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Traditional & Alternative Medicine

Glimpses of Traditional Medicine 2016

Track 1:Traditional Medicine Today: Clinical and Research Issues

These are naturally occurringplant derived substances with minimal or no industrial processing that have been used to treat illness.Traditionalherbalmedicinesare getting significant attention in gworld health debates. In China, herbal medicine played a prominent role in the strategy to contain and treat SARS. 80% of African populations use some form oftraditional herbal medicine.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 2:Challenges and Future Directions of Traditional Medicine

Approximately 80% of people today depend uponherbal medicinesas a component of their primary healthcare according to the WHO, there is still great concern about the safety and efficacy of herbal use. While herbal medicines can potentially contribute to the advancements ofhealthcaresystem, many major challenges must be overcome prior to the successful integration of herbal remedies into mainstream medicines. One of the major barriers is the current lack of accurate translations andinterpretations of TraditionalChinese herbaltexts and research by Western scientists.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 3:Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicinesare one type of dietary supplement. They are sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts, and fresh or dry plants. People use herbal medicines to try to maintain or improve their health.Herbis a plant part or plant used for its flavor, scent or therapeutic properties forherbal remedies.

Many people believe that products labeled “natural” are always good and safe for them. This is not necessarily true.Herbal medicinesdo not have to go through the testing that drugs do. Some herbs, such as ephedra and comfrey, can cause serious harm. Some herbs can interact with prescription orover-the-counter medicines.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 4:Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicineis a healing system developed in China more than 2,200 years ago, incorporating therapies that are in some cases. One of its guiding principle is to dispel evil and support the good. In addition to treatingillness,Traditional Chinese Medicinefocus on strengthening the body’s defenses and enhancing its capacity forhealingherbsand to maintain health.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 5:Acupuncture

Acupunctureis a form ofTraditional Chinese Medicinethat has been practiced for centuries. It’s based on the theory that energy, called chi, flows through around your body along pathways called meridians Acupuncturists believe that illness occurs when something block or unbalance your chi. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence chi and help it flow back into balanceAcupunctureis putting thin needles into your skin at certain points on your body. This is done to influence the energy . sometimes heat, pressure, or mild electrical current is used along with needles.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 6:Alternative Medicine & Treatment Methods

Complementary andalternative medicineis also known as CAM.Complementary and alternative medicinetries to prevent and treat different conditions with the following techniques:Healing touch Energy Herbal medicines ManyComplementary and alternative medicine therapieshave been around for centuries. But do they really work..?

There is research to show that someComplementary and alternative medicine techniquescan help with problems like pain and nausea. But othertherapiesdon’t have enough medical evidence to decide if they are effective.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 7:Ayurveda

According toAyurvedichypothesis, everything in the universe living or not is connected. Good health is achieved when your body, mind, spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and illness.

Anything that affects your physical, spiritual, or emotional well-being can cause you to be out of balance with the universe. Some things that can cause a disturbance include:

Genetic birth defects

Injuries

Climate and seasonal changes

Emotions

Age

How your body works to keep you healthy and your unique physical and psychological characteristics combine to form your body’s constitution, or prakriti. prakriti is believed to stay the same for your entire life. but, how you digest food & eliminate waste can influence it.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 8:ArabicMedicineandUnani Medicine

HijamaCuppingby the Muslims is the application of suction cups to the skin to draw out stagnant, congested blood and Vital Force, as well as stagnant or morbid humors. By using different methods of cupping and new trends usually, theHijama cupsare made of glass, but they can also be made of bamboo, bone, horn or metal. The classical method for generating suction in the cup is to use fire to consume the air within it.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 9:Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathicmedicines, and treatment are a distinct primary healthcare profession emphasizing prevention, treatment & optimal health care through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals inherent selfhealingplantsprocess. Thepractice of naturopathic medicinesincludesevidence basednaturopathicmedicines, modern and scientific,traditional, naturopathic treatments and practicesand empirical methods.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014 to 2023: The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 20142023 was developed and launched in response to the WH Assembly resolution on traditional medicine. The strategy aims to support Members States in developing proactive policies and implementing action plans that will strengthen the role traditional medicines plays in keeping populations healthy.

Addressing the challenges, responding to the needs identified by Member States & building on the work done under the World Health Organization traditional medicine strategy: 2002 to 2005, the updated strategy for the period 2014 to 2023 devotes more attention than its predecessor to prioritizing health services and systems, including traditional & complementary medicine products, practices and practitioners.

Importance & Scope: Currently the total global market of Herbal Products & Medicinal Plants is US$ 60 billion with a double digit growth. The diversified use of plant obtained products and its acceptance worldwide made the sector very promising one. As per the World Bank Report 1998, world trade in medicinal plants and related products is expected to be US$ 5 trillion by 2050.

Funding:As attention & public funding for international traditional and herbal medicine researchcollaborations grows, more detailed analysis of ethical matters in this research is warranted. Scant literature has addressed selected issues such as informed consent & independent review associated totraditional and herbal medicine research.6,7 Here we apply a practical, comprehensive & widely accepted ethical framework tointernational traditional and herbal medicine research. We examine in detail difficult questions related to social value, scientific validity and favourable risk benefit ratio. We conclude with implications for upcoming research in this field, focusing on the importance of collaborative partnership.

Funding NIH

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Budget Mechanism $127,930 (Dollars in Thousands)

Major countries of Herbal Market:The largest global markets for medicinal and aromatic plants are Netherlands, China, Italy, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, UK and the USA.

It is estimated that Europe alone annually imports about 400,000 tonnes ofmedicinal plants with an average market valueof US$ 1 billion from Africa and Asia.

Japan:has the highest per capita consumption ofbotanical medicine in the world.Botanical medicine market in Japanin 1996 was estimated at US $ 2.4 billion and sales have grown rapidly in recent years.

China:china’s total output of medicinal plantsfrom both cultivated and wild harvested sources is 1.6 million tones. The total value of the finished TCM in 1996 was US$ 3.7 billion. This estimate excludes domestic consumption, the inclusion of which would result in a far higher figure. Overall sale ofbotanical medicine products in Chinain 1995 was estimated at US$ 5 billion.

Studies suggest that approximately 20% of people in theUnited States use herbal supplements, and the amount of money spent on these products exceed $4.2 billion per year.

UK:TheUK imports up to 90% of its medicinal herb requirement. The current total market is 139 million euro.

India:is a major exporter ofraw medicinal and aromatic plantsand processed plant-based drugs. Exports ofcrude drugs & essential oilfrom India in 1994-95 were valued at US$ 66,469 million. Important crude drugs included Plantogo ovata (psyllium), Panax spp. (ginseng), Cassia spp. (senna) and Catheranthus rosesus (rosy periwinkle). Essential oils included santalum album (sandlewood), Mentha arvensis (peppermint) and Cymbopogon flexuosus (lemongrass). Seventy percent of total exports from India are sent to six countries. France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. Other major importers are Bangladesh, Pakistan and Spain.

Why Amsterdam, Netherlands:Herbal/traditional products are quite popular in the Netherlands due to their longstanding presence in the marketplace. Herbal/traditional products are mainly present in cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies. Strong brands such as Anta Flu and Dampo have boosted the popularity of herbal/traditional products in this category. Consumers are tending to seek more natural and established solutions for their health problems. Most herbal/traditional products are based on very old recipes that have been handed down through the generations. Herbal/traditional products tend to be easily accessible and cheaper alternatives to standard pharmaceutical products.

Conference Highlights:

Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture

Traditional Medicine Today: Clinical and Research Issues

Alternative Medicine & Treatment Methods

Ayurveda

Arabic & Unani Medicine

Challenges and Future Directions of Traditional Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine

Major Traditional Medicine Associations and societies around the Globe:

Australian Traditional Medicine Association ATMS

Bringing science and development together through original news and analysis

European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association National Association

American Medical Association

Society the Individual and Medicine

Dimensions of Culture

Native American Legends

Australian Natural Therapists Association ANTA

World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Future Projection:Although approximately 80 percent of people today depend upon herbal medication as a component of their primary healthcare according to the World Health Organization, there is still great concern about the safety and efficacy of herbal use [1]. While herbal medicine can potentially contribute to the advancement of healthcare, many major challenges must be overcome prior to the successful integration of herbal remedies into mainstream medicine. One of the major barriers is the current lack of accurate translations and interpretations of Chinese herbal texts and research by Western scientists. Indeed, for the incorporation of safe and effective herbs into the medical system to become a reality, more researchers and doctors need to be trained in both modern medicine and herbal compendium that has been accumulated since ancient times. Additionally, to establish credibility for herbal use in the modern settings, experience-based claims from Chinese herbal medical doctors must be transformed into evidence-based claims. Finally, the question of how to address the need for both individualizing (the basis of TCM) and standardizing (the basis of modern pharmacology) treatment with herbs must be settled. Once these issues are resolved, the prospect exists for widespread use of herbal medicine as a safe, effective, and affordable form of healthcare .

The number of patients seeking alternate and herbal therapy is growing exponentially. Herbal medicines are the synthesis of therapeutic experiences of generations of practicing physicians of indigenous systems of medicine for over hundreds of years. Herbal medicines are now in great demand in the developing world for primary health care not because they are inexpensive but also for better cultural acceptability, better compatibility with the human body and minimal side effects. However, recent findings indicate that all herbal medicines may not be safe as severe consequences are reported for some herbal drugs. Most herbal products on the market today have not been subjected to drug approval process to demonstrate their safety and effectiveness. Thousand years of traditional use can provide us with valuable guidelines to the selection, preparation and application of herbal formulation. To be accepted as viable alternative to modern medicine, the same vigorous method of scientific and clinical validation must be applied to prove the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutical product. In the present review we attempted to describe the present scenario and project the future of herbal medicine.

Traditional Medicine 2016

The6thInternational Conference and Exhibition on Traditional & Alternative Medicineconference: (Traditional Medicine 2016) was held on September 14- 16, 2016 at the Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This conference brought together an interdisciplinary group of professionals working in the field of Traditional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. The tone of the main conference was set during the opening remarks byPhilippe A Souvestre, NeuroKinetics Health Services, Inc., Canada&Phyllis L MacIntyre, Dickinson University, Canada. Throughout the conference, more than 30 experts in the field shared their knowledge with the 300 attendees of the conference.

The highlights of the meeting were the enlightening keynote lectures from:

Joshua Dunsky, Dunsky Rehabilitation and Spine Center, USA

MeLisa Gantt, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany

Lorne J Hofseth, University of South Carolina, USA

Rebecca Fung, University of East-West Medicine, USA

Philippe A Souvestre, NeuroKinetics Health Services, Inc., Canada

Phyllis L MacIntyre, Dickinson University, Canada

Ahmet Uyar, Yuzuncu Yil University, Turkey

Wen-Long Hu, KCGMH & Chang Gung University College of Medicine

Wendy Wong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Domenico V Delfino,University of Perugia, Italy

Attendee Statistics

The conference was well-attended with 300individuals attending the main conference. The majority of participants came from Europe. Please refer to the chart on the right for a breakdown of main conference attendees by continent. We also welcomed international delegates from China, New Zealand, India and from all across the United States of America.

The conference was highly interprofessional in nature with more than 30 professions represented. Major professional groups included: Traditional Medicine researchers, Practioners, Herbalists, Acupuncturists, Homeopathic Practioners, Professors, Directors, Young researchers

We are also obliged to various delegate experts, company representatives and other eminent personalities who supported the conference by facilitating active discussion forums. We sincerely thank the Organizing Committee Members for their gracious presence, support and assistance towards the success of Traditional Medicine 2016. With the unique feedbacks from the conference, Conference Series LLC would like to announce the commencement of the 7thInternational Conference and Exhibition on Traditional & Alternative Medicine to be held during October 03-06, 2017, in Dubai, UAE.

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Traditional & Alternative Medicine

Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine News from …

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Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine News from …

Herbalism – Wikipedia

Herbalism (also herbal medicine or phytotherapy) is the study of botany and use of plants intended for medicinal purposes or for supplementing a diet. Plants have been the basis for medical treatments through much of human history, and such traditional medicine is still widely practiced today. Modern medicine recognizes herbalism as a form of alternative medicine, as the practice of herbalism is not strictly based on evidence gathered using the scientific method. Modern medicine makes use of many plant-derived compounds as the basis for evidence-based pharmaceutical drugs. Although phytotherapy may apply modern standards of effectiveness testing to herbs and medicines derived from natural sources, few high-quality clinical trials and standards for purity or dosage exist. The scope of herbal medicine is sometimes extended to include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and certain animal parts.

As terms referring to medicinal or dietary practices of using botanical products, herbalism, herbal medicine or phytotherapy are used interchangeably in many countries, including Canada,[1] Norway,[2] the United Kingdom,[3] other countries in Europe and South America,[4][5][6] South Africa,[7] and the United States.[8]

General practices include ancient methods of traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Practitioners of herbalism or phytotherapy are referred to as herbalists or phytotherapists.[1][7] Products used in herbalism may be called herbal medicines, botanicals, natural health products, herbal remedies, herbal supplements, or phytotherapies.[4][5][8][9]

Archaeological evidence indicates that the use of medicinal plants dates back to the Paleolithic age, approximately 60,000 years ago. Written evidence of herbal remedies dates back over 5,000 years, to the Sumerians, who compiled lists of plants. A number of ancient cultures wrote about plants and their medical uses in books called herbals. In ancient Egypt, herbs are mentioned in Egyptian medical papyri, depicted in tomb illustrations, or on rare occasions found in medical jars containing trace amounts of herbs.[10] Among the oldest, lengthiest, and most important medical papyri of ancient Egypt, the Ebers Papyrus dates from about 1550 BC, and covers more than 700 drugs, mainly of plant origin.[11] The earliest known Greek herbals come from Theophrastus of Eresos who in the 4th c. B.C. wrote in Greek Historia Plantarum, from Diocles of Carystus who wrote during the 3rd century B.C, and from Krateuas who wrote in the 1st century B.C. Only a few fragments of these works have survived intact, but from what remains scholars have noted a large amount of overlap with the Egyptian herbals.[12] Seeds likely used for herbalism have been found in archaeological sites of Bronze Age China dating from the Shang Dynasty[13] (c. 1600 BCc. 1046 BC). Over a hundred of the 224 drugs mentioned in the Huangdi Neijing, an early Chinese medical text, are herbs.[14] Herbs also commonly featured in the medicine of ancient India, where the principal treatment for diseases was diet.[15]De Materia Medica, originally written in Greek by Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40 90 AD) of Anazarbus, Cilicia, a Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist, is a particularly important example of herbal writing; it dominated for some 1500 years until the 1600s.[16]

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care.[17] Pharmaceuticals are prohibitively expensive for most of the world’s population, half of whom lived on less than $2 U.S. per day in 2002.[18] In comparison, herbal medicines can be grown from seed or gathered from nature for little or no cost.

