From aromatherapy, bone health, neck pain and probiotics to tai chi, vitamins and minerals, wounds and burns and zinc, the A-Z compilation of healthcare related information is not only vast on the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine website, but also informative. Under Insomnia: Melatonin supplements may help improve sleep in people with high blood pressure. Probiotics: There is some evidence that probiotics may be helpful for atopic eczema (a skin condition most commonly seen in infants). Traditional Chinese Medicine: Traditional Chinese medicine may provide short-term pain relief for temporomandibular disorders (TMD). And, as the garage sale slogan goes: Much more.
Forty-eight common herbs are profiled with three sections for each one: Introduction, What the Science Says, Side Effects and Cautions. Study results are mixed on whether echinacea can prevent or effectively treat upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold. Milk thistle is a flowering herb native to the Mediterranean region which has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for a variety of ailments. Sage has not been well studied as a treatment for sore throat, so there is little scientific evidence to support its use for that ailment. Two small studies suggest that sage may improve mood and mental performance in healthy young people and memory and attention in older adults.
Established as one of the 27 “institutes” inside the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the NCCAM employs approximately 65 full-time people and operates with a $123 million annual budget. It’s mission is “ to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care.”
There is little doubt that complementary and alternative healthcare approaches are more widely accepted and more often recommended in conjunction with conventional medical practices and procedures than in decades past. Grocery stores are filled with foods promoted as natural, healthy, organic and whole wheat, while people routinely seek out massage therapy, chiropractic care, Reiki sessions, acupuncture, tai chi, relaxation techniques, yoga and other alternative modalities.
According to NCCAM nearly 40 percent of Americans embrace alternative healthcare approaches. Complementary refers to treatments used together with conventional medicine and alternative is something other than regular medicine practices. In this use-friendly, encyclopedic website, tambien en español, you can find the latest in research on dozens if not hundreds of complementary and alternative medicine studies. It’s a treasure trove of information designed to promote wellness and assist you in making responsible healthcare decisions.