COVID-19 and herbal practice: A United Kingdom practitioner survey

Article


Frost, R., Bhamra, S. K., Pendry, B. and Heinrich, M. 2021. COVID-19 and herbal practice: A United Kingdom practitioner survey. Advances in Integrative Medicine. 8 (4), pp. 256-260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aimed.2021.09.003
AuthorsFrost, R., Bhamra, S. K., Pendry, B. and Heinrich, M.
Abstract

Objectives
To identify the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK herbal medicine practice and how herbal medicine practitioners are supporting people with COVID-19.

Design
Mixed-methods e-survey.

Methods
The survey link was distributed through professional associations and social media. Quantitative data were descriptively summarised and qualitative data were analysed using content analysis.

Results
Results from 59 responses indicated a profound effect of the pandemic on herbal medicine practice, with a move to remote working and a reduction in client numbers. Practitioners reported prescribing a wide range of medicinal plants, chiefly Glycyrrhiza glabra L. and Echinacea spp. alongside providing information and advice. Few reported inter-professional collaboration.

Conclusions
Herbal practitioners need to build on current collaborations, research and experience to develop consistent approaches to support people with mild-moderate COVID-19 symptoms. More systematic exploration of herbal medicine practice during and as a consequence of the pandemic is needed.

What is already known about the topic
• The COVID-19 pandemic has had a large impact on all types of healthcare

• The impact on herbal medicine practice is unclear

What this paper adds
• The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially affected UK herbal medicine practice

• A wide range of medicinal plants are currently used by herbal practitioners to support people with COVID-19

• Herbal practitioners need to develop consistent holistic approaches to support people with mild-moderate symptoms of COVID-19

JournalAdvances in Integrative Medicine
Journal citation8 (4), pp. 256-260
ISSN2212-9588
Year2021
PublisherElsevier
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aimed.2021.09.003
Publication dates
Online21 Sep 2021
Print08 Dec 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Sep 2021
Deposited12 Jun 2023
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