262763 South African Communities in the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces' Use of Traditional Herbal Medicine for Hypertension and Diabetes

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 11:10 AM - 11:30 AM

Gail Hughes, DrPH, MPH , South African Herbal Institute and Medicine Institute, University of Western Cape, Belville, South Africa
Oluwaseyi Aboyade, PhD, MSc , South African Herbal Science and Medicine Institute, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Thandi Rose Puoane, DrPH, MPH , School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Diabetes and hypertension are one of the leading chronic diseases of lifestyle (CDL), accounting for 3.4 million and 8 million deaths respectively world-wide. The use of traditional herbal medicines (THM) for the management and treatment of these diseases are well documented in South Africa. Very little is known about the prevalence of use of THM for these CDL in South Africa's communities. The objective of this study was to document the prevalence and incidence of THM use for hypertension and diabetes.


A cross-sectional design study using Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) cohort was conducted to determine the prevalence and reasons of THM use among South African adults for diabetes and hypertension. Participants (n= 443) were recruited from Eastern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa.


The overall prevalence of THM use was 31%, of which 11% was self-reported for diabetes and 20% for hypertension. THM was mostly prescribed by family/friends/self-administered (46%/67%); used 1-3 times daily (40%/49%) for several years (67%/74%) for the diabetic and hypertensive cohorts respectively.


Patients who have CDL such as hypertension and diabetes that use THM should be monitored closely for use of THM; herb/drug interactions and adherence to drug treatment. The fact that these patients are established and consistent THM users, awareness of possible interactions as well as severe adverse effects should be intensified. Lack of communication of THM use between patients and their health care providers should be bridged.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
To better understand the incidence and prevalence of Traditional Herbal Medicine use for hypertension and diabetes in South African communities

Keywords: Chronic Diseases, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: i am principal investigator of this research on traditional herbal medicine; Also director of South african herbal science and medicine institute; conducting this research in south african for more than 5 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.