Many of the pharmaceuticals currently available to physicians have a long history of use as herbal remedies, including opium, aspirin, digitalis, and quinine. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 25% of modern drugs used in the United States have been derived from plants.[19] At least 7,000 medical compounds in the modern pharmacopoeia are derived from plants.[20] Among the 120 active compounds currently isolated from the higher plants and widely used in modern medicine today, 80% show a positive correlation between their modern therapeutic use and the traditional use of the plants from which they are derived.[21]

In a 2010 global survey of the most common 1000 plant-derived compounds, only 156 had clinical trials published. Preclinical studies (cell culture and animal studies) were reported for about one-half of the plant products, while 12% of the plants, although available in the Western market, had “no substantial studies” of their properties. Strong evidence was found that 5 were toxic or allergenic, so that their use ought to be discouraged or forbidden. Nine plants with evidence of therapeutic effect included Althaea officinalis, Calendula officinalis, Centella asiatica, Echinacea purpurea, Passiflora incarnata, Punica granatum, Vaccinium macrocarpon, Vaccinium myrtillus, and Valeriana officinalis.[22]

In 2015, the Australian Government’s Department of Health published the results of a review of alternative therapies that sought to determine if any were suitable for being covered by health insurance; Herbalism was one of 17 topics evaluated for which no clear evidence of effectiveness was found.[23]

According to Cancer Research UK, “there is currently no strong evidence from studies in people that herbal remedies can treat, prevent or cure cancer”.[24]

Establishing guidelines to assess safety and efficacy of herbal products, the European Medicines Agency provides criteria for evaluating and grading the quality of clinical research in preparing monographs about herbal products.[25]

In the United States, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health funds clinical trials on herbal compounds, provides fact sheets evaluating the safety, potential effectiveness and side effects of many plant sources,[26] and maintains a registry of clinical research conducted on herbal products.[27]

The use of herbal remedies is more prevalent in patients with chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, asthma and end-stage renal disease.[28][29][30] Multiple factors such as gender, age, ethnicity, education and social class are also shown to have association with prevalence of herbal remedies use.[31]

A survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health focused on who used complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), what was used, and why it was used. The survey was limited to adults, aged 18 years and over during 2002, living in the United States. According to this survey, herbal therapy, or use of natural products other than vitamins and minerals, was the most commonly used CAM therapy (18.9%) when all use of prayer was excluded.[32][33]

Herbal remedies are very common in Europe. In Germany, herbal medications are dispensed by apothecaries (e.g., Apotheke). Prescription drugs are sold alongside essential oils, herbal extracts, or herbal teas. Herbal remedies are seen by some as a treatment to be preferred to pure medical compounds that have been industrially produced.[34]

In India the herbal remedy is so popular that the government of India has created a separate departmentAYUSHunder the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The National Medicinal Plants Board was also established in 2000 by the Indian government in order to deal with the herbal medical system.[35]

There are many forms in which herbs can be administered, the most common of which is in the form of a liquid that is drunk by the patienteither an herbal tea or a (possibly diluted) plant extract.[36]

Several methods of standardization may be determining the amount of herbs used. One is the ratio of raw materials to solvent. However different specimens of even the same plant species may vary in chemical content. For this reason, thin layer chromatography is sometimes used by growers to assess the content of their products before use. Another method is standardization on a signal chemical.[37]

Herbal teas, or tisanes, are the resultant liquid of extracting herbs into water, though they are made in a few different ways. Infusions are hot water extracts of herbs, such as chamomile or mint, through steeping. Decoctions are the long-term boiled extracts, usually of harder substances like roots or bark. Maceration is the old infusion of plants with high mucilage-content, such as sage, thyme, etc. To make macerates, plants are chopped and added to cold water. They are then left to stand for 7 to 12 hours (depending on herb used). For most macerates 10 hours is used.[38]

Tinctures are alcoholic extracts of herbs, which are generally stronger than herbal teas.[39] Tinctures are usually obtained by combining 100% pure ethanol (or a mixture of 100% ethanol with water) with the herb. A completed tincture has an ethanol percentage of at least 25% (sometimes up to 90%).[38] Herbal wine and elixirs are alcoholic extract of herbs, usually with an ethanol percentage of 1238%.[38]Extracts include liquid extracts, dry extracts, and nebulisates. Liquid extracts are liquids with a lower ethanol percentage than tinctures. They are usually made by vacuum distilling tinctures. Dry extracts are extracts of plant material that are evaporated into a dry mass. They can then be further refined to a capsule or tablet.[38]

The exact composition of an herbal product is influenced by the method of extraction. A tea will be rich in polar components because water is a polar solvent. Oil on the other hand is a non-polar solvent and it will absorb non-polar compounds. Alcohol lies somewhere in between.[36]

Many herbs are applied topically to the skin in a variety of forms. Essential oil extracts can be applied to the skin, usually diluted in a carrier oil. Many essential oils can burn the skin or are simply too high dose used straight; diluting them in olive oil or another food grade oil such as almond oil can allow these to be used safely as a topical. Salves, oils, balms, creams and lotions are other forms of topical delivery mechanisms. Most topical applications are oil extractions of herbs. Taking a food grade oil and soaking herbs in it for anywhere from weeks to months allows certain phytochemicals to be extracted into the oil. This oil can then be made into salves, creams, lotions, or simply used as an oil for topical application. Many massage oils, antibacterial salves, and wound healing compounds are made this way.[40][citation needed]

Inhalation, as in aromatherapy, can be used as a treatment.[41][42][43]

A number of herbs are thought to be likely to cause adverse effects.[45] Furthermore, “adulteration, inappropriate formulation, or lack of understanding of plant and drug interactions have led to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening or lethal.[46]” Proper double-blind clinical trials are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of each plant before they can be recommended for medical use.[47] Although many consumers believe that herbal medicines are safe because they are “natural”, herbal medicines and synthetic drugs may interact, causing toxicity to the patient. Herbal remedies can also be dangerously contaminated, and herbal medicines without established efficacy, may unknowingly be used to replace medicines that do have corroborated efficacy.[48]

Standardization of purity and dosage is not mandated in the United States, but even products made to the same specification may differ as a result of biochemical variations within a species of plant.[49] Plants have chemical defense mechanisms against predators that can have adverse or lethal effects on humans. Examples of highly toxic herbs include poison hemlock and nightshade.[50] They are not marketed to the public as herbs, because the risks are well known, partly due to a long and colorful history in Europe, associated with “sorcery”, “magic” and intrigue.[51] Although not frequent, adverse reactions have been reported for herbs in widespread use.[52] On occasion serious untoward outcomes have been linked to herb consumption. A case of major potassium depletion has been attributed to chronic licorice ingestion.,[53] and consequently professional herbalists avoid the use of licorice where they recognize that this may be a risk. Black cohosh has been implicated in a case of liver failure.[54] Few studies are available on the safety of herbs for pregnant women,[55] and one study found that use of complementary and alternative medicines are associated with a 30% lower ongoing pregnancy and live birth rate during fertility treatment.[56] Examples of herbal treatments with likely cause-effect relationships with adverse events include aconite, which is often a legally restricted herb, ayurvedic remedies, broom, chaparral, Chinese herb mixtures, comfrey, herbs containing certain flavonoids, germander, guar gum, liquorice root, and pennyroyal.[57] Examples of herbs where a high degree of confidence of a risk long term adverse effects can be asserted include ginseng, which is unpopular among herbalists for this reason, the endangered herb goldenseal, milk thistle, senna, against which herbalists generally advise and rarely use, aloe vera juice, buckthorn bark and berry, cascara sagrada bark, saw palmetto, valerian, kava, which is banned in the European Union, St. John’s wort, Khat, Betel nut, the restricted herb Ephedra, and Guarana.[46]

There is also concern with respect to the numerous well-established interactions of herbs and drugs.[46] In consultation with a physician, usage of herbal remedies should be clarified, as some herbal remedies have the potential to cause adverse drug interactions when used in combination with various prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, just as a patient should inform a herbalist of their consumption of orthodox prescription and other medication.[citation needed]

For example, dangerously low blood pressure may result from the combination of an herbal remedy that lowers blood pressure together with prescription medicine that has the same effect. Some herbs may amplify the effects of anticoagulants.[58] Certain herbs as well as common fruit interfere with cytochrome P450, an enzyme critical to much drug metabolism.[59]

A 2013 study found that one-third of herbal supplements sampled contained no trace of the herb listed on the label.[49] The study found products adulterated with contaminants or fillers not listed on the label, including potential allergens such as soy, wheat, or black walnut. One bottle labeled as St. John’s Wort was found to actually contain Alexandrian senna, a laxative.[49][60]

Researchers at the University of Adelaide found in 2014 that almost 20 per cent of herbal remedies surveyed were not registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, despite this being a condition for their sale.[61] They also found that nearly 60 per cent of products surveyed had ingredients that did not match what was on the label. Out of 121 products, only 15 had ingredients that matched their TGA listing and packaging.[61]

In 2015, the New York Attorney General issued cease and desist letters to four major U.S. retailers (GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart) who were accused of selling herbal supplements that were mislabeled and potentially dangerous.[62][63] Twenty-four products were tested by DNA barcoding as part of the investigation, with all but five containing DNA that did not match the product labels.

A herbalist is:[64][65][66]

Herbalists must learn many skills, including the wildcrafting or cultivation of herbs, diagnosis and treatment of conditions or dispensing herbal medication, and preparations of herbal medications. Education of herbalists varies considerably in different areas of the world. Lay herbalists and traditional indigenous medicine people generally rely upon apprenticeship and recognition from their communities in lieu of formal schooling.[citation needed]

In some countries formalized training and minimum education standards exist, although these are not necessarily uniform within or between countries. For example, in Australia the currently self-regulated status of the profession (as of April 2008) results in different associations setting different educational standards, and subsequently recognising an educational institution or course of training. The National Herbalists Association of Australia is generally recognised as having the most rigorous professional standard within Australia.[67] In the United Kingdom, the training of medical herbalists is done by state funded Universities. For example, Bachelor of Science degrees in herbal medicine are offered at Universities such as University of East London, Middlesex University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Westminster, University of Lincoln and Napier University in Edinburgh at the present.[40][citation needed]

The World Health Organization (WHO), the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is concerned with international public health, published Quality control methods for medicinal plant materials in 1998 in order to support WHO Member States in establishing quality standards and specifications for herbal materials, within the overall context of quality assurance and control of herbal medicines.[68]

In the European Union (EU), herbal medicines are regulated under the Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products.[69]

In the United States, herbal remedies are regulated dietary supplements by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) policy for dietary supplements.[70] Manufacturers of products falling into this category are not required to prove the safety or efficacy of their product so long as they do not make ‘medical’ claims or imply uses other than as a ‘dietary supplement’, though the FDA may withdraw a product from sale should it prove harmful.[71][72]

Canadian regulations are described by the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate which requires an eight-digit Natural Product Number or Homeopathic Medicine Number on the label of licensed herbal medicines or dietary supplements.[9]

Some herbs, such as cannabis and coca, are outright banned in most countries though coca is legal in most of the South American countries where it is grown. The Cannabis plant is used as an herbal medicine, and as such is legal in some parts of the world. Since 2004, the sales of ephedra as a dietary supplement is prohibited in the United States by the FDA,[73] and subject to Schedule III restrictions in the United Kingdom.

Herbalism has been criticized as a potential “minefield” of unreliable product quality, safety hazards, and potential for misleading health advice.[74] Globally, there are no standards across various herbal products to authenticate their contents, safety or efficacy,[49] and there is generally an absence of high-quality scientific research on product composition or effectiveness for anti-disease activity.[74][75]

Unethical practices by some herbalists and manufacturers, which may include false advertising about health benefits on product labels or literature,[74] and contamination or use of fillers during product preparation,[49][76] may erode consumer confidence about services and products.[77][78]

Closely related to herbalism, phytotherapy is the intended medical use of plants and plant extracts for therapeutic purposes.[79][80][81] A possible differentiation with herbalism is that phytotherapy may require constituents in the plant extract be standardized by adhering to a minimum content of one or several active compounds in the therapeutic product.[79]

Modern phytotherapy may use conventional methods to assess herbal drug quality, but more typically relies on modern processes like high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography, ultraviolet/visible spectrophotometry or atomic absorption spectroscopy to identify species, measure bacteriological contamination, assess potency, and create Certificates of Analysis for the material.[82]

Phytotherapy is distinct from homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine, and avoids mixing plant and synthetic bioactive substances. Phytotherapy is regarded by some as traditional medicine.[81]

Up to 80% of the population in Africa uses traditional medicine as primary health care.[83]

Native Americans medicinally used about 2,500 of the approximately 20,000 plant species that are native to North America.[84]

Some researchers trained in both western and traditional Chinese medicine have attempted to deconstruct ancient medical texts in the light of modern science. One idea is that the yin-yang balance, at least with regard to herbs, corresponds to the pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant balance. This interpretation is supported by several investigations of the ORAC ratings of various yin and yang herbs.[85][86]

In India, Ayurvedic medicine has quite complex formulas with 30 or more ingredients, including a sizable number of ingredients that have undergone “alchemical processing”, chosen to balance “Vata”, “Pitta” or “Kapha”.[87]

In Ladakh, Lahul-Spiti and Tibet, the Tibetan Medical System is prevalent, also called the ‘Amichi Medical System’. Over 337 species of medicinal plants have been documented by C.P. Kala. Those are used by Amchis, the practitioners of this medical system.[88][89]

In Tamil Nadu, Tamils have their own medicinal system now popularly called Siddha medicine. The Siddha system is entirely in the Tamil language. It contains roughly 300,000 verses covering diverse aspects of medicine. This work includes herbal, mineral and metallic compositions used as medicine. Ayurveda is in Sanskrit, but Sanskrit was not generally used as a mother tongue and hence its medicines are mostly taken from Siddha and other local traditions.[90]

In Indonesia, especially among the Javanese, the jamu traditional herbal medicine is an age old tradition preserved for centuries. Jamu is thought to have originated in the Mataram Kingdom era, some 1300 years ago.[91] The bas-reliefs on Borobudur depicts the image of people grinding herbs with stone mortar and pestle, a drink seller, a physician and masseuse treating their clients.[92] All of these scenes might be interpreted as a traditional herbal medicine and health-related treatments in ancient Java. The Madhawapura inscription from Majapahit period mentioned a specific profession of herbs mixer and combiner (herbalist), called Acaraki.[92] The medicine book from Mataram dated from circa 1700 contains 3,000 entries of jamu herbal recipes, while Javanese classical literature Serat Centhini (1814) describes some jamu herbal concoction recipes.[92]

Though highly possible influenced by Indian Ayurveda system, Indonesia is a vast archipelago with numerous indigenous plants not to be found in India, which include plants similar to Australia beyond the Wallace Line. Indonesians might experimented and figure out the medicinal uses of these native herbal plants. Jamu may vary from region to region, and often not written down, especially in remote areas of the country.[93] Although primarily herbal, materials acquired from animals, such as honey, royal jelly, milk and ayam kampung eggs are also often used in jamu.

