UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Behavioral Medicine | Clinical Epidemiology | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Epidemiology | Health Psychology | Integrative Medicine | Race and Ethnicity


Background: The prevalence of botanical supplement use among Hispanics/Latinos in the United States varies widely, thwarting efforts to understand patterns of use in these rapidly growing populations. In this systematic review of the literature, we present an analysis of patterns of botanical supplement use across available studies including Hispanics/Latinos in the United States, 1998-2011.

Methods: Search strategies included CINAHL, EMBASE, Global Health, CAB Abstracts, AMED and Medline resulting in 33 studies reporting botanical supplement prevalence among Hispanic/Latino adults, limiting studies to those with similar outcomes and Hispanic/Latino sample ≥1%.

Results: Median prevalence of botanical supplement use among Hispanics/Latinos varied from 12% for ≤30 days of use to 27% for 6-12 months of use and 45% for 2+ years of use. Variation in prevalence of botanical use among Hispanics/Latinos was largely dependent on study design factors, particularly sampling strategy and target population. Patterns associated with higher median prevalence included regional (42%, 95% CI: 35, 57%) vs. national (15%; 8, 22%) samples, convenience (45%; 35, 63%) vs. probability sampling (21%; 10, 42%), and majority Hispanic/Latino (45%; 32, 67%) vs. majority non-Hispanic/ Latino (21%; 15, 42%) samples. Studies targeting Hispanic/Latino populations with botanical assessments specific to these populations resulted in higher prevalence estimates (49% vs. 18%). The most common botanicals reported by Hispanics/ Latinos across studies were chamomile, aloe, and garlic.

Conclusions: Although studies with probability sampling are less affected by selection bias, most target the general US population and exclude botanical supplements common among Hispanic/Latino populations. Improved estimates of botanical supplement use among Hispanics/Latinos require culturally-relevant assessment instruments and strategies. Assessments of botanical supplement use in other ethnic populations, e.g., among immigrants from Asian countries, are also likely to suffer from information bias.


Dietary supplements, Hispanic/Latino, complementary and alternative medicine, prevalence

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Copyright: © 2014 Faurot KR, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

DOI of Published Version



Faurot KR, Filipelli AC, Poole C, Gardiner PM (2015) Patterns of Variation in Botanical Supplement Use among Hispanics and Latinos in the United States. Epidemiol 5: 195. doi:10.4172/2161-1165.1000195.

Journal/Book/Conference Title



At the time of publication, Paula Gardiner was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.