Clever parents for naturopathy in children

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Smart parents favor herbal medicine for their child.

(05.07.2010) If their children are sick, parents in Germany prefer to use herbal medicines. The most keen supporters of phytopharmaceuticals are primarily mothers and fathers with a higher level of education, parents who live in a city and families who have a higher income. This was the result of a current study at two university pediatric clinics in Leipzig and Munich as well as in two pediatric practices in Leipzig.

The Leipzig pediatrician Prof. Dr. Wieland Kiess and his team used a standardized questionnaire to question the parents of a total of 413 children about the use and success of treatment with herbal medicines. Here are the key findings of the study just published (Dtsch Med Wochenschr 2010; 135: 959-964):

Especially for colds and stomach ache, 85.5 percent of parents in Germany treat their children with a herbal medicine whenever possible. For comparison: in England it is 28 percent, in the Netherlands 13.5 percent and in the USA only 10 percent.

The most important motivation for parents to use herbal remedies - contrary to the general assumption - is by no means dissatisfaction with "conventional medicine", but the desire for a natural, safe and side effect-free treatment. The most common source of information was the pediatrician with 80.2 percent and an alternative practitioner with only 4.2 percent.

Compared to the so-called “conventional medicine”, 13.6 percent of the parents rated the success of treatment with herbal medication as “larger”, 39.3 percent as “the same size” and 21.9 percent as “smaller”.

The overall success of treatment with phytopharmaceuticals is rated by 12 percent as “very good”, by 55.1 percent as “good”, by 26.6 percent as “medium”, by 5.1 percent as “not good” and only by 1 , 1 classified as "not good at all".

At 87.3 percent, parents in the new federal states treat their children with plant medicine particularly often. One possible reason: Before reunification in 1989, phytopharmaceuticals were hardly available in the GDR. The great satisfaction with phytotherapy is also shown by the following figure from the new study: If their child were ill, 96.3 percent of the parents surveyed would use a herbal medicine again. (KFN 11/2010)

Picture: Mike Frajese /

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