Use of medicinal plants in rheumatology

A. Boujemaoui, M. Ghazi, M. Zyani, R. Razine, R. Abouqal, S. El Hassani, R. Niamane


Objective: The use of medicinal plants by patients in the treatment of chronic diseases (diabetes mellitus, hypertension) is common in Morocco. Rheumatic diseases do not except from this informal and yet unknown therapeutic way. The objective of this work is to study the prevalence of the use of herbal medicines in rheumatology and the factors associated with this practice in the population of the region of Marrakech.

Patients and methods: This is a prospective study, 200 patients attending to two hospitals in Marrakech, for various inflammatory and degenerative rheumatic diseases were included, between August 2010 and March 2011. Hetero-administered questionnaire was used, including demographic data, type of plants used and the terms of their uses.

Results: Patients were represented by 163 women and 37 men. The use of medicinal plants was found in 78 patients (39%), including 60 women and 18 men, with a mean age of 50 years. We identified 49 different plants. Most used ones were the Olea Europaea L . Nigella sativa L. Lavandula angustifolia Mill. The information on these plants was given by friends and neighbours in most cases, the main expected effect was analgesic and the efficacy of these products was reported in 47.4% of cases. Plants were prepared by the patients themselves in 73% of cases, without prior instruction or knowledge of the terms of use. Adverse events were noted in 24.4% of cases. The use of plants was significantly higher in elderly patients, with more children out of school and having a major pain in the visual analogue scale (VAS).

Conclusion: The use of medicinal plants is quite common in rheumatology. However, we did not find an association between this practice and educational, social or economical levels of patients.


medicinal plants, pain, rheumatology

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ISSN: 2458-5920