The characteristics of the consumption of medicinal herbs in Hungary
Author: Zsolt Polereczki, Fédra Barna, Lilla Prokisch, Sándor Kovács, Enikő Kontor,
Our research we aimed to examine a topic that has so far not been explored. In our study we analysed consumer habits related to herbs in Hungary. The national representative questionnaire involved 1050 individuals. Several multivariable statistical techniques were applied for the analysis of the data: Principal Component Analysis (PCA), cluster analysis. In our analysis we found that one third of the respondents are regular consumers. Typically, they turn to herbs for colds, flu or stomach upsets. The most popular are chamomile, rosehip, and lime flowers (consumed in the form of dried or essential oils). As a new element in our research, we studied health attitudes to the use of medicinal herbs. Based on health attitudes, we identified a total of 5 influencing factors: health awareness, sport, healthy nutrition, medical check-ups and the presence of some illness. A total of 5 clusters were defined for these factors: comprehensive regenerators, seeking objective control, comprehensive health consciousness, regenerating with food, non-users. The most important element of our conclusions is that strengthening preventive healthcare can be one of the key factors in the growth of medicinal herb consumption. Medical feedback about the state of health makes people more willing to purchase herbs. The expert recommendation as the key communication channel is an important element too.
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