This study sought to describe type, frequency, purpose and patterns of herbal medicine used by a sample of patients with cancer in Palestine.
A cross-sectional survey of patients attending the outpatient cancer departments at the Governmental Hospitals was undertaken using semi-structured questionnaires.
A total of 1260 patients with cancer were interviewed. Of the participants, 60.9% (n = 767) reported using herbs primarily bought from Palestine (92.3%) frequently employed in the form of decoctions (43%). The most common herbal product was Arum palaestinum (22.5%). Most Complementary and Alternative (CAM) users were more than 40 years of age, predominantly female, and living in rural areas of Palestine. Family member’s recommendation was cited as the main factor prompting participants to use CAM (43.5%).
This study revealed that there is an appreciable prevalence of herbal use among patients with cancer in Palestine.