Why do patients choose to consume Ayurvedic Medicines in Nepal? An exploratory study
Ayurvedic medicines are believed to bring harmony and balance in mind, body, spiritual well-being and social welfare of human. The reasons for preference for these medicines are of great interest for exploration. This study was carried out in Nepal in 2017 to explore the reasons for choosing to consume Ayurvedic medicines, with support of a separate survey focusing on these medicines containing Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora. An online survey (n=58) and face to face interviews (n=406) were administered using structured questionnaires to explore those reasons for choice. Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora (Pennell) D. Y. Hong (Scrophulariaceae) is a perennial alpine herb found in the subalpine as well as alpine zone of the eastern Himalayas comprising Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan and China. Its rhizomes are medicinally important and in trade. Fewer or no side effects, preference to natural way of healing, belief regarding healing of disease, ease of access (availability and cost), and advertisement and recommendation from others were the major reasons that the patients chose to consume Ayurvedic medicines for own's healing. In case of Ayurvedic medicines containing Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora, majority of the patients believed that these medicines have fewer or no side effects, can cure illness particularly for long run of chronic diseases, were cheaper than allopathic medicines, were easily available to purchase and were recommended by family members. Healing was not successful in past from allopathic and other types of medicines of majority of the patients who preferred to consume Ayurvedic medicines containing Neopicrorhiza scrophulariiflora. Further scientific studies and interventions are recommended for concerned health authorities and nursing practitioners of Nepal to test and validate the safety and effectiveness of the consumption of Ayurvedic medicines.
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