Community Pharmacists' Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices towards the Use of Herbal Remedies

Main Article Content

Nehad J. Ahmed
Mohd F. Khan


Background: The use of herbal medicines and natural health products by the public is continuously being increased by the day. Community pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare providers, this necessitates that pharmacists should be aware of the appropriate use of herbal medicines.

Objective: The objective of the present study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of community pharmacists in the Al-Kharj region.

Methodology: A cross-sectional study was carried out amongst pharmacists who work in different community pharmacies in Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire was prepared using surveys of previous studies and was hand-delivered to the pharmacists concerning the use of herbal medicines.

Results: All of the respondents were male and more than 50% of them were in the age range between 30-39. Most of the pharmacists reported that they have sufficient information about dietary supplements and that they are interested in updating their knowledge  about herbal drugs. Furthermore, more than 70% of the participants said that they take both medical and medication history from the buyers before supplying herbal medicines.

Conclusion: The study shows that pharmacists have good knowledge and a positive attitude toward using herbal medicines by the public in Al-Kharj city.

Pharmacists, knowledge, attitudes, practices, herbal remedies.

Article Details

How to Cite
J. Ahmed, N., & F. Khan, M. (2019). Community Pharmacists’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices towards the Use of Herbal Remedies. Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International, 31(6), 1-8.
Original Research Article


Kwan D, Hirschkorn K, Boon HUS. Canadian pharmacists attitudes, knowledge and professional practice behaviours toward dietary supplements: A systematic review. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006;6:31.
DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-6-31
PubMed PMID: 16984649

World Health Organization. Programme on Traditional Medicine. WHO traditional medicine strategy 2002-2005. World Health Organization; 2002‎.

Raynor DK, Dickinson R, Knapp P, Long AF, Nicolson DJ. Buyer beware? Does the information provided with herbal products available over the counter enable safe use? BMC Medicine. 2011;9:94.
DOI: 10.1186/1741-7015-9-94
Epub 2011/08/11. PubMed PMID: 21827684; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC3180693

Edwards S, Da-Costa-Rocha I, Lawrence MJ, Cable C, Heinrich M. Use and efficacy of herbal medicines: Part 1 - Historical and traditional use. The Pharmaceutical Journal. 2012;289(7717):161-162.

Alkharfy KM. Community pharmacists' knowledge, attitudes and practices towards herbal remedies in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Eastern Mediterranean health journal = La revue de sante de la Mediterranee orientale = al-Majallah al-sihhiyah li-sharq al-mutawassit. 2010;16(9):988-93.
Epub 2011/01/12. PubMed PMID: 21218728

Suleiman AK. Attitudes and Beliefs of Consumers of Herbal Medicines in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. J Community Med Health Educ. 2014;4:269.
DOI: 10.4172/2161-0711.1000269

Clauson KA, McQueen CE, Shields KM, Bryant PJ. Knowledge and Attitudes of Pharmacists in Missouri Regarding Natural Products. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. 2003;67(2):41. DOI: 10.5688/aj670241

Abahussain NA, Abahussain EA, Al-Oumi FM. Pharmacists' attitudes and awareness towards the use and safety of herbs in Kuwait. Pharmacy practice. 2007;5(3):125-9.
Epub 2007/07/01. PubMed PMID: 25214928; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC4154746

Miller LG, Hume A, Harris IM, Jackson EA, Kanmaz TJ, Cauffield JS, et al. White paper on herbal products. American College of Clinical Pharmacy. Pharmacotherapy. 2000;20(7):877-91.
DOI: 10.1592/phco.20.9.877.35200
Epub 2000/07/25. PubMed PMID: 10907985

Oshikoya KA, Oreagba IA, Ogunleye OO, Oluwa R, Senbanjo IO, Olayemi SO. Herbal medicines supplied by community pharmacies in Lagos, Nigeria: pharmacists' knowledge. Pharmacy Practice. 2013;11 (4):219-27.
Epub 2013/12/20. PubMed PMID: 24367462

Alsheikh HM. Current progress in the nationalisation programmes in Saudi Arabia; 2015.

(Accessed 31 Aug 2017)

Alghamedi A. Enhancing employment opportunities in the Saudi Arabian private sector. Ed.D. Thesis, Pepperdine University; 2016.
(Accessed 31 Aug 2017)

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 2017.
(Accessed 24 Aug 2017)

Chang ZG, Kennedy DT, Holdford DA, Small RE. Pharmacists' knowledge and attitudes toward herbal medicine. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2000;34(6): 710-5.
DOI: 10.1345/aph.19263.
Epub 2000/06/22. PubMed PMID: 10860130

Canter PH, Ernst E. Herbal supplement use by persons aged over 50 years in Britain: frequently used herbs, concomitant use of herbs, nutritional supplements and prescription drugs, rate of informing doctors and potential for negative interactions. Drugs & aging. 2004;21(9):597-605.
DOI: 10.2165/00002512-200421090-00004
Epub 2004/07/21. PubMed PMID: 15260514.
Portyansky E. Alternative medicine. Drug Topics. 1998;142:44-50

Rosenblatt M, Mindel J. Spontaneous hyphema associated with ingestion of Ginkgo biloba extract (letter). N Engl J Med. 1997;336:1108.

Janetzky K, Morreale AP. Probable interaction between warfarin and ginseng. American Journal of Health-system Pharmacy: AJHP: official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 1997;54(6):692-3.
DOI: 10.1093/ajhp/54.6.692
Epub 1997/03/15. PubMed PMID: 9075501

McRae S. Elevated serum digoxin levels in a patient taking digoxin and Siberian ginseng. Can Med Assoc J. 1996;155:293-5.

Qato DM, Alexander GC, Conti RM, Johnson M, Schumm P, Lindau ST. Use of prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements among older adults in the United States. JAMA. 2008;300:2867–78.
[PMC free article: PMC2702513] [PubMed: 19109115]

Loya AM, Gonzalez-Stuart A, Rivera JO. Prevalence of polypharmacy, polyherbacy, nutritional supplement use and potential product interactions among older adults living on the United States-Mexico border: A descriptive, questionnaire-based study. Drugs Aging. 2009;26:423–36.
[PubMed: 19552494]

Cohen PA, Ernst E. Safety of herbal supplements: A guide for cardiologists. Cardiovasc Ther. 2010;28:246–53.
[PubMed: 20633025]