Transverse study of the perception and uses of honey as a complementary and alternative medicine in Ibadan, Nigeria
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Honey is the focus of many research projects for its varied biological activities. It is an age-old remedy that is currently being rediscovered as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to be used in modern medicine. The present study aims to investigate the use and perception of honey as CAM among the general public in Ibadan metropolis. A cross sectional study was conducted using three local government areas in Ibadan, a structured and tested questionnaire was then adopted with readjustment. A total of 405 questionnaires were randomly distributed within the study area. These indicate that 63.5% (257/405) of the respondents used honey as CAM, and age significantly affects the usage/ none usage of honey in the study area (p < 0.05). Many respondents claimed they use honey as a dietary supplement for general well-being (79%, 203/257), or for treating burns/wounds (76.3, 196/257), cough (72.8%, 187/257) and sore throat (60.3%, 155/257). A small percentage of the respondents used honey to treat ulcers (17.1%, 44/257). Our work also revealed that a limited number of the respondents (13%, 32/257) buy honey from pharmaceutical stores, while information regarding honey was majorly gotten from friends and family (70%, 180/257). In addition, respondents have favourable perception of the use of honey as CAM - as over 60% of them rated strongly agree and agree for each of the perception question. Respondents highlighted some risk factors affecting the use of honey as CAM, Among which inadequate information on the use of honey ranked highest (mean = 4.40), concerns were also raised on the quality (mean = 4.33) and high price of honey used (4.31). There are favourable perception of the use of honey as CAM, but issues relating to honey quality should be determined before use. Future work should be done to test the perception and acceptance level of honey as CAM among health workers.
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