According to Eisenburg: The Chinese and Western medical models are like two frames of reference in which identical phenomena are studied. Neither frame of reference provides an unobstructed view of health and illness. Each is incomplete and in need of refinement.” Specifically, the traditional Chinese medical model could effect change on the recognized and expected phenomena of detachment to patients unique to the clinical relationships between patient and physician of the Western school of medicine.[94]

Four approaches to the use of plants as medicine include:[95]

1. The magical/shamanicAlmost all societies, with the exception of cultures influenced by Western-style industrialization, recognize this kind of use. The practitioner is regarded as endowed with gifts or powers that allow him/her to use herbs in a way that is hidden from the average person, and the herbs are said to affect the spirit or soul of the person.

2. The energeticThis approach includes the major systems of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Unani. Herbs are regarded as having actions in terms of their energies and affecting the energies of the body. The practitioner may have extensive training, and ideally be sensitive to energy, but need not have supernatural powers.

3. The functional dynamicThis approach was used by early physiomedical practitioners, whose doctrine forms the basis of contemporary practice in the UK. Herbs have a functional action, which is not necessarily linked to a physical compound, although often to a physiological function, but there is no explicit recourse to concepts involving energy.

4. The chemicalModern practitioners called Phytotherapists attempt to explain herb actions in terms of their chemical constituents. It is generally assumed that the specific combination of secondary metabolites in the plant are responsible for the activity claimed or demonstrated, a concept called synergy.

Herbalists tend to use extracts from parts of plants, such as the roots or leaves but not isolate particular phytochemicals.[96] Pharmaceutical medicine prefers single ingredients on the grounds that dosage can be more easily quantified. It is also possible to patent single compounds, and therefore generate income. Herbalists often reject the notion of a single active ingredient, arguing that the different phytochemicals present in many herbs will interact to enhance the therapeutic effects of the herb and dilute toxicity.[82] Furthermore, they argue that a single ingredient may contribute to multiple effects. Herbalists deny that herbal synergism can be duplicated with synthetic chemicals They argue that phytochemical interactions and trace components may alter the drug response in ways that cannot currently be replicated with a combination of a few potentially active ingredients.[97] Pharmaceutical researchers recognize the concept of drug synergism but note that clinical trials may be used to investigate the efficacy of a particular herbal preparation, provided the formulation of that herb is consistent.[98]

In specific cases the claims of synergy[99] and multifunctionality[100] have been supported by science. The open question is how widely both can be generalized. Herbalists would argue that cases of synergy can be widely generalized, on the basis of their interpretation of evolutionary history, not necessarily shared by the pharmaceutical community. Plants are subject to similar selection pressures as humans and therefore they must develop resistance to threats such as radiation, reactive oxygen species and microbial attack in order to survive.[101] Optimal chemical defenses have been selected for and have thus developed over millions of years.[102] Human diseases are multifactorial and may be treated by consuming the chemical defences that they believe to be present in herbs. Bacteria, inflammation, nutrition and reactive oxygen species may all play a role in arterial disease.[103] Herbalists claim a single herb may simultaneously address several of these factors.[104] In short herbalists view their field as the study of a web of relationships rather than a quest for single cause and a single cure for a single condition.

In selecting herbal treatments herbalists may use forms of information that are not applicable to pharmacists. Because herbs can moonlight as vegetables, teas or spices they have a huge consumer base and large-scale epidemiological studies become feasible. Ethnobotanical studies are another source of information.[105] Herbalists contend that historical medical records and herbals are underutilized resources.[106] They favor the use of convergent information in assessing the medical value of plants. An example would be when in-vitro activity is consistent with traditional use.

Indigenous healers often claim to have learned by observing that sick animals change their food preferences to nibble at bitter herbs they would normally reject.[107] Field biologists have provided corroborating evidence based on observation of diverse species, such as chickens, sheep, butterflies, and chimpanzee. The habit[which?] has been shown to be a physical means of purging intestinal parasites. Lowland gorillas take 90%[verification needed] of their diet from the fruits of Aframomum melegueta, a relative of the ginger plant, that is a potent antimicrobial and apparently keeps shigellosis and similar infections at bay.[108] Current research focuses on the possibility that this plants also protects gorillas from fibrosing cardiomyopathy which has a devastating effect on captive animals.[109]

Sick animals tend to forage plants rich in secondary metabolites, such as tannins and alkaloids.[110] Since these phytochemicals often have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antihelminthic properties, a plausible case can be made for self-medication by animals in the wild.[108]

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Herbalism – Wikipedia

Alternative Medicine Alone Leads to Lower Cancer Survival – Asbestos.com

Cancer patients who opt for alternative therapy instead of conventional medicine significantly decrease their chances of survival, according to researchers at Yale School of Medicine.

Although the popularity of alternative medicine continues to grow, a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found survival rates significantly reduced for those who use it as first-line therapy.

Conventional cancer treatments chemotherapy, surgery and radiation still produce a much better chance of survival.

Mesothelioma was not included in the study, but the findings are relevant to this rare and aggressive cancer as alternative treatment becomes more commonly used.

A person with cancer who choses alternative medicine is 2.5 times more likely to die than somebody who uses proven methods of treatment, Dr. Skyler Johnson, Yale School of Medicine radiation oncologist and lead author of the study, told Asbestos.com. When you choose alternative medicine instead of conventional, it likely will impact survival [in a negative way].

The study looked at survival rates for breast, lung, prostate and colorectal cancers, including 840 patients diagnosed from 2004-2013 who were listed in the National Cancer Database.

It did not include patients who received alternative therapies alongside conventional medicine as many mesothelioma patients do. This is known as complementary therapy.

Alternative medicine refers to any treatment approach outside of mainstream or conventional medicine and is not approved for cancer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

They can range from body-based therapies such as acupuncture or nerve stimulation to special diets filled with herbs and botanicals. They could be homeopathic, which are derived from natural substances, or mind-body therapies such as yoga or tai chi.

They have become a popular way to avoid the side effects that often come with chemotherapy, radiation or aggressive surgery.

Unfortunately, they dont work very well, according to the team of researchers from Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Alternative medicine kills cancer patients, surgical oncologist Dr. David Gorski at the Karmanos Cancer Institute wrote for the website Science-Based Medicine, in response to the latest study from Yale. It is basically no different than refusing treatment altogether.

The Yale study examined the records of 280 cancer patients who had chosen alternative medicine and 560 patients who opted for conventional medicine.

Researchers found the five-year mortality rate was 2.5 times greater for the alternative treatment option. When separated by cancer type, breast cancer patients had a five-times greater risk, followed by colon cancer patients (four-times greater) and lung cancer (two-times greater).

There was no greater risk for prostate cancer, which typically grows much slower.

Researchers believe that a cancer patient often will start with alternative medicine, then switch to conventional after the cancer has progressed, a dangerous option that shortens survival time in most cases.

Patients are presenting to us in clinic with more advanced cancers than they would have otherwise, if they had done proven therapy initially instead of alternative therapy, Johnson said. And mesothelioma is one of those where you dont have the luxury with taking time to delay treatment. Survival chances decrease with each day.

Mesothelioma specialists typically rely on surgery, chemotherapy and radiation as conventional medicine.

Researchers at Yale also observed that those who opted for alternative therapy generally were younger, more educated and with higher incomes, a demographic that would suggest a better chance for survival.

They found the opposite was true.

Youd assume that someone who is more educated and has a better understanding of science and medicine, theyd be less likely to make a choice like this, Johnson said. But thats clearly not true, based on this data.

He believes the bad choices often come after a patient hears second-hand success stories with alternative treatments, but without realizing conventional medicine was used in conjunction.

Its important to note that when it comes to alternative cancer therapies, there is just so little known patients are making decisions in the dark, said co-author Dr. Cary Gross. We need to understand more about which treatments are effective and which ones arent.

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Alternative Medicine Alone Leads to Lower Cancer Survival – Asbestos.com

PSA: Alternative Medicine in Place of Cancer Treatment Can Be Deadly – Lifehacker Australia

Cancer is scary. Chemo and radiation are scary. Herbal medicines and special diets seem friendly and comforting by comparison, but we now have clear evidence that people who use alternative treatments for cancer are more likely to die.

Its one of those duh, but we had to check it out studies: researchers from the Yale School of Medicine followed 281 people who used alternative medicine, without any conventional treatments like surgery or chemo, and compared their survival rates to controls who had the same health status, type of cancer, and other factors. Those controls were far more likely to still be alive after five years than the people who chose to only use alternative medicine. As youd expect, the difference was starkest among people with fast-acting cancers.

The study was observational, so technically it cant 100 percent prove that alternative medicine was responsible for the deaths, but the researchers controlled for just about every plausible factor that might have affected survival. Even NHS Choices, which does very thorough and skeptical breakdowns of research in the news, concludes that this one is pretty clear-cut.

You and I might think skipping real cancer treatment is a terrible idea (we are agreed on that, right?) but theres definitely a market for alternative treatments. Most people use them as complementary medicine, for example getting acupuncture in hopes that it will tone down the nausea they get from chemo.

But theres a small industry around selling bogus cancer cures to people who cant afford real treatment, or who just believe claims that supplements and the like do a better job. Earlier this year, the FDA sent warning letters to makers of 65 products illegally sold as cancer cures.

The products the FDA identified are the tip of an iceberg: you cant legally sell a supplement by saying it will cure cancer, but theres nothing stopping you from writing an article to argue that a supplement cures cancer. The FDA watches out for anything that crosses the line into fraud, but theyre playing a frustrating game of whack-a-mole. So the stuff is still out there. Take, for example, the people who believe against all odds in the healing power of apricot kernels.

Nor can you cure cancer with homeopathy or naturopathy, although some practitioners will say or strongly imply that they can (as above). Dont buy into these obvious lies. In the awful event that you or somebody you love gets cancer, youre free to consider a second opinionbut make sure its from an actual doctor.

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PSA: Alternative Medicine in Place of Cancer Treatment Can Be Deadly – Lifehacker Australia

Natural and Alternative Medicine! Homeopathy, Ayurveda …

Everyone wants to have clear, flawless and glowing skin. Acne or zits are like nightmares in an individual’s life as they often leave unsightly scars behind. Thus, one is prepared to go to great lengths in trying to stop those pimples from cropping up.

However Acne is a systemic problem and local applications alone will never do the trick!

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Natural and Alternative Medicine! Homeopathy, Ayurveda …

Turkey embraces alternative and complementary medicine – Daily Sabah

As medical practices become more and more advanced, many people are turning to traditional medicine and alternative therapies which are considered to have healing effects on the human body, despite not being scientifically proven. Recently, alternative medicine and complementary medicine is widely used around the world, and even accepted by the traditional medical practitioners.

Complementary medicine is a group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that are used together with conventional medicine. Complementary medicine includes a large number of practices and systems of health care which have begun to be adopted by mainstream Western medicine as well. Complementary medicine includes a variety of products such as herbs, vitamins and minerals and probiotics. These items are widely marketed, readily available to consumers in local pharmacies without a prescription and are often sold as dietary supplements. Moreover, alternative medical practitioners tend to advise their patients to engage in therapeutic practices to renew the mind and body for good health.

In 2014, Turkish health care institutions and state medical schools made alternative medicine a part of their health care routine.

The head of Turkey’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practices Department of the Ministry of Health’s Directorate General for Health Services Zafer Kalayc stated that they are conducting studies to promote Turkey as full of “world cuisine” for alternative medicine.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Kalayc provided information about traditional and complementary medicine. He said that, in addition to protecting people from and preventing physical and psychological diseases through alternative therapies, traditional and alternative medicine include experimental and proven practices, research and holistic approaches that are unique to various cultures and are being applied for sustaining good health.

Stating that traditional and complementary medicine is a new area of application both in Turkey and world, Kalayc said that Turkey is making strides in the world in this area. It is evident that Turkey now has well-coordinated, comprehensive regulations in alternative medicine that are the first of their kind in the world. In the context of this regulation, which is already in use in Turkey, educational standards are being enacted in the fields of reflexology, music therapy, osteopathy, prolotherapy, apitherapy, mesotherapy, homeopathy, phytotherapy, and acupuncture, along with larva, hypnosis, leeching, cupping and ozone applications.

For the application of these standards, traditional and complementary medicine centers were opened at 32 universities and training research hospitals across the country.

Noting that active education is ongoing at 14 of these centers, Kalayc added: “The regulation was issued in 2014; however, we were able to create the educational standards for the applications, as part of the series, in 2016. Up until now, 2,500 people have become certified at these branches. The demand for instruction from our physicians has been high and there is a waiting list for applicants. Currently, we have education centers in Ankara, Istanbul, zmir, Erzurum and Kayseri. Also, the University of Health Sciences of the Ministry of Health and training research hospitals working under its auspices have begun to offer education on these branches of treatment. The University of Health Sciences is planning to launch a master’s degree program in the area.”

Saying that they have made international connections as they continue to advance in this area, Kalayc said: “We are conducting one-to-one research with the World Health Organization (WHO). We also conduct joint studies with universities in the U.S., South Korea and China. Turkey is setting a new global standard in this area. We have begun to create new regulations which will make Turkey the gold standard in education in these fields. We are a shining star in the world arena now.”

Kalayc also stressed Turkey’s diversity in endemic plants, asserting that the country has 4,750 endemic plants. “When you calculate the number of endemic plants all around Europe, you see that their total number does not exceed that of Turkey. Here, we conduct research in cooperation with the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Forestry. In addition to the fact that there are studies conducted by prominent academics and smart agriculture applications, the number of plants in Turkey has reached 12,000. We raised awareness by a lot, sharing this information with the world.”

Stating that Turkey has seriously important endemic plants, Kalaycsaid: “Every single one of the 81 provinces in Turkey has their own unique, endemic plants. We have to evaluate them. This situation is also gaining world-wide attention. Some products are imported to Turkey for between $45 and $50, while they are exported for $1.”

“At the Ministry of Health, our aim is to turn Turkey into a fountain of cuisine for the education and application process of traditional and complementary medicine. We are conducting sophisticated academic, clinical and laboratory studies in education in this area. We have a department known as the Directorate of Health Institutions, as well as six institutions bound to it. One of these is the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Application Institution. We are making progress in a well-organized way in all aspects,” he said.

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Turkey embraces alternative and complementary medicine – Daily Sabah

A case for choosing alternative medicine | Health | montrosepress.com – Montrose Daily Press

It started with an infection, but it ended with a life-changing experience.

In early May 2013, Brian Lucchesi got a tattoo to celebrate a birthday. But within a few days, he started to notice an infection spreading from his lower leg, where he got the tattoo, to the rest of his body. He initially went to a dermatologist, but after 10 days the infection as not improving and he was in terrible pain.

Finally, he drove himself to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a methicillin resistant staph infection. He wound up in the hospital for four days.

It was terrifying, Lucchesi says.

He also remembers not being the most reasonable patient and getting angry with hospital staff the first couple of days. It was for a mixture of reasons, he recalls, stemming from bad experiences in health care settings as well as the uncertainty of how long he would be hospitalized.

It was at the end of the third night, and I was having a really bad time, Lucchesi says. The best way I can sum it up is that I had some kind of a spiritual experience.

