Health care professionals' personal and professional views of herbal medicines in the United Kingdom


Healthcare professionals (HCPs) have a pivotal role in optimising patient care and should be familiar with Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM). The aim of the study was to explore UK based HCPs personal and professional opinions and experiences of herbal medicines (HMs). An online questionnaire was distributed via social media to recruit (n=112) a range of HCPs from across the UK. HCPs from primary and secondary care, the private sector and academia took part. A large proportion of participants (62%) said they did not personally use any HMs, while 38% did use HMs. HCPs who had personally used HMs had a positive impression of HMs and were more likely to recommend HMs to patients than those who had not used HMs themselves. Participants were given the opportunity to share their perceptions on the safety and efficacy of HMs and their experiences with patients reporting adverse drug reactions to HMs and herb-drug interactions. HCPs identified their lack of knowledge on HMs and insufficient training which made them unable to advise patients on the safe use of HMs. More education on HMs would help improve HCPs knowledge of HMs and help them make better informed decisions when considering patients pharmaceutical care plans.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


complementary and alternative medicines, ethnopharmacology, health care professionals, herbal medicines, polypharmacy, traditional medicine


Bhamra, S.K., Slater, A., Howard, C., Heinrich, M., Johnson, M.R.D. (2019) Health care professionals' personal and professional views of herbal medicines in the United Kingdom. Phytotherapy Research. 33 (9), pp. 2360– 2368


Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research