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Survey Indicates Increasing Herb Use.
More than 63 percent of the 1,008 adults queried in a recent national survey said that herbal supplements will be "the answer to many common ailments" or "part of our daily regimen" within five years. The survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for Leiner Health Products, a California-based manufacturer of herbs and other dietary supplements sold in the mass market.

According to some studies, the total herbal supplement market in the U.S. was $445 million in 1991, growing to nearly $772 million in 1995. One industry source projected herbal supplement sales at more than $1.6 billion by the year 2001, a compound annual growth rate of 13.5 percent (1994 through 2001). However, according to a report by Peggy Brevoort ("The U.S. Botanical Market -- An Overview" HerbalGram No. 36), U.S. herb sales at retail in 1994 were already at $1.6 billion with sales in 1996 estimated to be at or above $2 billion.

The survey reveals that consumers would consider taking an herbal remedy for:

- Increasing energy 60%

- Preventing colds 56%

- Boosting the immune system 54%

- Improving sleep 43%

Of the 505 men surveyed, 18 percent would consider taking an herbal supplement to help with prostate problems.

When asked what factor would make them decide to take herbal supplements, the respondents cited:

- A physician's recommendation 66%

- "Because it can't hurt and might help" 41%

- "Because nothing else has helped my condition" 34%

- News coverage discussing herbal supplement benefits 26%

- Friends using herbals 15%

Only four percent of those surveyed said they would never decide to take herbal supplements, March 1996.

Article copyright American Botanical Council.