I remember this energy just saying, Brian, if you let go of your anger, we can get you out of the hospital. This anger was holding me in the hospital. If I let go, my body would start healing and I would be able to go home.

That night shifted his behavior and attitude, and by the end of the fourth day, he was able to go home.

The experience led Lucchesi to dive into the world of spiritual healing and wellness and he hasnt looked back.

Lucchesi has been a number of things throughout the years. After high school, he joined the Navy and served for nearly five years. After that, was an underwater construction worker. He was even a rugby player for a time.

But when he was 26, he went back to school to get a degree in physical and health education and become a teacher. Including one year as a graduate assistant, he spent seven years in the education field. During that time, he learned he really enjoyed creating wellness curriculum.

I developed wellness programming for one of the school districts, which didnt exist before, he says.

It was during this time that he made the decision to get into adult wellness programs. He left the education field and became a wellness coach for Wellness Coaches USA, and in 2011 he created a website called Wellness Hero. But in 2013, he was no longer under contract with Wellness Coaches USA, and he was trying to figure out his next step.

An infection and near-death experience later, Lucchesi began to completely change his lifestyle. He started using essential oils, adopted a plant-based diet and began connecting to his ability to heal naturally.

It became very clear to me from my own spiritual connection to this healing, and what I was able to utilize through meditation or through global synchronizations, I realized I wanted to get into the ultimate level of our being, Lucchesi says.

He started researching DNA programming, Reiki healing and Qigong all with the goal of getting more in tune with his own life force and how his body responds to disease or other ailments, be it emotional, spiritual or physical.

After learning different teachings, he began sharing his knowledge in 2015. On his Wellness Hero blog, he went over the different guided studies and meditations. But he also took his sessions on the road, whether it was at school districts or corporate events.

I wanted to tailor it to be more in tune with nontraditional delivery methods, he says of the Wellness Hero mission. It started leading toward guided meditations, and I really focused on that aspect.

Hes been on that path ever since, balancing Wellness Hero work with his role as a stay-at-home father for his son. Recently, he went to a school district and showed students how to do guided meditations and energy balancing movements.

But no matter what setting he is in, his goal is the same.

Its making everyone evolve into wellness heroes, he says. Thats my mission.

Moving forward, Lucchesi believes 2017 is the year to expand his website.

Im preparing for September to be that (push) to have this both as a physical class or a digital class that is recurring on a weekly basis, with different themes, he says.

That includes teachings focusing on the joints, muscular systems and aspects of wellness.

This is something Ive been working on and will be delivering in a more unique way as we go, he says. Its something Im very excited about doing.

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A case for choosing alternative medicine | Health | montrosepress.com – Montrose Daily Press

Keep open mind about value of alternative medicine – The Straits Times

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), as a form of complementary alternative medicine (CAM), is a unique system of medicine based on more than 2,000 years of clinical application.

While modern science cannot explain the mechanism of TCM treatment modalities, clinical studies have supported its efficacy in many diseases. And so we disagree with the report (Traditional health practices: More harm than good; Aug 15).

As stated in the report, the fact that “not many people know that rheumatoid arthritis can be treated” and that it is often equated with rheumatism shows the lack of public awareness of the illness. In both studies mentioned in the report, the use of CAM included self-administration of vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter (OTC) TCM drugs. This reflects the prevalence of cases where patients self-medicate in the absence of professional advice, which could result in adverse reactions to the drugs. Rather than discrediting CAM, we see opportunities for CAM and conventional medicine to work together through effective healthcare communication and education. Likewise, seemingly harmless CAM like vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines, should also be taken under the advice of certified professionals.

Mr Chee Hong Tat, in his Aug 2 speech at the Convocation of the Nanyang Technological University-Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Double Degree Programme, encouraged doctors and scientists to keep an open mind to the potential value of TCM. We urge the media and general public to keep an open mind to the potential value of CAM.

Ho Chin Ee (Ms)

Vice-President

NTU Chinese Medicine Alumni Association Executive Committee

See the rest here:

Keep open mind about value of alternative medicine – The Straits Times

Alternative Treatments More Than Double Risk of Death for Cancer Patients – Healthline

Unproven treatments for breast and lung cancers are especially dangerous, researchers say. So, why do people opt for these alternatives?

Alternative cancer treatments that seem too good to be true may actually be dangerous.

In fact, these treatments can more than double the risk of death for some people with cancer, according to a recently published study.

Some alternative treatments promise a cure or a way to fight cancer without the harsh side effects of chemotherapy or radiation.

In order to find out how people with cancer fare on these treatments vs. traditional medications, researchers from Yale University turned to the National Cancer Database.

Dr. Skyler Johnson, a physician at the Radiation Oncology at Yale-New Haven Hospital and lead author of the study published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, said he wanted to look into survival rates for alternative medicine after he saw an increase in people wanting to pursue these methods.

We had started to see lots of patients who were coming in with advanced cancers who had been diagnosed earlier but who had tried an alternative therapy, Johnson told Healthline. It clearly impacted their survival.

This issue was debated after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of cancer in 2011 after trying alternative treatments.

In their study, Johnson and his co-authors used the data from the National Cancer Database to see how people with cancer fared on alternative treatments compared with traditional therapies.

They found data on 281 people with breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer that had not metastasized. These people had chosen alternative therapies not proven by science to be helpful in treating cancer.

Researchers then compared how these people fared compared with 560 people who had undergone conventional cancer treatment such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or surgery.

It was needed for us to be able to have informed discussions with patients, said Johnson. To tell them this is the risk and benefit from this decision.

Overall, they looked at how people fared from 2004 to 2013, with the median follow-up of slightly more than five years.

They found that people who chose alternative medicine were two and half times more at risk of dying.

For breast and colorectal cancers, the risk was even higher.

People with breast cancer were more than five times as likely to die if they pursued solely alternative treatment.

People with colorectal cancer were more than four times as likely to die as their counterparts who underwent conventional treatments.

Johnson said the study will help doctors relay concrete information to people considering alternative medicine.

This is especially true for people who have cancer that has not yet metastasized and has a high survivability rate.

Cancer cures is one of those things that need to be done in a timely fashion, he said.

There was one cancer outlier in the study.

Prostate cancer didnt have as much of a difference in life expectancy between people treated conventionally and those treated with alternative medicine, but Johnson pointed out prostate cancer is extremely slow growing and many people can live more than a decade without significant health impacts.

Johnson said anecdotally hes heard from people that they believe the alternative therapy they are pursuing has no downside.

In conversations, it seems that theres a belief that the alternative therapies are as effective, and that they’re also nontoxic, said Johnson.

Dr. Jordan Berlin, a medical oncologist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the study is not surprising but could still help people with cancer.

Data like this is helpful, he told Healthline. Knowing we can say to our patients the track record for these things in general has not been better.

Berlin said these alternative treatments tend to come in and out of fashion. Right now, hes seen people pursue using medical marijuana, salves, and unproven supplements for cancer treatment.

Berlin said he understands why some would be more willing to look into alternative medicine after a cancer diagnosis.

I tell people that cancer is the scariest word in the English language, Berlin said. They’re looking for anything that might help.

Berlin said that for many people the promise of these treatments can become especially appealing when facing an initial diagnosis.

When you hear 100 percent of people [cured] with no side effects, and we tell people every side effect we could possibly cause, its very appealing, Berlin said.

Berlin said when people pursue alternative medicine, he does his best to insist they come back for scans so he can monitor their progress.

If they get worse and want to pursue traditional treatment he can start them on conventional therapies, hopefully before the cancer metastasizes.

However, some people may still put their faith in their original, unproven treatment when they make a recovery.

Ive had this where one of my patients says how well they did on alternative therapy, Berlin said. In truth, they got chemo too, or radiation. No one gave any credit to those therapies.

Berlin said hes willing to talk to people who want to pursue supplemental treatment in addition to conventional treatments.

He does warn them there are risks that supplements or other ingested items could negatively affect cancer medication.

He also said more should be done to understand which, if any, alternative treatments could be a help either by alleviating symptoms or actually combatting tumor cells.

It is worthwhile to study something of these things we want to know as much as anybody he said.

Both Berlin and Johnson said the study will only do so much to convince some people who are skeptical of conventional medical treatment.

Johnson said he keeps a list of people who ignored medical advice in favor of alternative treatments, and reaches out to them periodically.

While Johnson hopes the study will help people get better care, he acknowledged a lot of work remains for doctors trying to gain the trust of their patients and attempting to understand why those patients want to pursue alternative treatments.

Facts dont often change people’s beliefs, Johnson said. Developing trust with people is really the bottom line.

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Alternative Treatments More Than Double Risk of Death for Cancer Patients – Healthline

Alternative medicine – Wikipedia

Alternative medicine or fringe medicine includes practices claimed to have the healing effects of medicine but which are disproven, unproven, impossible to prove, or are excessively harmful in relation to their effect; and where the scientific consensus is that the therapy does not, or cannot, work because the known laws of nature are violated by its basic claims; or where it is considered so much worse than conventional treatment that it would be unethical to offer as treatment. Alternative therapies or diagnoses are not part of medicine or science-based healthcare systems. Alternative medicine consists of a wide variety of practices, products, and therapies ranging from those that are biologically plausible but not well tested, to those with known harmful and toxic effects. Contrary to popular belief, significant expense is paid to test alternative medicine, including over $2.5 billion spent by the United States government. Almost none show any effect beyond that of false treatment. Perceived effects of alternative medicine may be caused by placebo; decreased effect of functional treatment (and therefore potentially decreased side effects); and regression toward the mean where improvement that would have occurred anyway is credited to alternative therapies; or any combination of the above. Alternative treatments are not the same as experimental medicine or traditional medicine, although much of the latter is alternative when used today.

Alternative medicine has grown in popularity and is used by a significant percentage of the population in many countries. While it has extensively rebranded itself: from quackery to complementary or integrative medicine it promotes essentially the same practices. Newer proponents often suggest alternative medicine be used together with functional medical treatment, in a belief that it “complements” (improves the effect of, or mitigates the side effects of) the treatment. There is no evidence showing they do so, and significant drug interactions caused by alternative therapies may instead negatively influence treatments, making them less effective, notably cancer therapy. Despite being illegal to market alternative therapies for cancer treatment in most of the developed world, many cancer patients use them.

Alternative medical diagnoses and treatments are not taught as part of science-based curricula in medical schools, and are not used in any practice where treatment is based on scientific knowledge or proven experience. Alternative therapies are often based on religion, tradition, superstition, belief in supernatural energies, pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, fraud, or lies. Regulation and licensing of alternative medicine and health care providers varies between and within countries.

Alternative medicine is criticized for being based on misleading statements, quackery, pseudoscience, antiscience, fraud, or poor scientific methodology. Promoting alternative medicine has been called dangerous and unethical. Testing alternative medicine that has no scientific basis has been called a waste of scarce research resources. Critics state “there is really no such thing as alternative medicine, just medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t”, and the problem with the idea of “alternative” treatments in this sense is that the “underlying logic is magical, childish or downright absurd”. It has been strongly suggested that the very idea of any alternative treatment that works is paradoxical, as any treatment proven to work is by definition “medicine”.

Practitioners of complementary medicine usually discuss and advise patients as to available alternative therapies. Patients often express interest in mind-body complementary therapies because they offer a non-drug approach to treating some health conditions.[1][clarification needed]

In addition to the social-cultural underpinnings of the popularity of alternative medicine, there are several psychological issues that are critical to its growth. One of the most critical is the placebo effect a well-established observation in medicine.[2] Related to it are similar psychological effects, such as the will to believe,[3]cognitive biases that help maintain self-esteem and promote harmonious social functioning,[3] and the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy.[3]

CAM’s popularity may be related to other factors that Edzard Ernst mentioned in an interview in The Independent:

Why is it so popular, then? Ernst blames the providers, customers and the doctors whose neglect, he says, has created the opening into which alternative therapists have stepped. “People are told lies. There are 40 million websites and 39.9 million tell lies, sometimes outrageous lies. They mislead cancer patients, who are encouraged not only to pay their last penny but to be treated with something that shortens their lives. “At the same time, people are gullible. It needs gullibility for the industry to succeed. It doesn’t make me popular with the public, but it’s the truth.[4]

Paul Offit proposed that “alternative medicine becomes quackery” in four ways: by recommending against conventional therapies that are helpful, promoting potentially harmful therapies without adequate warning, draining patients’ bank accounts, or by promoting “magical thinking.”[5]

In a paper published in October 2010 entitled The public’s enthusiasm for complementary and alternative medicine amounts to a critique of mainstream medicine, Ernst described these views in greater detail and concluded:

[CAM] is popular. An analysis of the reasons why this is so points towards the therapeutic relationship as a key factor. Providers of CAM tend to build better therapeutic relationships than mainstream healthcare professionals. In turn, this implies that much of the popularity of CAM is a poignant criticism of the failure of mainstream healthcare. We should consider it seriously with a view of improving our service to patients.[6]

Authors have speculated on the socio-cultural and psychological reasons for the appeal of alternative medicines among the minority using them in lieu of conventional medicine. There are several socio-cultural reasons for the interest in these treatments centered on the low level of scientific literacy among the public at large and a concomitant increase in antiscientific attitudes and new age mysticism.[3] Related to this are vigorous marketing[7] of extravagant claims by the alternative medical community combined with inadequate media scrutiny and attacks on critics.[3][8]

There is also an increase in conspiracy theories toward conventional medicine and pharmaceutical companies, mistrust of traditional authority figures, such as the physician, and a dislike of the current delivery methods of scientific biomedicine, all of which have led patients to seek out alternative medicine to treat a variety of ailments.[8] Many patients lack access to contemporary medicine, due to a lack of private or public health insurance, which leads them to seek out lower-cost alternative medicine.[9] Medical doctors are also aggressively marketing alternative medicine to profit from this market.[7]

Patients can be averse to the painful, unpleasant, and sometimes-dangerous side effects of biomedical treatments. Treatments for severe diseases such as cancer and HIV infection have well-known, significant side-effects. Even low-risk medications such as antibiotics can have potential to cause life-threatening anaphylactic reactions in a very few individuals. Many medications may cause minor but bothersome symptoms such as cough or upset stomach. In all of these cases, patients may be seeking out alternative treatments to avoid the adverse effects of conventional treatments.[3][8]

Alternative medicine is defined loosely as a set of products, practices, and theories that are believed or perceived by their users to have the healing effects of medicine,[n 1][n 2] but whose effectiveness has not been clearly established using scientific methods,[n 1][n 3][13][14][15][16] or whose theory and practice is not part of biomedicine,[n 2][n 4][n 5][n 6] or whose theories or practices are directly contradicted by scientific evidence or scientific principles used in biomedicine.[13][14][20] “Biomedicine” or “medicine” is that part of medical science that applies principles of biology, physiology, molecular biology, biophysics, and other natural sciences to clinical practice, using scientific methods to establish the effectiveness of that practice. Unlike medicine,[n 4] an alternative product or practice does not originate from using scientific methodology, but may instead be based on testimonials, religion, tradition, superstition, belief in supernatural energies, pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, fraud, or other unscientific sources.[n 3][10][13][14]

In General Guidelines for Methodologies on Research and Evaluation of Traditional Medicine, published in 2000 by the World Health Organization (WHO), complementary and alternative medicine were defined as a broad set of health care practices that are not part of that country’s own tradition and are not integrated into the dominant health care system.[21]

The expression also refers to a diverse range of related and unrelated products, practices, and theories ranging from biologically plausible practices and products and practices with some evidence, to practices and theories that are directly contradicted by basic science or clear evidence, and products that have been conclusively proven to be ineffective or even toxic and harmful.[n 2][23][24]

The terms-Alternative medicine, complementary medicine, integrative medicine, holistic medicine, natural medicine, unorthodox medicine, fringe medicine, unconventional medicine, and new age medicine are used interchangeably as having the same meaning and are almost synonymous in some contexts,[25][26][27][28] but may have different meanings in some rare cases.

