Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine / 2019 / Article / Tab 7

Research Article

Traditional Medicine and Its Role in the Management of Diabetes Mellitus: “Patients’ and Herbalists’ Perspectives”

Table 7

Summary of reasons for using traditional medicines provided by participants in the focus group discussions and the in-depth interviews.

ThemeData sourceParticipants’ Key messageParticipants’ remark

Influence and source of information on the use of traditional medicines for managing diabetesFGDsConventional medicines are costly
Traditional medicines are readily available and accessible
Choice of medicine type influenced by friends, TV and radio advertisements, traditional medicine vendors/herbalists
If possible, medicines for diabetes should be provided for free, because some patients do not seek treatment due to a lack of money.
Community-based counseling can raise awareness of diabetes and knowledge regarding its management.

Effectiveness of traditional medicines and conventional medicinesIDIsThe effectiveness of any medicine depends on the duration of the disease.Any type of drug performs better in the early stages of the disease.
Traditional medicines do not work as fast as conventional medicines.Traditional medicines have a gradual effect and people should complete their course of treatment.
FGDsTraditional medicines help in the management of complications of diabetesTraditional medicines help to manage high blood pressure, eye and kidney diseases, joint pains, and to heal wounds, among others.

Challenges and side effects associated with the use of traditional medicinesFGDsTraditional medicines, if not used appropriately can have adverse effects such as diarrhea, fatigue, extreme decrease blood sugar level, and can sometimes lead to deathIt is preferable for diabetes to be treated in hospitals using controlled doses of conventional medicines.
Traditional medicines have varying effectiveness
It is not clear how much traditional medicine to take, or how long to take it for.Research should be done in order to determine the most effective dose

Recommendations/ suggestionsFGDs and IDIsThe government should recognize, certify and support the use of traditional medicinesTo follow-up with the traditional medicine vendors/herbalists

FGD, focus group discussion; IDI, in-depth interview.

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