Guide for Herbal Product Use

  by Mexican Americans in the Largest Texas-Mexico Border Community

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Abstract of Journal Article - February 2006

By José O. Rivera, PharmD; Armando González-Stuart, PhD; Melchor Ortiz, PhD; José C. Rodríguez, CPhT; Jaime P. Anaya, PharmD; and Armando Meza, MD  

Use of herbal products is a very common practice among Mexican Americans living in the El Paso, Texas, region. Although medicinal plants are generally assumed to be a safe and natural alternative to conventional medications, some herbal products could pose a potential health risk to the consumer. Currently, only a few studies focus on herbal product use by Mexican Americans, and no studies have focused on its use by patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) living on the US-Mexico border. A prospective observational study was conducted in 439 non-HIV patients, as well as in 35 patients suffering from HIV. Findings showed that 347 out of 439 (79%) of non-HIV patients and 25 out of 35 (71%) of HIV patients reported using herbal products. 

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