The meaning of the term “alternative” in the expression “alternative medicine”, is not that it is an effective alternative to medical science, although some alternative medicine promoters may use the loose terminology to give the appearance of effectiveness.[13][29] Loose terminology may also be used to suggest meaning that a dichotomy exists when it does not, e.g., the use of the expressions “western medicine” and “eastern medicine” to suggest that the difference is a cultural difference between the Asiatic east and the European west, rather than that the difference is between evidence-based medicine and treatments that don’t work.[13]

Complementary medicine (CM) or integrative medicine (IM) is when alternative medicine is used together with functional medical treatment, in a belief that it improves the effect of treatments.[n 7][10][31][32][33] However, significant drug interactions caused by alternative therapies may instead negatively influence treatment, making treatments less effective, notably cancer therapy.[34][35] Both terms refer to use of alternative medical treatments alongside conventional medicine,[36][37][38] an example of which is use of acupuncture (sticking needles in the body to influence the flow of a supernatural energy), along with using science-based medicine, in the belief that the acupuncture increases the effectiveness or “complements” the science-based medicine.[38]

Allopathic medicine or allopathy is an expression commonly used by homeopaths and proponents of other forms of alternative medicine to refer to mainstream medicine. Specifically it refers to the use of pharmacologically active agents or physical interventions to treat or suppress symptoms or pathophysiologic processes of diseases or conditions.[39] The expression was coined in 1810 by the creator of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann (17551843).[40] In such circles, the expression “allopathic medicine” is still used to refer to “the broad category of medical practice that is sometimes called Western medicine, biomedicine, evidence-based medicine, or modern medicine” (see the article on scientific medicine).[41]

Use of the term remains common among homeopaths and has spread to other alternative medicine practices. The meaning implied by the label has never been accepted by conventional medicine and is considered pejorative.[42] More recently, some sources have used the term “allopathic”, particularly American sources wishing to distinguish between Doctors of Medicine (MD) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) in the United States.[40][43] William Jarvis, an expert on alternative medicine and public health,[44] states that “although many modern therapies can be construed to conform to an allopathic rationale (e.g., using a laxative to relieve constipation), standard medicine has never paid allegiance to an allopathic principle” and that the label “allopath” was from the start “considered highly derisive by regular medicine”.[45]

Many conventional medical treatments clearly do not fit the nominal definition of allopathy, as they seek to prevent illness, or remove its cause.[46][47]

CAM is an abbreviation of complementary and alternative medicine.[48][49] It has also been called sCAM or SCAM with the addition of “so-called” or “supplements”.[50][51] The words balance and holism are often used, claiming to take into account a “whole” person, in contrast to the supposed reductionism of medicine. Due to its many names the field has been criticized for intense rebranding of what are essentially the same practices: as soon as one name is declared synonymous with quackery, a new name is chosen.[25]

Traditional medicine refers to the pre-scientific practices of a certain culture, contrary to what is typically practiced in other cultures where medical science dominates.

“Eastern medicine” typically refers to the traditional medicines of Asia where conventional bio-medicine penetrated much later.

Prominent members of the science[5][52] and biomedical science community[12] say that it is not meaningful to define an alternative medicine that is separate from a conventional medicine, that the expressions “conventional medicine”, “alternative medicine”, “complementary medicine”, “integrative medicine”, and “holistic medicine” do not refer to any medicine at all.[5][12][52][53]

Others in both the biomedical and CAM communities say that CAM cannot be precisely defined because of the diversity of theories and practices it includes, and because the boundaries between CAM and biomedicine overlap, are porous, and change. The expression “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) resists easy definition because the health systems and practices it refers to are diffuse, and its boundaries poorly defined.[23][n 8] Healthcare practices categorized as alternative may differ in their historical origin, theoretical basis, diagnostic technique, therapeutic practice and in their relationship to the medical mainstream. Some alternative therapies, including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda, have antique origins in East or South Asia and are entirely alternative medical systems;[58] others, such as homeopathy and chiropractic, have origins in Europe or the United States and emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Some, such as osteopathy and chiropractic, employ manipulative physical methods of treatment; others, such as meditation and prayer, are based on mind-body interventions. Treatments considered alternative in one location may be considered conventional in another.[61] Thus, chiropractic is not considered alternative in Denmark and likewise osteopathic medicine is no longer thought of as an alternative therapy in the United States.[61]

Critics say the expression is deceptive because it implies there is an effective alternative to science-based medicine, and that complementary is deceptive because it implies that the treatment increases the effectiveness of (complements) science-based medicine, while alternative medicines that have been tested nearly always have no measurable positive effect compared to a placebo.[13][62][63][64]

One common feature of all definitions of alternative medicine is its designation as “other than” conventional medicine. For example, the widely referenced descriptive definition of complementary and alternative medicine devised by the US National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), states that it is “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine”.[67] For conventional medical practitioners, it does not necessarily follow that either it or its practitioners would no longer be considered alternative.[n 9]

Some definitions seek to specify alternative medicine in terms of its social and political marginality to mainstream healthcare.[70] This can refer to the lack of support that alternative therapies receive from the medical establishment and related bodies regarding access to research funding, sympathetic coverage in the medical press, or inclusion in the standard medical curriculum.[70] In 1993, the British Medical Association (BMA), one among many professional organizations who have attempted to define alternative medicine, stated that it[n 10] referred to “…those forms of treatment which are not widely used by the conventional healthcare professions, and the skills of which are not taught as part of the undergraduate curriculum of conventional medical and paramedical healthcare courses”.[71] In a US context, an influential definition coined in 1993 by the Harvard-based physician,[72] David M. Eisenberg,[73] characterized alternative medicine “as interventions neither taught widely in medical schools nor generally available in US hospitals”.[74] These descriptive definitions are inadequate in the present-day when some conventional doctors offer alternative medical treatments and CAM introductory courses or modules can be offered as part of standard undergraduate medical training;[75] alternative medicine is taught in more than 50 per cent of US medical schools and increasingly US health insurers are willing to provide reimbursement for CAM therapies. In 1999, 7.7% of US hospitals reported using some form of CAM therapy; this proportion had risen to 37.7% by 2008.[77]

An expert panel at a conference hosted in 1995 by the US Office for Alternative Medicine (OAM),[78][n 11] devised a theoretical definition[78] of alternative medicine as “a broad domain of healing resources… other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period”.[80] This definition has been widely adopted by CAM researchers,[78] cited by official government bodies such as the UK Department of Health,[81] attributed as the definition used by the Cochrane Collaboration,[82] and, with some modification,[dubious discuss] was preferred in the 2005 consensus report of the US Institute of Medicine, Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States.[n 2]

The 1995 OAM conference definition, an expansion of Eisenberg’s 1993 formulation, is silent regarding questions of the medical effectiveness of alternative therapies.[83] Its proponents hold that it thus avoids relativism about differing forms of medical knowledge and, while it is an essentially political definition, this should not imply that the dominance of mainstream biomedicine is solely due to political forces.[83] According to this definition, alternative and mainstream medicine can only be differentiated with reference to what is “intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society of culture”.[84] However, there is neither a reliable method to distinguish between cultures and subcultures, nor to attribute them as dominant or subordinate, nor any accepted criteria to determine the dominance of a cultural entity.[84] If the culture of a politically dominant healthcare system is held to be equivalent to the perspectives of those charged with the medical management of leading healthcare institutions and programs, the definition fails to recognize the potential for division either within such an elite or between a healthcare elite and the wider population.[84]

Normative definitions distinguish alternative medicine from the biomedical mainstream in its provision of therapies that are unproven, unvalidated, or ineffective and support of theories with no recognized scientific basis. These definitions characterize practices as constituting alternative medicine when, used independently or in place of evidence-based medicine, they are put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but are not based on evidence gathered with the scientific method.[10][12][36][37][67][86] Exemplifying this perspective, a 1998 editorial co-authored by Marcia Angell, a former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, argued that:

It is time for the scientific community to stop giving alternative medicine a free ride. There cannot be two kinds of medicine conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, medicine that works and medicine that may or may not work. Once a treatment has been tested rigorously, it no longer matters whether it was considered alternative at the outset. If it is found to be reasonably safe and effective, it will be accepted. But assertions, speculation, and testimonials do not substitute for evidence. Alternative treatments should be subjected to scientific testing no less rigorous than that required for conventional treatments.[12]

This line of division has been subject to criticism, however, as not all forms of standard medical practice have adequately demonstrated evidence of benefit,[n 4][87] and it is also unlikely in most instances that conventional therapies, if proven to be ineffective, would ever be classified as CAM.[78]

Similarly, the public information website maintained by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of the Commonwealth of Australia uses the acronym “CAM” for a wide range of health care practices, therapies, procedures and devices not within the domain of conventional medicine. In the Australian context this is stated to include acupuncture; aromatherapy; chiropractic; homeopathy; massage; meditation and relaxation therapies; naturopathy; osteopathy; reflexology, traditional Chinese medicine; and the use of vitamin supplements.[89]

The Danish National Board of Health’s “Council for Alternative Medicine” (Sundhedsstyrelsens Rd for Alternativ Behandling (SRAB)), an independent institution under the National Board of Health (Danish: Sundhedsstyrelsen), uses the term “alternative medicine” for:

Proponents of an evidence-base for medicine[n 12][92][93][94][95] such as the Cochrane Collaboration (founded in 1993 and from 2011 providing input for WHO resolutions) take a position that all systematic reviews of treatments, whether “mainstream” or “alternative”, ought to be held to the current standards of scientific method.[96] In a study titled Development and classification of an operational definition of complementary and alternative medicine for the Cochrane Collaboration (2011) it was proposed that indicators that a therapy is accepted include government licensing of practitioners, coverage by health insurance, statements of approval by government agencies, and recommendation as part of a practice guideline; and that if something is currently a standard, accepted therapy, then it is not likely to be widely considered as CAM.[78]

A United States government agency, the National Center on Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), created its own classification system for branches of complementary and alternative medicine that divides them into five major groups. These groups have some overlap, and distinguish two types of energy medicine: veritable which involves scientifically observable energy (including magnet therapy, colorpuncture and light therapy) and putative, which invokes physically undetectable or unverifiable energy.[97]

The NCCIH classification system is –

Alternative medicine consists of a wide range of health care practices, products, and therapies. The shared feature is a claim to heal that is not based on the scientific method. Alternative medicine practices are diverse in their foundations and methodologies.[67] Alternative medicine practices may be classified by their cultural origins or by the types of beliefs upon which they are based.[10][13][20][67] Methods may incorporate or be based on traditional medicinal practices of a particular culture, folk knowledge, superstition, spiritual beliefs, belief in supernatural energies (antiscience), pseudoscience, errors in reasoning, propaganda, fraud, new or different concepts of health and disease, and any bases other than being proven by scientific methods.[10][13][14][20] Different cultures may have their own unique traditional or belief based practices developed recently or over thousands of years, and specific practices or entire systems of practices.

Alternative medicine, such as using naturopathy or homeopathy in place of conventional medicine, is based on belief systems not grounded in science.[67]

Alternative medical systems may be based on traditional medicine practices, such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Ayurveda in India, or practices of other cultures around the world.[67] Some useful applications of traditional medicines have been researched and accepted within ordinary medicine, however the underlying belief systems are seldom scientific and are not accepted.

Bases of belief may include belief in existence of supernatural energies undetected by the science of physics, as in biofields, or in belief in properties of the energies of physics that are inconsistent with the laws of physics, as in energy medicine.[67]

Substance based practices use substances found in nature such as herbs, foods, non-vitamin supplements and megavitamins, animal and fungal products, and minerals, including use of these products in traditional medical practices that may also incorporate other methods.[67][120][121] Examples include healing claims for nonvitamin supplements, fish oil, Omega-3 fatty acid, glucosamine, echinacea, flaxseed oil, and ginseng.[122]Herbal medicine, or phytotherapy, includes not just the use of plant products, but may also include the use of animal and mineral products.[120] It is among the most commercially successful branches of alternative medicine, and includes the tablets, powders and elixirs that are sold as “nutritional supplements”.[120] Only a very small percentage of these have been shown to have any efficacy, and there is little regulation as to standards and safety of their contents.[120] This may include use of known toxic substances, such as use of the poison lead in traditional Chinese medicine.[122]

The history of alternative medicine may refer to the history of a group of diverse medical practices that were collectively promoted as “alternative medicine” beginning in the 1970s, to the collection of individual histories of members of that group, or to the history of western medical practices that were labeled “irregular practices” by the western medical establishment.[13][123][124][125][126] It includes the histories of complementary medicine and of integrative medicine. Before the 1970s, western practitioners that were not part of the increasingly science-based medical establishment were referred to “irregular practitioners”, and were dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific and as practicing quackery.[123][124] Until the 1970’s, irregular practice became increasingly marginalized as quackery and fraud, as western medicine increasingly incorporated scientific methods and discoveries, and had a corresponding increase in success of its treatments.[125] In the 1970s, irregular practices were grouped with traditional practices of nonwestern cultures and with other unproven or disproven practices that were not part of biomedicine, with the entire group collectively marketed and promoted under the single expression “alternative medicine”.[13][123][124][125][127]

Use of alternative medicine in the west began to rise following the counterculture movement of the 1960s, as part of the rising new age movement of the 1970s.[13][128][129] This was due to misleading mass marketing of “alternative medicine” being an effective “alternative” to biomedicine, changing social attitudes about not using chemicals and challenging the establishment and authority of any kind, sensitivity to giving equal measure to beliefs and practices of other cultures (cultural relativism), and growing frustration and desperation by patients about limitations and side effects of science-based medicine.[13][124][125][126][127][129][130] At the same time, in 1975, the American Medical Association, which played the central role in fighting quackery in the United States, abolished its quackery committee and closed down its Department of Investigation.[123]:xxi[130] By the early to mid 1970s the expression “alternative medicine” came into widespread use, and the expression became mass marketed as a collection of “natural” and effective treatment “alternatives” to science-based biomedicine.[13][130][131][132] By 1983, mass marketing of “alternative medicine” was so pervasive that the British Medical Journal (BMJ) pointed to “an apparently endless stream of books, articles, and radio and television programmes urge on the public the virtues of (alternative medicine) treatments ranging from meditation to drilling a hole in the skull to let in more oxygen”.[130] In this 1983 article, the BMJ wrote, “one of the few growth industries in contemporary Britain is alternative medicine”, noting that by 1983, “33% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 39% of those with backache admitted to having consulted an alternative practitioner”.[130]

