Institute for the Study of
Healthcare Organizations & Transactions


    Beliefs About Medicines and Herbal Remedies


Photograph taken February, 2000, in the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, 514 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA, TEL: 504.565.8027. Photograph 2000, Lucy Canter Kihlstrom, PhD.

In 1823, the first licensed pharmacist in the United States, Louis J. Dufilho, Jr., opened an apothecary shop here.  He grew the herbs that he needed for his medicines in the interior courtyard.  


Herbals and herbal remedies were used for medical purposes for thousands of years in both Eastern and Western civilizations.  However, as modern medicine emerged, herbal remedies fell out of favor with many people, particularly in Western cultures, who came to rely on modern, purified, manufactured drugs.  

In the last five years, herbal medicine has reemerged from the fringes of health care. In 1999 for example, Americans spent more than $15 billion on dietary supplements (The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2000) and, herbs, in various forms, are now routinely used by one-third of American adults who are seeking to enhance their health or to alleviate their illnesses (The New York Times, February 9, 1999).  The chart below illustrates the the percent of Americans who used herbal remedies for various illnesses and conditions in 1997 (Source:  The New York Times (February 9, 2000, p. D1 and Prevention Magazine).

Colds 59%
Burns 45%
Headaches 22%
Allergies 21%
Rashes 18%
Insomnia 18%
PMS 17%
Depression 7%
Diarrhea 7%
Menopause 4%

We hope that you will be interested in participating in an anonymous survey that examines beliefs about herbal remedies and medicines.  If you are, please click on to Take Our Survey. We assure you that your responses will remain confidential.  However, please read our Privacy Policy before you enter any information. We have been collecting data since 1999 and will be posting some preliminary findings to our Working Papers page that you will be able to click on in the near future.

We also are building a A Guide to Popular Herbs page.  Please visit it from time to time as new information will be added routinely.

On our Hot Topics for herbals and dietary supplements page, we will provide brief essays on topics that are currently in the news.  Each article will be archived chronologically and will be available as a click on.  Our Books page is an excellent and timely source of material should you be interested in exploring the topic of herbals and dietary supplements further.  

Again, welcome to our Web site and we hope that you find it helpful and interesting.


Lucy Canter Kihlstrom, PhD

Copyright 2000 Institute for the Study of Healthcare Organizations & Transactions

Last modified:  04.08.2010 02:58 PM