Researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine have found out that an inclination to use home remedies for treatment of common diseases are based more on ethnic background rather than accessibility to health care. Blacks and Native Americans tend to opt for home remedies when compared to whites.
Surprisingly, the inclination is found to be independent of the economic and health status of an individual. Dr Joseph G. Grzywacz, assistant professor of family and community medicine, has headed the research. The results of this interesting research appear in the American Journal of Health Behavior.
The current results have been obtained from a study called ELDER (Evaluating Long-Term Diabetes Management among Elder Rural Adults), focused on evaluation of differences in self-care strategies, such as the use of home remedies, and other forms of complementary and alternative therapies in elderly adults with diabetes.
The research team analyzed the usage of two different kinds of home remedies, one based on food (consumption of tea, plant extract, baking soda etc) and the other on utilization of creams, lotions, ointments, and plant based products such as aloe vera. The home remedies were used for the treatment of both acute and chronic diseases.
Various factors such as accessibility to medical care, economic and health status were taken into consideration, and the effect of these variables were studied in relation to home remedy usage.
Blacks were more likely to visualize home remedies as a viable option for the treatment of minor ailments. In addition, conventional medical treatment had lesser number of votes amongst younger adults, belonging to the African origin.
"We found that the majority of older adults use some type of home remedy for health purposes. Home remedy use was substantially greater among elders of ethnic minority groups. Culturally based beliefs about health and appropriate strategies for maintaining health may provide better explanations for ethnic difference in home remedy use. Ethnic differences in beliefs about the meaning of illness, appropriate approaches for health management and individual responsibility for health may explain why black and Native American elders are more likely to use home remedies than white elders," said Grzywacz.
"Home remedy use is widespread among elder adults regardless of ethnicity, suggesting that older adults find some benefit in these practices and they play an important role in elders' overall strategy for health management," Grzywacz said.