By about 1990, the American alternative medicine industry had grown to a $27 billion per year, with polls showing 30% of Americans were using it.[129][133] Moreover, polls showed that Americans made more visits for alternative therapies than the total number of visits to primary care doctors, and American out-of-pocket spending (non-insurance spending) on alternative medicine was about equal to spending on biomedical doctors.[123]:172 In 1991, Time magazine ran a cover story, “The New Age of Alternative Medicine: Why New Age Medicine Is Catching On”.[129][133] In 1993, the New England Journal of Medicine reported one in three Americans as using alternative medicine.[129] In 1993, the Public Broadcasting System ran a Bill Moyers special, Healing and the Mind, with Moyers commenting that “…people by the tens of millions are using alternative medicine. If established medicine does not understand that, they are going to lose their clients.”[129]

Another explosive growth began in the 1990s, when senior level political figures began promoting alternative medicine, investing large sums of government medical research funds into testing alternative medicine, including testing of scientifically implausible treatments, and relaxing government regulation of alternative medicine products as compared to biomedical products.[13][123]:xxi[124][125][126][127][134][135] Beginning with a 1991 appropriation of $2 million for funding research of alternative medicine research, federal spending grew to a cumulative total of about $2.5 billion by 2009, with 50% of Americans using alternative medicine by 2013.[136][137]

In 1993, Britain’s Prince Charles, who claimed that homeopathy and other alternative medicine was an effective alternative to biomedicine, established The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health (FIH), as a charity to explore “how safe, proven complementary therapies can work in conjunction with mainstream medicine”.[138] The FIH received government funding through grants from Britain’s Department of Health.[138] In 2008, London’s The Times published a letter from Edzard Ernst that asked the FIH to recall two guides promoting alternative medicine, saying: “the majority of alternative therapies appear to be clinically ineffective, and many are downright dangerous.” In 2010, the FIH closed after allegations of fraud and money laundering led to arrests of its officials.[138]

In 2001, MEDLINE introduced a MeSH term to index scientific publications in alternative medicine.[139][140]

In 2004, modifications of the European Parliament’s 2001 Directive 2001/83/EC, regulating all medicine products, were made with the expectation of influencing development of the European market for alternative medicine products.[141] Regulation of alternative medicine in Europe was loosened with “a simplified registration procedure” for traditional herbal medicinal products.[141][142] Plausible “efficacy” for traditional medicine was redefined to be based on long term popularity and testimonials (“the pharmacological effects or efficacy of the medicinal product are plausible on the basis of long-standing use and experience.”), without scientific testing.[141][142] The Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) was created within the European Medicines Agency in London (EMEA). A special working group was established for homeopathic remedies under the Heads of Medicines Agencies.[141]

Through 2004, alternative medicine that was traditional to Germany continued to be a regular part of the health care system, including homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine.[141] The German Medicines Act mandated that science-based medical authorities consider the “particular characteristics” of complementary and alternative medicines.[141] By 2004, homeopathy had grown to be the most used alternative therapy in France, growing from 16% of the population using homeopathic medicine in 1982, to 29% by 1987, 36% percent by 1992, and 62% of French mothers using homeopathic medicines by 2004, with 95% of French pharmacists advising pregnant women to use homeopathic remedies.[143] As of 2004[update], 100 million people in India depended solely on traditional German homeopathic remedies for their medical care.[144] As of 2010[update], homeopathic remedies continued to be the leading alternative treatment used by European physicians.[143] By 2005, sales of homeopathic remedies and anthroposophical medicine had grown to $930 million Euros, a 60% increase from 1995.[143][145]

Since 2009, according to Art. 118a of the Swiss Federal Constitution, the Swiss Confederation and the Cantons of Switzerland shall within the scope of their powers ensure that consideration is given to complementary medicine.[146]

By 2013, 50% of Americans were using CAM.[137] As of 2013[update], CAM medicinal products in Europe continued to be exempted from documented efficacy standards required of other medicinal products.[147]

Much of what is now categorized as alternative medicine was developed as independent, complete medical systems. These were developed long before biomedicine and use of scientific methods. Each system was developed in relatively isolated regions of the world where there was little or no medical contact with pre-scientific western medicine, or with each other’s systems. Examples are traditional Chinese medicine and the Ayurvedic medicine of India.

Other alternative medicine practices, such as homeopathy, were developed in western Europe and in opposition to western medicine, at a time when western medicine was based on unscientific theories that were dogmatically imposed by western religious authorities. Homeopathy was developed prior to discovery of the basic principles of chemistry, which proved homeopathic remedies contained nothing but water. But homeopathy, with its remedies made of water, was harmless compared to the unscientific and dangerous orthodox western medicine practiced at that time, which included use of toxins and draining of blood, often resulting in permanent disfigurement or death.[124]

Other alternative practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic manipulative medicine were developed in the United States at a time that western medicine was beginning to incorporate scientific methods and theories, but the biomedical model was not yet totally dominant. Practices such as chiropractic and osteopathy, each considered to be irregular practices by the western medical establishment, also opposed each other, both rhetorically and politically with licensing legislation. Osteopathic practitioners added the courses and training of biomedicine to their licensing, and licensed Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine holders began diminishing use of the unscientific origins of the field.

Until the 1970s, western practitioners that were not part of the medical establishment were referred to “irregular practitioners”, and were dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific, as practicing quackery.[124] The Irregular practice became increasingly marginalized as quackery and fraud, as western medicine increasingly incorporated scientific methods and discoveries, and had a corresponding increase in success of its treatments.

Dating from the 1970s, medical professionals, sociologists, anthropologists and other commentators noted the increasing visibility of a wide variety of health practices that had neither derived directly from nor been verified by biomedical science.[148] Since that time, those who have analyzed this trend have deliberated over the most apt language with which to describe this emergent health field.[148] A variety of terms have been used, including heterodox, irregular, fringe and alternative medicine while others, particularly medical commentators, have been satisfied to label them as instances of quackery.[148] The most persistent term has been alternative medicine but its use is problematic as it assumes a value-laden dichotomy between a medical fringe, implicitly of borderline acceptability at best, and a privileged medical orthodoxy, associated with validated medico-scientific norms.[149] The use of the category of alternative medicine has also been criticized as it cannot be studied as an independent entity but must be understood in terms of a regionally and temporally specific medical orthodoxy.[150] Its use can also be misleading as it may erroneously imply that a real medical alternative exists.[151] As with near-synonymous expressions, such as unorthodox, complementary, marginal, or quackery, these linguistic devices have served, in the context of processes of professionalisation and market competition, to establish the authority of official medicine and police the boundary between it and its unconventional rivals.[149]

An early instance of the influence of this modern, or western, scientific medicine outside Europe and North America is Peking Union Medical College.[152][n 14][n 15]

From a historical perspective, the emergence of alternative medicine, if not the term itself, is typically dated to the 19th century.[153] This is despite the fact that there are variants of Western non-conventional medicine that arose in the late-eighteenth century or earlier and some non-Western medical traditions, currently considered alternative in the West and elsewhere, which boast extended historical pedigrees.[149] Alternative medical systems, however, can only be said to exist when there is an identifiable, regularized and authoritative standard medical practice, such as arose in the West during the nineteenth century, to which they can function as an alternative.

During the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries regular and irregular medical practitioners became more clearly differentiated throughout much of Europe and,[155] as the nineteenth century progressed, most Western states converged in the creation of legally delimited and semi-protected medical markets.[156] It is at this point that an “official” medicine, created in cooperation with the state and employing a scientific rhetoric of legitimacy, emerges as a recognizable entity and that the concept of alternative medicine as a historical category becomes tenable.[157]

As part of this process, professional adherents of mainstream medicine in countries such as Germany, France, and Britain increasingly invoked the scientific basis of their discipline as a means of engendering internal professional unity and of external differentiation in the face of sustained market competition from homeopaths, naturopaths, mesmerists and other nonconventional medical practitioners, finally achieving a degree of imperfect dominance through alliance with the state and the passage of regulatory legislation.[149][151] In the US the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, based in Baltimore, Maryland, opened in 1893, with William H. Welch and William Osler among the founding physicians, and was the first medical school devoted to teaching “German scientific medicine”.[158]

Buttressed by increased authority arising from significant advances in the medical sciences of the late 19th century onwards including development and application of the germ theory of disease by the chemist Louis Pasteur and the surgeon Joseph Lister, of microbiology co-founded by Robert Koch (in 1885 appointed professor of hygiene at the University of Berlin), and of the use of X-rays (Rntgen rays)the 1910 Flexner Report called upon American medical schools to follow the model of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and adhere to mainstream science in their teaching and research. This was in a belief, mentioned in the Report’s introduction, that the preliminary and professional training then prevailing in medical schools should be reformed, in view of the new means for diagnosing and combating disease made available by the sciences on which medicine depended.[n 16][160]

Putative medical practices at the time that later became known as “alternative medicine” included homeopathy (founded in Germany in the early 19th century) and chiropractic (founded in North America in the late 19th century). These conflicted in principle with the developments in medical science upon which the Flexner reforms were based, and they have not become compatible with further advances of medical science such as listed in Timeline of medicine and medical technology, 19001999 and 2000present, nor have Ayurveda, acupuncture or other kinds of alternative medicine.[citation needed]

At the same time “tropical medicine” was being developed as a specialist branch of western medicine in research establishments such as Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine founded in 1898 by Alfred Lewis Jones, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, founded in 1899 by Patrick Manson, and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, instituted in 1912. A distinction was being made between western scientific medicine and indigenous systems. An example is given by an official report about indigenous systems of medicine in India, including Ayurveda, submitted by Mohammad Usman of Madras and others in 1923. This stated that the first question the Committee considered was “to decide whether the indigenous systems of medicine were scientific or not”.[161][162]

By the later twentieth century the term “alternative medicine” entered public discourse,[n 17][165] but it was not always being used with the same meaning by all parties. Arnold S. Relman remarked in 1998 that in the best kind of medical practice, all proposed treatments must be tested objectively, and that in the end there will only be treatments that pass and those that do not, those that are proven worthwhile and those that are not. He asked “Can there be any reasonable ‘alternative’?”[166] But also in 1998 the then Surgeon General of the United States, David Satcher,[167] issued public information about eight common alternative treatments (including acupuncture, holistic and massage), together with information about common diseases and conditions, on nutrition, diet, and lifestyle changes, and about helping consumers to decipher fraud and quackery, and to find healthcare centers and doctors who practiced alternative medicine.[168]

By 1990, approximately 60 million Americans had used one or more complementary or alternative therapies to address health issues, according to a nationwide survey in the US published in 1993 by David Eisenberg.[169] A study published in the November 11, 1998 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 42% of Americans had used complementary and alternative therapies, up from 34% in 1990.[170] However, despite the growth in patient demand for complementary medicine, most of the early alternative/complementary medical centers failed.[171]

Mainly as a result of reforms following the Flexner Report of 1910[172]medical education in established medical schools in the US has generally not included alternative medicine as a teaching topic.[n 18] Typically, their teaching is based on current practice and scientific knowledge about: anatomy, physiology, histology, embryology, neuroanatomy, pathology, pharmacology, microbiology and immunology.[174] Medical schools’ teaching includes such topics as doctor-patient communication, ethics, the art of medicine,[175] and engaging in complex clinical reasoning (medical decision-making).[176] Writing in 2002, Snyderman and Weil remarked that by the early twentieth century the Flexner model had helped to create the 20th-century academic health center, in which education, research, and practice were inseparable. While this had much improved medical practice by defining with increasing certainty the pathophysiological basis of disease, a single-minded focus on the pathophysiological had diverted much of mainstream American medicine from clinical conditions that were not well understood in mechanistic terms, and were not effectively treated by conventional therapies.[177]

By 2001 some form of CAM training was being offered by at least 75 out of 125 medical schools in the US.[178] Exceptionally, the School of Medicine of the University of Maryland, Baltimore includes a research institute for integrative medicine (a member entity of the Cochrane Collaboration).[96][179] Medical schools are responsible for conferring medical degrees, but a physician typically may not legally practice medicine until licensed by the local government authority. Licensed physicians in the US who have attended one of the established medical schools there have usually graduated Doctor of Medicine (MD).[180] All states require that applicants for MD licensure be graduates of an approved medical school and complete the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).[180]

The British Medical Association, in its publication Complementary Medicine, New Approach to Good Practice (1993), gave as a working definition of non-conventional therapies (including acupuncture, chiropractic and homeopathy): “…those forms of treatment which are not widely used by the orthodox health-care professions, and the skills of which are not part of the undergraduate curriculum of orthodox medical and paramedical health-care courses.” By 2000 some medical schools in the UK were offering CAM familiarisation courses to undergraduate medical students while some were also offering modules specifically on CAM.[182]

In 1991, pointing to a need for testing because of the widespread use of alternative medicine without authoritative information on its efficacy, United States Senator Tom Harkin used $2 million of his discretionary funds to create the Office for the Study of Unconventional Medical Practices (OSUMP), later renamed to be the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM).[123]:170[183][184] The OAM was created to be within the National Institute of Health (NIH), the scientifically prestigious primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research.[123]:170[183][184] The mandate was to investigate, evaluate, and validate effective alternative medicine treatments, and alert the public as the results of testing its efficacy.[133][183][184][185]

Sen. Harkin had become convinced his allergies were cured by taking bee pollen pills, and was urged to make the spending by two of his influential constituents.[133][183][184] Bedell, a longtime friend of Sen. Harkin, was a former member of the United States House of Representatives who believed that alternative medicine had twice cured him of diseases after mainstream medicine had failed, claiming that cow’s milk colostrum cured his Lyme disease, and an herbal derivative from camphor had prevented post surgical recurrence of his prostate cancer.[123][133] Wiewel was a promoter of unproven cancer treatments involving a mixture of blood sera that the Food and Drug Administration had banned from being imported.[133] Both Bedell and Wiewel became members of the advisory panel for the OAM. The company that sold the bee pollen was later fined by the Federal Trade Commission for making false health claims about their bee-pollen products reversing the aging process, curing allergies, and helping with weight loss.[186]

In 1994, Sen. Harkin (D) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R) introduced the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).[187][188] The act reduced authority of the FDA to monitor products sold as “natural” treatments.[187] Labeling standards were reduced to allow health claims for supplements based only on unconfirmed preliminary studies that were not subjected to scientific peer review, and the act made it more difficult for the FDA to promptly seize products or demand proof of safety where there was evidence of a product being dangerous.[188] The Act became known as “The 1993 Snake Oil Protection Act” following a New York Times editorial under that name.[187]

