Consumers Caring Health with End Products (Ayurvedic Medicines) Containing Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora in Nepal
Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora (Pennell) D. Y. Hong is an endangered herbaceous medicinal plant found in subalpine and alpine zone of eastern Himalayas comprising Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan and China. Rhizomes of Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora (hereinafter referred to as Neopicrorhiza) have medicinal properties and are highly traded in Nepal, India and China. Information on driving factors for demand of Neopicrorhiza from consumer perspective is unknown, knowledge of which is important because it can allow insights into future demand and sustainability of future trade. In this context, a survey was conducted among purchasers and consumers (patients) of end products (Ayurvedic medicines) containing Neopicrorhiza (n=513) in five different cities of Nepal from March to July 2017 using structured questionnaire to explore characteristics of consumers and consumption of end products of Neopicrorhiza. The utilization of Ayurvedic medicines containing Neopicrorhiza for treatment of health disorders of human is prevalent in Nepal. Men and women patients of diverse ages and with different socio-economic profiles were found to consume Ayurvedic medicines containing Neopicrorhiza to treat health disorders associated with different organ systems of body. The patients receiving Ayurvedic medicines containing Neopicrorhiza were children, adults and elders ranging from 1 to 98 years old (av. 37.6 years). Employed and unemployed, educated and illiterate consumers were found to consume Ayurvedic medicines containing Neopicrorhiza to treat their health disorders in Nepal. Patients receiving those medicines were from households having diverse annual cash income levels. The purchase and consumption of Ayurvedic medicine containing Neopicrorhiza was most often guided by a doctor’s prescription. Most of the respondents believed that the prices of those Ayurvedic medicines were fairer than other types of medicines. Similar studies are recommended in other countries like India and China where the Neopicrorhiza is exported from Nepal.
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