linden, sage tea, mint and rosehip. Also, 11.6% of the students had chronic diseases (n=66). It was determined that 69.7% (n=46) of these students having chronic diseases used medicinal herbs and herbal products. Only 12.0% of the students had an opinion about the legal regulations regarding the use of herbs and herbal products in Turkey, while 39.7% of them had no idea, and 48.3% stated that such regulations on this matter were unreasonable. However, 59.7% of the respondents stated that legal regulations were necessary. It was found that the participating students used herbs and herbal products generally for therapeutic purposes without having sufficient knowledge about medicinal herbs; therefore it was necessary to increase their level of consciousness.

Conclusions: Medical students neither have adequate medical information about medicinal herbs and herbal products, nor about the regulations on these products. It is crucial to revise the courses in the medical education so that the students would get informed about the regulations as well as potential risks of herbal plants while still in the medical schools.


Herbal products, Medicinal herbs, School of medicine students

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