Senator Harkin complained about the “unbendable rules of randomized clinical trials”, citing his use of bee pollen to treat his allergies, which he claimed to be effective even though it was biologically implausible and efficacy was not established using scientific methods.[183][189] Sen. Harkin asserted that claims for alternative medicine efficacy be allowed not only without conventional scientific testing, even when they are biologically implausible, “It is not necessary for the scientific community to understand the process before the American public can benefit from these therapies.”[187] Following passage of the act, sales rose from about $4 billion in 1994, to $20 billion by the end of 2000, at the same time as evidence of their lack of efficacy or harmful effects grew.[187] Senator Harkin came into open public conflict with the first OAM Director Joseph M. Jacobs and OAM board members from the scientific and biomedical community.[184] Jacobs’ insistence on rigorous scientific methodology caused friction with Senator Harkin.[183][189][190] Increasing political resistance to the use of scientific methodology was publicly criticized by Dr. Jacobs and another OAM board member complained that “nonsense has trickled down to every aspect of this office…It’s the only place where opinions are counted as equal to data.”[183][189] In 1994, Senator Harkin appeared on television with cancer patients who blamed Dr. Jacobs for blocking their access to untested cancer treatment, leading Jacobs to resign in frustration.[183][189]

In 1995, Wayne Jonas, a promoter of homeopathy and political ally of Senator Harkin, became the director of the OAM, and continued in that role until 1999.[191] In 1997, the NCCAM budget was increased from $12 million to $20 million annually.[192] From 1990 to 1997, use of alternative medicine in the US increased by 25%, with a corresponding 50% increase in expenditures.[170] The OAM drew increasing criticism from eminent members of the scientific community with letters to the Senate Appropriations Committee when discussion of renewal of funding OAM came up.[123]:175 Nobel laureate Paul Berg wrote that prestigious NIH should not be degraded to act as a cover for quackery, calling the OAM “an embarrassment to serious scientists.”[123]:175[192] The president of the American Physical Society wrote complaining that the government was spending money on testing products and practices that “violate basic laws of physics and more clearly resemble witchcraft”.[123]:175[192] In 1998, the President of the North Carolina Medical Association publicly called for shutting down the OAM.[193]

In 1998, NIH director and Nobel laureate Harold Varmus came into conflict with Senator Harkin by pushing to have more NIH control of alternative medicine research.[194] The NIH Director placed the OAM under more strict scientific NIH control.[192][194] Senator Harkin responded by elevating OAM into an independent NIH “center”, just short of being its own “institute”, and renamed to be the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). NCCAM had a mandate to promote a more rigorous and scientific approach to the study of alternative medicine, research training and career development, outreach, and “integration”. In 1999, the NCCAM budget was increased from $20 million to $50 million.[193][194] The United States Congress approved the appropriations without dissent. In 2000, the budget was increased to about $68 million, in 2001 to $90 million, in 2002 to $104 million, and in 2003, to $113 million.[193]

In 2009, after a history of 17 years of government testing and spending of nearly $2.5 billion on research had produced almost no clearly proven efficacy of alternative therapies, Senator Harkin complained, “One of the purposes of this center was to investigate and validate alternative approaches. Quite frankly, I must say publicly that it has fallen short. It think quite frankly that in this center and in the office previously before it, most of its focus has been on disproving things rather than seeking out and approving.”[194][195][196] Members of the scientific community criticized this comment as showing Senator Harkin did not understand the basics of scientific inquiry, which tests hypotheses, but never intentionally attempts to “validate approaches”.[194] Members of the scientific and biomedical communities complained that after a history of 17 years of being tested, at a cost of over $2.5 Billion on testing scientifically and biologically implausible practices, almost no alternative therapy showed clear efficacy.[136] In 2009, the NCCAM’s budget was increased to about $122 million.[194] Overall NIH funding for CAM research increased to $300 Million by 2009.[194] By 2009, Americans were spending $34 Billion annually on CAM.[197]

In 2012, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a criticism that study after study had been funded by NCCAM, but “failed to prove that complementary or alternative therapies are anything more than placebos”.[198] The JAMA criticism pointed to large wasting of research money on testing scientifically implausible treatments, citing “NCCAM officials spending $374,000 to find that inhaling lemon and lavender scents does not promote wound healing; $750,000 to find that prayer does not cure AIDS or hasten recovery from breast-reconstruction surgery; $390,000 to find that ancient Indian remedies do not control type 2 diabetes; $700,000 to find that magnets do not treat arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or migraine headaches; and $406,000 to find that coffee enemas do not cure pancreatic cancer.”[198] It was pointed out that negative results from testing were generally ignored by the public, that people continue to “believe what they want to believe, arguing that it does not matter what the data show: They know what works for them”.[198] Continued increasing use of CAM products was also blamed on the lack of FDA ability to regulate alternative products, where negative studies do not result in FDA warnings or FDA-mandated changes on labeling, whereby few consumers are aware that many claims of many supplements were found not to have not to be supported.[198]

In 2014 the NCCAM was renamed to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) with a new charter requiring that 12 of the 18 council members shall be selected with a preference to selecting leading representatives of complementary and alternative medicine, 9 of the members must be licensed practitioners of alternative medicine, six members must be general public leaders in the fields of public policy, law, health policy, economics, and management, and 3 members must represent the interests of individual consumers of complementary and alternative medicine.[199]

There is a general scientific consensus that Alternative Therapies lack the requisite scientific validation, and their effectiveness is either unproved or disproved.[10][13][200][201] Many of the claims regarding the efficacy of alternative medicines are controversial, since research on them is frequently of low quality and methodologically flawed.Selective publication bias, marked differences in product quality and standardisation, and some companies making unsubstantiated claims, call into question the claims of efficacy of isolated examples where there is evidence for alternative therapies.[203]

The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine points to confusions in the general population a person may attribute symptomatic relief to an otherwise-ineffective therapy just because they are taking something (the placebo effect); the natural recovery from or the cyclical nature of an illness (the regression fallacy) gets misattributed to an alternative medicine being taken; a person not diagnosed with science-based medicine may never originally have had a true illness diagnosed as an alternative disease category.[204]

Edzard Ernst characterized the evidence for many alternative techniques as weak, nonexistent, or negative[205] and in 2011 published his estimate that about 7.4% were based on “sound evidence”, although he believes that may be an overestimate.[206] Ernst has concluded that 95% of the alternative treatments he and his team studied, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and reflexology, are “statistically indistinguishable from placebo treatments”, but he also believes there is something that conventional doctors can usefully learn from the chiropractors and homeopath: this is the therapeutic value of the placebo effect, one of the strangest phenomena in medicine.[207][208]

In 2003, a project funded by the CDC identified 208 condition-treatment pairs, of which 58% had been studied by at least one randomized controlled trial (RCT), and 23% had been assessed with a meta-analysis.[209] According to a 2005 book by a US Institute of Medicine panel, the number of RCTs focused on CAM has risen dramatically.

As of 2005[update], the Cochrane Library had 145 CAM-related Cochrane systematic reviews and 340 non-Cochrane systematic reviews. An analysis of the conclusions of only the 145 Cochrane reviews was done by two readers. In 83% of the cases, the readers agreed. In the 17% in which they disagreed, a third reader agreed with one of the initial readers to set a rating. These studies found that, for CAM, 38.4% concluded positive effect or possibly positive (12.4%), 4.8% concluded no effect, 0.7% concluded harmful effect, and 56.6% concluded insufficient evidence. An assessment of conventional treatments found that 41.3% concluded positive or possibly positive effect, 20% concluded no effect, 8.1% concluded net harmful effects, and 21.3% concluded insufficient evidence. However, the CAM review used the more developed 2004 Cochrane database, while the conventional review used the initial 1998 Cochrane database.

In the same way as for conventional therapies, drugs, and interventions, it can be difficult to test the efficacy of alternative medicine in clinical trials. In instances where an established, effective, treatment for a condition is already available, the Helsinki Declaration states that withholding such treatment is unethical in most circumstances. Use of standard-of-care treatment in addition to an alternative technique being tested may produce confounded or difficult-to-interpret results.[211]

Cancer researcher Andrew J. Vickers has stated:

Contrary to much popular and scientific writing, many alternative cancer treatments have been investigated in good-quality clinical trials, and they have been shown to be ineffective. The label “unproven” is inappropriate for such therapies; it is time to assert that many alternative cancer therapies have been “disproven”.[212]

“CAM”, meaning “complementary and alternative medicine”, is not as well researched as conventional medicine, which undergoes intense research before release to the public.[213] Funding for research is also sparse making it difficult to do further research for effectiveness of CAM.[214] Most funding for CAM is funded by government agencies.[213] Proposed research for CAM are rejected by most private funding agencies because the results of research are not reliable.[213] The research for CAM has to meet certain standards from research ethics committees, which most CAM researchers find almost impossible to meet.[213] Even with the little research done on it, CAM has not been proven to be effective.[215]

Steven Novella, a neurologist at Yale School of Medicine, wrote that government funded studies of integrating alternative medicine techniques into the mainstream are “used to lend an appearance of legitimacy to treatments that are not legitimate.”[216] Marcia Angell considered that critics felt that healthcare practices should be classified based solely on scientific evidence, and if a treatment had been rigorously tested and found safe and effective, science-based medicine will adopt it regardless of whether it was considered “alternative” to begin with.[12] It is possible for a method to change categories (proven vs. unproven), based on increased knowledge of its effectiveness or lack thereof. A prominent supporter of this position is George D. Lundberg, former editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).[53]

Writing in 1999 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians Barrie R. Cassileth mentioned a 1997 letter to the US Senate Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety, which had deplored the lack of critical thinking and scientific rigor in OAM-supported research, had been signed by four Nobel Laureates and other prominent scientists. (This was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).)[217]

In March 2009 a staff writer for the Washington Post reported that the impending national discussion about broadening access to health care, improving medical practice and saving money was giving a group of scientists an opening to propose shutting down the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. They quoted one of these scientists, Steven Salzberg, a genome researcher and computational biologist at the University of Maryland, as saying “One of our concerns is that NIH is funding pseudoscience.” They noted that the vast majority of studies were based on fundamental misunderstandings of physiology and disease, and had shown little or no effect.[216]

Writers such as Carl Sagan, a noted astrophysicist, advocate of scientific skepticism and the author of The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1996), have lambasted the lack of empirical evidence to support the existence of the putative energy fields on which these therapies are predicated.

Sampson has also pointed out that CAM tolerated contradiction without thorough reason and experiment.[218] Barrett has pointed out that there is a policy at the NIH of never saying something doesn’t work only that a different version or dose might give different results.[136] Barrett also expressed concern that, just because some “alternatives” have merit, there is the impression that the rest deserve equal consideration and respect even though most are worthless, since they are all classified under the one heading of alternative medicine.[219]

Some critics of alternative medicine are focused upon health fraud, misinformation, and quackery as public health problems, notably Wallace Sampson and Paul Kurtz founders of Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and Stephen Barrett, co-founder of The National Council Against Health Fraud and webmaster of Quackwatch.[220] Grounds for opposing alternative medicine include that:

Many alternative medical treatments are not patentable,[citation needed], which may lead to less research funding from the private sector. In addition, in most countries, alternative treatments (in contrast to pharmaceuticals) can be marketed without any proof of efficacy also a disincentive for manufacturers to fund scientific research.[227]

English evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in his 2003 book A Devil’s Chaplain, defined alternative medicine as a “set of practices that cannot be tested, refuse to be tested, or consistently fail tests.”[228] Dawkins argued that if a technique is demonstrated effective in properly performed trials then it ceases to be alternative and simply becomes medicine.[229]

CAM is also often less regulated than conventional medicine.[213] There are ethical concerns about whether people who perform CAM have the proper knowledge to treat patients.[213] CAM is often done by non-physicians who do not operate with the same medical licensing laws which govern conventional medicine,[213] and it is often described as an issue of non-maleficence.[230]

Read more:

Alternative medicine – Wikipedia

Traditional & Alternative Medicine

Glimpses of Traditional Medicine 2016

Track 1:Traditional Medicine Today: Clinical and Research Issues

These are naturally occurringplant derived substances with minimal or no industrial processing that have been used to treat illness.Traditionalherbalmedicinesare getting significant attention in gworld health debates. In China, herbal medicine played a prominent role in the strategy to contain and treat SARS. 80% of African populations use some form oftraditional herbal medicine.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 2:Challenges and Future Directions of Traditional Medicine

Approximately 80% of people today depend uponherbal medicinesas a component of their primary healthcare according to the WHO, there is still great concern about the safety and efficacy of herbal use. While herbal medicines can potentially contribute to the advancements ofhealthcaresystem, many major challenges must be overcome prior to the successful integration of herbal remedies into mainstream medicines. One of the major barriers is the current lack of accurate translations andinterpretations of TraditionalChinese herbaltexts and research by Western scientists.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 3:Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicinesare one type of dietary supplement. They are sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts, and fresh or dry plants. People use herbal medicines to try to maintain or improve their health.Herbis a plant part or plant used for its flavor, scent or therapeutic properties forherbal remedies.

Many people believe that products labeled “natural” are always good and safe for them. This is not necessarily true.Herbal medicinesdo not have to go through the testing that drugs do. Some herbs, such as ephedra and comfrey, can cause serious harm. Some herbs can interact with prescription orover-the-counter medicines.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 4:Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicineis a healing system developed in China more than 2,200 years ago, incorporating therapies that are in some cases. One of its guiding principle is to dispel evil and support the good. In addition to treatingillness,Traditional Chinese Medicinefocus on strengthening the body’s defenses and enhancing its capacity forhealingherbsand to maintain health.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 5:Acupuncture

Acupunctureis a form ofTraditional Chinese Medicinethat has been practiced for centuries. It’s based on the theory that energy, called chi, flows through around your body along pathways called meridians Acupuncturists believe that illness occurs when something block or unbalance your chi. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence chi and help it flow back into balanceAcupunctureis putting thin needles into your skin at certain points on your body. This is done to influence the energy . sometimes heat, pressure, or mild electrical current is used along with needles.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 6:Alternative Medicine & Treatment Methods

Complementary andalternative medicineis also known as CAM.Complementary and alternative medicinetries to prevent and treat different conditions with the following techniques:Healing touch Energy Herbal medicines ManyComplementary and alternative medicine therapieshave been around for centuries. But do they really work..?

There is research to show that someComplementary and alternative medicine techniquescan help with problems like pain and nausea. But othertherapiesdon’t have enough medical evidence to decide if they are effective.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 7:Ayurveda

According toAyurvedichypothesis, everything in the universe living or not is connected. Good health is achieved when your body, mind, spirit are in harmony with the universe. A disruption of this harmony can lead to poor health and illness.

