Humanity has certainly come a long way in terms of modern medicine. However, a major part of the world still tends to lean on herbal medicines. Some only turn to modern medicine for treating greater ailments. In contrast, others believe herbal medicine is the greatest cure-all for severe ailments.

Thus, the online survey application — Real Research, launched a pharmaceutical versus herbal medicines survey to find out what the public prefers to use. For instance, what are the benefits of using either? Likewise, what are the drawbacks of using either? Is one more reliable than the other? Here are the results. 


  • Only 33.17% have never used herbal medicines before.
  • 36.12% prefer to use herbal medicines for severe ailments.
  • 44.65% feel that herbal remedies will be the norm in the future.

66.83% Admit To Using Herbal Medicines for Ailments Before

Only 33.17% have never used herbal remedies for ailments so far. Accordingly, the survey goes on to ask when respondents tend to use pharmaceutical versus herbal medicines. In response to simple ailments, 39.98% say they prefer using herbal medicines.

the majority have used herbal medicines before
Figure 1: the majority have used herbal medicines before

In contrast, 27.92% say they prefer using pharmaceutical medicines while 32.10% chose both. Similarly, for severe ailments, 36.12% say they prefer using herbal medicines. Meanwhile, 31.27% say they prefer using pharmaceutical medicines. This leaves 32.61% who chose both.

Pros and Cons of Herbal Medicines

The pharmaceutical versus herbal medicines survey moves on to find out the pros and cons of herbal medicines. For the benefits of herbal medicine, 32.17% say it can be tailored to each individual. Likewise, 30.48% say natural ingredients mean less exposure to chemicals which means a low risk of side effects or possible addiction.

Furthermore, 6.90% say it treats and cures diseases while also acting as therapy for symptoms. Then, 3.84% say it is possible to brew them at home. Lastly, 7.33% say they prefer to use pharmaceutical medicines while the rest chose ‘Other’.

downside of herbal medicines
Figure 2: Respondents reveal the downside of herbal medicines

In contrast, for the downside of herbal medicines, 29.14% say they cannot cure severe and critical ailments, 22.05% say they are effective but act slowly, and 11% say certain ingredients are costly or rare. Likewise, 6.30% say it is hard to grow ingredients now unlike the old days, 2.98% say ingredients are not as potent as they used to be, 2.69% say these medicines are not covered by healthcare plans. The rest show options as displayed below.

Pros and Cons of Pharmaceutical Medicines

The pharmaceutical versus herbal medicines survey moves on to find out the pros and cons of pharmaceutical medicines. For the advantages of pharmaceutical medicines, 28.43% say they are backed by science, 18.65% say they are tried and tested to be at their most potent, and 15.29% say they work much faster than herbal medicines.

Likewise, 8.44% say they work faster in curing critical ailments and 4.01% say they are covered by healthcare plans. Lastly, 4.08% say they prefer herbal remedies and the rest chose ‘Other’.

In contrast, for the downside of pharmaceutical medicines, 27.60% say they are expensive. In addition, 19.41% say the chances of allergic reactions and side effects are high. Similarly, 12.97% say pharmaceuticals are often available only in bulk. Meanwhile, 7.92% say in the long run, they can become ineffective.

Lastly, 4.35% say access is limited by doctor’s notes, 3.15% say some of these medicines are restricted to certain countries, and 1.02% say they are limited to certain ages.

Herbal medicine looks to be the future
Figure 3: Herbal medicine looks to be the future

In conclusion, the pharmaceutical versus herbal medicines survey asks respondents which of the two they feel will come out on top in the future. One this, 44.85% choose herbal remedies saying that they will make a massive comeback. In contrast, 22.79% say modern medicine will prevail. This leaves 32.55% who say both will continue to co-exist.


Survey TitleSurvey on the Use Of Pharmaceutical Versus Herbal Medicines
DurationDecember 21 – December 28, 2021
Number of Participants30,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.