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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 149-154

Use of herbal medicines in the treatment of obesity in Taif, Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Taif University, Al-Haweyya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Taif University, Al-Haweyya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Taif University, Al-Haweyya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Assiut University, Assiut 71526, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed S Eldalo
Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Taif University, Al-Haweyya, P. O. Box 888
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/1658-631X.204862

PMID: 30787774

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Background: The prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide. Herbal medicines are one of the most common alternative therapies for weight loss. The aim of this study was to determine the usage rate of herbal medicines in the city of Taif, Saudi Arabia, and which plants were most commonly used to treat obesity. Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted using a pretested questionnaire that was randomly distributed to overweight and obese people in Taif, Saudi Arabia. Results: A total of 422 cases completed the questionnaire with a response rate of 60.3%. The majority of patients (98.1%) used herbal medicines to lose weight, with green tea (88.4%) and ginger (29.5%) being the most commonly used herbs. More than one-third of respondents declared that they suffered from side effects; however, most (72%) of the respondents admitted that they would use herbal medications again. Conclusion: The current study shows a high usage rate of herbal medicines for the treatment of obesity in Saudi Arabia. However, further studies are needed on the risks and benefits of the use of herbal medicines to treat obesity. Pharmacists and health professionals should conduct a community-based awareness program to spread awareness of both the benefits and risks of medicinal herbs.


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