Research: Adolescent Attitudes Towards Medicinal Plants
Mentor: Lauren Southwick
Research Location: University of Pennsylvania
Medicinal plants are well-known and widely used for a range of health reasons, ranging from treating mild illnesses to major diseases such as cancer (Škrovánková, 2012). It is crucial to understand the different views on medicinal plants as they could be used as medication replacements in hospitals or households. They can be quicker to get, easier to use, and cheaper. Hence, this study is conducted to assess the different perspectives that the people of a diverse, urban community have on medicinal plants. A QR code was linked to a questionnaire that included some questions used by Gari et al. (2013) in a similar study, and was distributed to people of various ethnicities, religions, and ages. 50 Participants were chosen at random using the lottery method of recruitment. The average age of participants was 16.289 years old. 70% of the participants were females and 26% were male. Pivot tables were used to interpret the results. 46.9% of research participants acknowledged having used Medicinal plants before, while the majority, 53.1%, answered that they had not used medical plants before. 26.5% of participants answered they would rather use medicinal plants than Modern Medicine while the remaining 73.5% answered they would rather use Modern Medicine. To interpret reasons for preferring medicinal plants or modern medicine Word Clouds were used. The cloud showed that the reasons for preferring Medicinal Plants were for not having chemicals and being natural. This research outlined the different perspectives on medicinal plants held by a diverse community as well as whether or not they were aware of what medicinal plants were and could do.