A Comparative Assessment of Herbal and Orthodox Medicines in Nigeria
This paper assessed the attributes of herbal and orthodox medicines such as affordability, packaging, availability, efficacy, safety, side-effects and level of advertisement in print and electronic media which were hitherto neglected. Structured questionnaires and interview schedule were the instruments used to elicit information from 300 herbal and orthodox medicine consumers selected from six geo-political zones in Nigeria through a purposive or convenient sampling method. Data were analyzed with appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that the respondents rated herbal medicines higher than orthodox medicines in terms of safety and degree of advertisement. Orthodox medicines were rated higher than herbal medicines in terms of affordability, packaging, availability, efficacy, and side-effects. The mean values of all parameters were significant at 0.05. Furthermore, only 41% of the respondents took herbal medicines as their first drug of choice. This finding is contrary to the widely held view in literature that more than 80% of the population in developing countries takes only herbal medicines.
Key words: Assessment; Herbal and Orthodox Medicines; Nigeria