Perception of Anemic Women Instead of Herbal Medicine and Dietetics in Treatment of Nutritional Anemia


The iron deficiency anemia is relatively common among young women in Tunisia. Phytotherapy has a place in the treatment of this deficiency anemia. Objective: The objective of this work is to describe the perception of anemic women vis-à-vis the use of herbs and dietary and adapted through a survey in Greater Tunis. Method: A questionnaire survey was conducted among 124 anemic women, recruited from public health facilities in Greater Tunis. Results: The majority of women surveyed (84.7%) had secondary or university education, 10.5% primary and 4.8% were illiterate. Among the women surveyed, 93.5% received a replacement iron-based medical treatment. Among the iron-rich foods, they are legumes that were most appreciated by almost all respondents. While food sources of vitamin B12 and folate were ignored by the majority of women (68%). Two out of three women were unaware of the importance of meat products as the main source of iron, vitamin B12 and folate. Almost half of the women had the habit of consuming tea every day just after meals and they convict that increases the amount of blood. The frequency of the use of traditional medicinal plants by women surveyed in order to treat their anemia was 40%. These women were often advised to use plants by other anemic women and traditional herbalists whose skills in this area were acquired by experience and transmitted from father to son without adequate scientific training. The plants most frequently used were fenugreek, cumin, oregano, rosemary and parsley. Conclusion: These data clearly found the need to intervene for better education of women and girls by the establishment of a nutrition education program associated with other environmental actions. If herbal keeps a place in iron deficiency anemia, the practice of herbal medicine and the preparation of its remedies require the acquisition of institutional competence within the public health authorities whose training must be constantly updated.

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Slama, F. , Médini, S. , Mansour, N. , Chamli, R. , Aounallah-Skhiri, H. , Hsairi, M. and Belhadj, O. (2014) Perception of Anemic Women Instead of Herbal Medicine and Dietetics in Treatment of Nutritional Anemia. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 971-976. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.511107.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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