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Used 1st herbal supplement because: Family or friends recommend

Codes and Frequencies

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HER1USRELREC indicates whether sample adults had used a first herbal supplement because it was recommended by family, friends, or co-workers. Only sample adults who had taken one or more herbal supplements during the past 30 days (HERMOSUPNO) were asked their reasons for using herbal supplements.

For other reasons for using a first herbal supplement, see HER1USWELL. For information about the full range of variables related to natural herbs, including a definition of "natural herbs," see HERYR.


Prior to 2012, in universe persons were asked about a series of specific health problems, symptoms, or conditions they may have treated with different complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. Beginning in 2012, persons were instead asked to select three of sixteen therapies that were most important and only asked the series of questions related to treating health problems, symptoms, or conditions about these top three therapies. Persons who did not include a first herbal supplement among their top three CAM therapies did not answer follow up questions for this therapy beginning in 2012 and are reported as responding no.

Additionally, prior to 2012, a recommendation from friends or relatives was combined into a single question and variable. Beginning in 2012, however, these two different sources of recommendations were split into two separate variables in the original NHIS data. To improve comparability, the IPUMS NHIS variable HER1USRELREC combines the two distinct variables into a single variable.

Finally, sample children aged 4-17 are included in the universe beginning in 2012. Otherwise, there are no comparability issues.


  • 2007: Sample adults age 18+ who have taken one or more herbal supplements during the past 30 days.
  • 2012: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children ages 4-17 who have reported having at least one top CAM therapy and using this therapy to treat a specific health problem or condition.


  • 2007, 2012