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Herbs and Self-Medication Gain in Germany.
Herb use is increasing in Germany. An article in the Medizin medical supplement in a recent issue of a German paper noted that in 1970 herbs were used by 52 percent of the public. By 1997 that figure climbed to 62 percent. German physicians prescribe 22 percent of the herbs, the remainder being nonprescription medicines, many of which are approved by Commission E. According to the article, in 1978 44 percent of the public did not see a physician for minor complaints; in 1997 that figure had risen to 58 percent, indicating an increase in the general trend towards self-medication. This self-medication use breaks down as follows: 66 percent use herbs for colds; 38 percent for flu; and 25 percent for digestive problems, headaches, and insomnia. The study was conducted by the Institute for Demoscopy in Allensbach. The German situation does not represent a dramatic increase in 27 years, but is significant nonetheless, considering that it started from a base of over 50 percent, stil l much higher 27 years ago than the U.S. is today.

[Anonymous. Natural Medicines More and More Popular. 1997. Welt Amsonntag No. 12, 40. March 23.] Article copyright American Botanical Council.

~~~~~~~~ By Mark Blumenthal and Varro Tyler