Attitudes toward herbal medicine for COVID-19 in healthcare workers: A cross-sectional observational study

Güngör Ö., Baykal H.

Medicine (United States), vol.102, no.38, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 102 Issue: 38
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/md.0000000000035176
  • Journal Name: Medicine (United States)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: COVID-19, healthcare workers, herbal medicine
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has adversely affected working life all over the world, and the employees with the highest risk of transmission have been those in the health sector. Since there are currently no effective treatments for COVID-19, there have been numerous attempts to find alternative treatments for both the spread of the infection and its treatment. These efforts have included the use of herbal extracts to boost immunity and reduce the likelihood of contracting the infection. This study explored the attitudes of healthcare workers toward the consumption of COVID-19 herbal medicine (HM) products. This is an online, cross-sectional observational study. In total, 1335 participants were reached. It was observed that 722 (54%) of them preferred herbal treatments during the pandemic period. The attitudes of HM toward 327 (45.3%) healthcare workers and 395 (54.7%) general population participants were examined. Both groups had high rates of use of HM as a COVID-19 preventive measure (68.8 percent and 67.1 percent, respectively). While its use was higher among healthcare workers during infection (OR: 2.00, 95% CI: 1.32-3.03), its use was higher in the non-healthcare group for post-COVID problems (OR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.35-0.74). The opinion of healthcare professionals was that HM was more efficient (OR: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.19-21.15). All participants' main incentive to utilize HM was family advice (n=194, 26.9%). A total of 90 (12.4%) participants reported side effects. Vomiting-nausea were the most typical adverse effects (38.9%). The herb most frequently utilized was ginger (54%). Healthcare workers use HM at rates that are the same as those of the general population. Both its use during infections and the idea that it is effective are more common among healthcare professionals than in the general population.