The comparative study of medicinal plants utilization as herbal antibiotics by college students
Keywords:herbal antibiotic, medicinal plant, college student, frequency of usage
The medicinal plant utilization has become more and more popular and increasing number of consumers prefer alternative medicine to synthetic antibiotic. Research dealing with evaluation of medicinal plant usage as herbal antibiotics including the sample of 584 quizzed college students aged 19 – 25 years (337 women, 217 men) originated from Slovak Republic (n = 338), Czech Republic (n = 112) and Hungary (n = 134). According to university and the study programme the following groups were evaluated: Constantine the Philosopher University CPU (PEES – Pre-school and elementary education in Slovak language, PEEH – Pre-school and elementary education in Hungarian language, BI – Biology, RT – Regional Tourism), Mendel University in Brno MU (H – Horticulture), Slovak University of Agriculture SUA (H – Horticulture), University of Pécs UP (PE – Physical education), Comenius University CU (PE – Physical education). The study was aimed at the evaluation of the significance of the country and the study programme for the use of the most commonly used herbs: plantain, elderberry, stinging nettle, ginger and coneflower (Echinacea). Our results showed that the choice of preferred medicinal plants as herbal antibiotics during illness had not been clearly influenced by country or field of study programme. Plantain was the most frequently used herb by students of UP/PE (51.5%), CPU/PEES and CPU/PEEH (47.9%; 41.1%). Elderberry was the most popular herb among the students CPU/BI (52.9%), CPU/RT and SUA/H (37.8%). Stinging nettle was preferred as the most popular herb in groups of CPU/RT (46%). The significantly lower consumption of Echinacea was noticed in MU/H 4.5% in comparison with groups, CU/PE 26.4% (p <0.05), CPU/PEEH 27.4% (p <0.01), UP/PE 17.2% (p <0.05) and CPU/RT 28% (p <0.05). Regularly, all the year round the highest utilization of Echinacea was evident in CPU/BI 30.0%. The highest percentage formed respondent’s utilized Echinacea only during illness. Otherwise, the differences between the frequencies of Echinacea usage cannot be considered as statistically significant. Generally, a significantly higher level of ginger usage was assayed within groups SUA/H 80.0% (p <0.001), CPU/PEEH 66.3% (p <0.001), UP/PE 36.6% (p <0.001), CPU/BI 58.8% (p <0.001), CPU/RT 56.0% (p <0.001), MU/H 78.6% (p <0.001) and CPU/PEES 77.1% (p <0.001) in comparison with the rest of the groups. Daily the respondents from CU/PE 20.8% consumed ginger significantly more often than students belonging to CPU/BI 0.0% (p <0.05) and MU/H 0.0% (p <0.05). Respondents from CPU/PEEH consumed statistically significantly more ginger once a week in comparison with students belonged to MU/H 0.9% (p <0.05). To sum up the research results, we can claim that state or study programme had no clear statistically significant evidence on the regular consumption of medicinal plants as herbal antibiotics.
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