Use of herbal therapies among midlife Mexican women.
The cultural traditions of Mexican women living in the United States make it likely that some women promote their health and manage their symptoms using various herbal therapies, yet we know little about this phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare midlife Mexican women living in the U.S. who were or were not using herbal therapies with regard to the extent of their acculturation, beliefs about herbs, and factors associated with their utilization of health services. A convenience sample of 30 Mexican women between the ages of 40 and 56 years completed face-to-face interviews in either English or Spanish. Nearly half reported using herbal therapies. With the exception of positive beliefs about herbs, we found few differences between herbal users and nonusers on acculturation or access to, and satisfaction with, health services. Although acculturation did not appear to influence whether the women used herbal therapies, it did relate to the types of herbs selected. Women most commonly reported using herbs popular in traditional Mexican culture, including manzanilla (chamomile), savila (aloe vera), ajo (garlic), uña de gato (cat's claw), and yerba buena (spearmint).