Home remedies for type 2 diabetes used by Mexican Americans in El Paso, Texas

Clin Nurs Res. 2003 Nov;12(4):304-23. doi: 10.1177/1054773803256872.


The purpose of this article is to examine the use of herbal remedies to treat Type 2 diabetes among Mexican Americans in El Paso County, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border. Interviews were conducted in Spanish with 22 Mexican American adults diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Open-ended questions were used to elicit theparticipants' beliefs about the appropriate treatment of Type 2 diabetes, including both Western biomedical and herbal therapy. Kleinman's explanatory model of illness served as the framework, and the grounded theory method was used for data analysis. A majority of participants were taking prescribed Western medications in conjunction with traditional Mexican folk remedies. Participants relied on the advice of family, friends, and neighbors to provide them with guidance, and some herbs used by participants were not indicated for the treatment of diabetes. Health care providers should be aware that Mexican American clients may make choices about herbal remedies without expert guidance and advice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / ethnology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Mexican Americans / education
  • Mexican Americans / ethnology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Phytotherapy / methods
  • Phytotherapy / psychology
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data
  • Self Care / methods
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas