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Consumption of medicinal plants for central nervous system (CNS) disorders among university students in the Community of Madrid
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1  Department of Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy and Botanical. Faculty of Pharmacy. Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain

Published: 30 October 2019 by MDPI in 5th International Electronic Conference on Medicinal Chemistry session ECMC-5

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental disorders of global population. These CNS diseases account for one out of every four consultations in primary health care centers. Between 1990 and 2013, the number of people suffering from these both diseases increased by around 50%. Medicinal plants consumption has a key role as an effective and safe alternative medicine to treat these CNS alterations.

A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out to evaluate medicinal plants consumption for CNS disorders among university students aged 18-24 in the Community of Madrid using an ad hoc and previously validated survey. Results showed that approximately 47.75% of university students consumed medicinal plants to treat anxiety, 42.53 % to fall asleep and 1.49 % to treat symptoms related to depression. Medicinal plants consumption for CNS disorders was more frequent in women than in men. The most common medicinal plants used for these CNS disorders were Valeriana officinalis L. (31.33 %), Passiflora incarnata L. (5.96 %), Melissa oficinalis L. (2.98%) and Tila spp. (20.13 %) The most common consumption forms were herbal teas (71.63 %) and tablets/capsules (29.09%). These medicinal plants preparations were mainly acquired in pharmacies (51.45%) and supermarkets (39.54%). Finally, regarding risks and precautions, around 40% of university students consider that medicinal plants for CNS disorders are harmless and safety. Chi-squared test was used for statistically analysis.

Keywords: Medicinal plants; university students; consumption; central nervous system; survey