Influences on Consumer Adoption of Herbal Therapies



This study used Rogers’ model of adoption of innovation to investigate consumers’ adoption of herbal therapies.


Data were collected from up to 100 surveys at each of eight family practice clinics and a mail survey of a random sample of 500 Iowa residents. Independent variables measured consumer characteristics, social systems, communication channels, and herbal characteristics. The number of herbal products reported being used was the measure of adoption. For those respondents reporting herbal use, multiple regression assessed the associations between adoption and the modeled influences on adoption.


Of the 794 respondents, 276 (34.8%) reported using herbal products. The regression was performed using the 236 cases with complete data. The overall regression model was significant (R-square = 0.406). Significant positive influences included getting information about herbs from an herb professional and from the news, and obtaining herbal products from health food stores and from mail order sources. A belief that herbs improve health was a significant influence as well.


The absence of health care practitioners from many consumers’ decisions to use herbals draws attention to the importance of understanding the variety of influences on consumers’ adoption of herbal products.

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Correspondence to William R. Doucette PhD, RPh.

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Ritho, M., Klepser, T.B. & Doucette, W.R. Influences on Consumer Adoption of Herbal Therapies. Ther Innov Regul Sci 36, 179–186 (2002).

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Key Words

  • Herb
  • Consumer
  • Supplement
  • Adoption