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Preference, Perception And Predictors Of Herbal Medicine Use Among Malay Women In Malaysia

Authors Tengku Mohamad TAS, Islahudin F, Jasamai M, Jamal JA

Received 20 August 2019

Accepted for publication 11 October 2019

Published 25 October 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 1829—1837


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Tengk Azlan Shah Tengku Mohamad,1,2 Farida Islahudin,1 Malina Jasamai,1 Jamia Azdina Jamal1

1Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia; 2Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine Perak, Ipoh 30450, Perak, Malaysia

Correspondence: Farida Islahudin
Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur 50300, Malaysia

Background: Preference for herbal use is increasing worldwide. This is especially true for Malay women in Malaysia that is steeped in traditional and cultural values and surrounded by diverse flora. However, concerns arise with the use of herbs due to the lack of monitoring, scientific evidence and risk of adverse effects. As such identifying potential herbal users is vital to ensure appropriate management is optimised.
Objective: This study derives insights on preferred herbs, perception and predictors of herbal use for health among Malay women in Malaysia.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey, comprising of Malay women, performed in all fourteen states in Malaysia. Respondents were assessed for demographic characteristic, current use of herbal medicine, their preferred herbal medicine and perception of herbal use. Predictors of herbal use were then determined using a multivariate logistic regression model.
Results: A total of 1067 respondents were included in the study of which 592 (55.5%) admitted to using herbs for health. In general, raw herbs were the most preferred herbal remedies used (n=407, 69.5%). A significantly higher number of respondents perceived that herbal remedies would not cause any problems to women’s overall health (n=725, 67.9%) (χ2=137.5, df(1), p<0.001), although a large majority agreed that not all remedies were safe for pregnant women (n=979, 91.8%) (χ2=744.03, df(1), p<0.001). Among predictors of herbal use were marital status and income (χ2=203.98, df(795) p<0.001). Those that were married were 3.9 times more likely to use herbs than unmarried women (p<0.001). Having an income of of <RM 3000 or USD 729 increased the odds of using herbs among women by 6.2 times compared to their counterparts (p<0.001).
Conclusion: The current findings provide an insight into specific groups, information and health initiatives that can be targeted to strengthen herbal use monitoring among Malay women.

Keywords: health, herb, Malay, preference, perception, predictor, women

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