Anything that affects your physical, spiritual, or emotional well-being can cause you to be out of balance with the universe. Some things that can cause a disturbance include:

Genetic birth defects

Injuries

Climate and seasonal changes

Emotions

Age

How your body works to keep you healthy and your unique physical and psychological characteristics combine to form your body’s constitution, or prakriti. prakriti is believed to stay the same for your entire life. but, how you digest food & eliminate waste can influence it.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 8:ArabicMedicineandUnani Medicine

HijamaCuppingby the Muslims is the application of suction cups to the skin to draw out stagnant, congested blood and Vital Force, as well as stagnant or morbid humors. By using different methods of cupping and new trends usually, theHijama cupsare made of glass, but they can also be made of bamboo, bone, horn or metal. The classical method for generating suction in the cup is to use fire to consume the air within it.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Track 9:Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathicmedicines, and treatment are a distinct primary healthcare profession emphasizing prevention, treatment & optimal health care through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals inherent selfhealingplantsprocess. Thepractice of naturopathic medicinesincludesevidence basednaturopathicmedicines, modern and scientific,traditional, naturopathic treatments and practicesand empirical methods.

Related Conferences:Naturopathic Physicians&Acupuncturists ConferenceJuly 24-26, 2017 Melbourne, Australia;5thInternational Conference andExpo on AcupunctureandOriental Medicine ConferenceIllinois, Chicago, USA;2ndInternational Conference andExpo on Holistic Medicineand Nursing August 14-15, 2017Toronto, Canada;8thInternational Conference on Natural &Alternative Medicine ConferenceSeptember 25-27, 2017 Dubai, UAE; 7thInternational Conference andExhibition on Traditional Medicine&Alternative MedicineOctober 24-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE; The 2ndEthnomedicineandTraditional Medicine conference(CETM) June 1-3, 2016, Nanjing, China; (AACMAC) 2016-AustralasianAcupuncturetherapyandChinese Medicine Annual Conference20-22 May 2016, Perth, Australia; (ICNM) InternationalCongress onNaturopathicMedicineJuly 1-3, Barcelona, Spain; 10thAustralianHomeopathicMedicine Conference, October 22-23, 2016 Brisbane, Australia;Society the Individual and Medicine,FloridaHerbalConference, February 26-28 2016 Florida, USA,Australian Traditional Medicine Association(ATMS) events,European Herbal conference&Traditional Medicine Practitioners AssociationNational Association,American Medical Association,Australian Natural Therapists Association(ANTA),World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014 to 2023: The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 20142023 was developed and launched in response to the WH Assembly resolution on traditional medicine. The strategy aims to support Members States in developing proactive policies and implementing action plans that will strengthen the role traditional medicines plays in keeping populations healthy.

Addressing the challenges, responding to the needs identified by Member States & building on the work done under the World Health Organization traditional medicine strategy: 2002 to 2005, the updated strategy for the period 2014 to 2023 devotes more attention than its predecessor to prioritizing health services and systems, including traditional & complementary medicine products, practices and practitioners.

Importance & Scope: Currently the total global market of Herbal Products & Medicinal Plants is US$ 60 billion with a double digit growth. The diversified use of plant obtained products and its acceptance worldwide made the sector very promising one. As per the World Bank Report 1998, world trade in medicinal plants and related products is expected to be US$ 5 trillion by 2050.

Funding:As attention & public funding for international traditional and herbal medicine researchcollaborations grows, more detailed analysis of ethical matters in this research is warranted. Scant literature has addressed selected issues such as informed consent & independent review associated totraditional and herbal medicine research.6,7 Here we apply a practical, comprehensive & widely accepted ethical framework tointernational traditional and herbal medicine research. We examine in detail difficult questions related to social value, scientific validity and favourable risk benefit ratio. We conclude with implications for upcoming research in this field, focusing on the importance of collaborative partnership.

Funding NIH

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Budget Mechanism $127,930 (Dollars in Thousands)

Major countries of Herbal Market:The largest global markets for medicinal and aromatic plants are Netherlands, China, Italy, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, UK and the USA.

It is estimated that Europe alone annually imports about 400,000 tonnes ofmedicinal plants with an average market valueof US$ 1 billion from Africa and Asia.

Japan:has the highest per capita consumption ofbotanical medicine in the world.Botanical medicine market in Japanin 1996 was estimated at US $ 2.4 billion and sales have grown rapidly in recent years.

China:china’s total output of medicinal plantsfrom both cultivated and wild harvested sources is 1.6 million tones. The total value of the finished TCM in 1996 was US$ 3.7 billion. This estimate excludes domestic consumption, the inclusion of which would result in a far higher figure. Overall sale ofbotanical medicine products in Chinain 1995 was estimated at US$ 5 billion.

Studies suggest that approximately 20% of people in theUnited States use herbal supplements, and the amount of money spent on these products exceed $4.2 billion per year.

UK:TheUK imports up to 90% of its medicinal herb requirement. The current total market is 139 million euro.

India:is a major exporter ofraw medicinal and aromatic plantsand processed plant-based drugs. Exports ofcrude drugs & essential oilfrom India in 1994-95 were valued at US$ 66,469 million. Important crude drugs included Plantogo ovata (psyllium), Panax spp. (ginseng), Cassia spp. (senna) and Catheranthus rosesus (rosy periwinkle). Essential oils included santalum album (sandlewood), Mentha arvensis (peppermint) and Cymbopogon flexuosus (lemongrass). Seventy percent of total exports from India are sent to six countries. France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. Other major importers are Bangladesh, Pakistan and Spain.

Why Amsterdam, Netherlands:Herbal/traditional products are quite popular in the Netherlands due to their longstanding presence in the marketplace. Herbal/traditional products are mainly present in cough, cold and allergy (hay fever) remedies. Strong brands such as Anta Flu and Dampo have boosted the popularity of herbal/traditional products in this category. Consumers are tending to seek more natural and established solutions for their health problems. Most herbal/traditional products are based on very old recipes that have been handed down through the generations. Herbal/traditional products tend to be easily accessible and cheaper alternatives to standard pharmaceutical products.

Conference Highlights:

Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture

Traditional Medicine Today: Clinical and Research Issues

Alternative Medicine & Treatment Methods

Ayurveda

Arabic & Unani Medicine

Challenges and Future Directions of Traditional Medicine

Naturopathic Medicine

Major Traditional Medicine Associations and societies around the Globe:

Australian Traditional Medicine Association ATMS

Bringing science and development together through original news and analysis

European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association National Association

American Medical Association

Society the Individual and Medicine

Dimensions of Culture

Native American Legends

Australian Natural Therapists Association ANTA

World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Future Projection:Although approximately 80 percent of people today depend upon herbal medication as a component of their primary healthcare according to the World Health Organization, there is still great concern about the safety and efficacy of herbal use [1]. While herbal medicine can potentially contribute to the advancement of healthcare, many major challenges must be overcome prior to the successful integration of herbal remedies into mainstream medicine. One of the major barriers is the current lack of accurate translations and interpretations of Chinese herbal texts and research by Western scientists. Indeed, for the incorporation of safe and effective herbs into the medical system to become a reality, more researchers and doctors need to be trained in both modern medicine and herbal compendium that has been accumulated since ancient times. Additionally, to establish credibility for herbal use in the modern settings, experience-based claims from Chinese herbal medical doctors must be transformed into evidence-based claims. Finally, the question of how to address the need for both individualizing (the basis of TCM) and standardizing (the basis of modern pharmacology) treatment with herbs must be settled. Once these issues are resolved, the prospect exists for widespread use of herbal medicine as a safe, effective, and affordable form of healthcare .

The number of patients seeking alternate and herbal therapy is growing exponentially. Herbal medicines are the synthesis of therapeutic experiences of generations of practicing physicians of indigenous systems of medicine for over hundreds of years. Herbal medicines are now in great demand in the developing world for primary health care not because they are inexpensive but also for better cultural acceptability, better compatibility with the human body and minimal side effects. However, recent findings indicate that all herbal medicines may not be safe as severe consequences are reported for some herbal drugs. Most herbal products on the market today have not been subjected to drug approval process to demonstrate their safety and effectiveness. Thousand years of traditional use can provide us with valuable guidelines to the selection, preparation and application of herbal formulation. To be accepted as viable alternative to modern medicine, the same vigorous method of scientific and clinical validation must be applied to prove the safety and effectiveness of a therapeutical product. In the present review we attempted to describe the present scenario and project the future of herbal medicine.

Traditional Medicine 2016

The6thInternational Conference and Exhibition on Traditional & Alternative Medicineconference: (Traditional Medicine 2016) was held on September 14- 16, 2016 at the Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This conference brought together an interdisciplinary group of professionals working in the field of Traditional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. The tone of the main conference was set during the opening remarks byPhilippe A Souvestre, NeuroKinetics Health Services, Inc., Canada&Phyllis L MacIntyre, Dickinson University, Canada. Throughout the conference, more than 30 experts in the field shared their knowledge with the 300 attendees of the conference.

The highlights of the meeting were the enlightening keynote lectures from:

Joshua Dunsky, Dunsky Rehabilitation and Spine Center, USA

MeLisa Gantt, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany

Lorne J Hofseth, University of South Carolina, USA

Rebecca Fung, University of East-West Medicine, USA

Philippe A Souvestre, NeuroKinetics Health Services, Inc., Canada

Phyllis L MacIntyre, Dickinson University, Canada

Ahmet Uyar, Yuzuncu Yil University, Turkey

Wen-Long Hu, KCGMH & Chang Gung University College of Medicine

Wendy Wong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Domenico V Delfino,University of Perugia, Italy

Attendee Statistics

The conference was well-attended with 300individuals attending the main conference. The majority of participants came from Europe. Please refer to the chart on the right for a breakdown of main conference attendees by continent. We also welcomed international delegates from China, New Zealand, India and from all across the United States of America.

The conference was highly interprofessional in nature with more than 30 professions represented. Major professional groups included: Traditional Medicine researchers, Practioners, Herbalists, Acupuncturists, Homeopathic Practioners, Professors, Directors, Young researchers

We are also obliged to various delegate experts, company representatives and other eminent personalities who supported the conference by facilitating active discussion forums. We sincerely thank the Organizing Committee Members for their gracious presence, support and assistance towards the success of Traditional Medicine 2016. With the unique feedbacks from the conference, Conference Series LLC would like to announce the commencement of the 7thInternational Conference and Exhibition on Traditional & Alternative Medicine to be held during October 03-06, 2017, in Dubai, UAE.

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Traditional & Alternative Medicine

Natural and Alternative Medicine! Homeopathy, Ayurveda …

Everyone wants to have clear, flawless and glowing skin. Acne or zits are like nightmares in an individual’s life as they often leave unsightly scars behind. Thus, one is prepared to go to great lengths in trying to stop those pimples from cropping up.

However Acne is a systemic problem and local applications alone will never do the trick!

Read More…

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Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine News from …

This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/categories/complementary_medicine

Visit http://www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.

2017 Healthline Media UK Ltd. All rights reserved. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

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Herbalism – Wikipedia

Herbalism (also herbal medicine or phytotherapy) is the study of botany and use of plants intended for medicinal purposes or for supplementing a diet. Plants have been the basis for medical treatments through much of human history, and such traditional medicine is still widely practiced today. Modern medicine recognizes herbalism as a form of alternative medicine, as the practice of herbalism is not strictly based on evidence gathered using the scientific method. Modern medicine makes use of many plant-derived compounds as the basis for evidence-based pharmaceutical drugs. Although phytotherapy may apply modern standards of effectiveness testing to herbs and medicines derived from natural sources, few high-quality clinical trials and standards for purity or dosage exist. The scope of herbal medicine is sometimes extended to include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and certain animal parts.

As terms referring to medicinal or dietary practices of using botanical products, herbalism, herbal medicine or phytotherapy are used interchangeably in many countries, including Canada,[1] Norway,[2] the United Kingdom,[3] other countries in Europe and South America,[4][5][6] South Africa,[7] and the United States.[8]

General practices include ancient methods of traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Practitioners of herbalism or phytotherapy are referred to as herbalists or phytotherapists.[1][7] Products used in herbalism may be called herbal medicines, botanicals, natural health products, herbal remedies, herbal supplements, or phytotherapies.[4][5][8][9]

Archaeological evidence indicates that the use of medicinal plants dates back to the Paleolithic age, approximately 60,000 years ago. Written evidence of herbal remedies dates back over 5,000 years, to the Sumerians, who compiled lists of plants. A number of ancient cultures wrote about plants and their medical uses in books called herbals. In ancient Egypt, herbs are mentioned in Egyptian medical papyri, depicted in tomb illustrations, or on rare occasions found in medical jars containing trace amounts of herbs.[10] Among the oldest, lengthiest, and most important medical papyri of ancient Egypt, the Ebers Papyrus dates from about 1550 BC, and covers more than 700 drugs, mainly of plant origin.[11] The earliest known Greek herbals come from Theophrastus of Eresos who in the 4th c. B.C. wrote in Greek Historia Plantarum, from Diocles of Carystus who wrote during the 3rd century B.C, and from Krateuas who wrote in the 1st century B.C. Only a few fragments of these works have survived intact, but from what remains scholars have noted a large amount of overlap with the Egyptian herbals.[12] Seeds likely used for herbalism have been found in archaeological sites of Bronze Age China dating from the Shang Dynasty[13] (c. 1600 BCc. 1046 BC). Over a hundred of the 224 drugs mentioned in the Huangdi Neijing, an early Chinese medical text, are herbs.[14] Herbs also commonly featured in the medicine of ancient India, where the principal treatment for diseases was diet.[15]De Materia Medica, originally written in Greek by Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40 90 AD) of Anazarbus, Cilicia, a Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist, is a particularly important example of herbal writing; it dominated for some 1500 years until the 1600s.[16]

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care.[17] Pharmaceuticals are prohibitively expensive for most of the world’s population, half of whom lived on less than $2 U.S. per day in 2002.[18] In comparison, herbal medicines can be grown from seed or gathered from nature for little or no cost.

Many of the pharmaceuticals currently available to physicians have a long history of use as herbal remedies, including opium, aspirin, digitalis, and quinine. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 25% of modern drugs used in the United States have been derived from plants.[19] At least 7,000 medical compounds in the modern pharmacopoeia are derived from plants.[20] Among the 120 active compounds currently isolated from the higher plants and widely used in modern medicine today, 80% show a positive correlation between their modern therapeutic use and the traditional use of the plants from which they are derived.[21]

In a 2010 global survey of the most common 1000 plant-derived compounds, only 156 had clinical trials published. Preclinical studies (cell culture and animal studies) were reported for about one-half of the plant products, while 12% of the plants, although available in the Western market, had “no substantial studies” of their properties. Strong evidence was found that 5 were toxic or allergenic, so that their use ought to be discouraged or forbidden. Nine plants with evidence of therapeutic effect included Althaea officinalis, Calendula officinalis, Centella asiatica, Echinacea purpurea, Passiflora incarnata, Punica granatum, Vaccinium macrocarpon, Vaccinium myrtillus, and Valeriana officinalis.[22]

In 2015, the Australian Government’s Department of Health published the results of a review of alternative therapies that sought to determine if any were suitable for being covered by health insurance; Herbalism was one of 17 topics evaluated for which no clear evidence of effectiveness was found.[23]

According to Cancer Research UK, “there is currently no strong evidence from studies in people that herbal remedies can treat, prevent or cure cancer”.[24]

Establishing guidelines to assess safety and efficacy of herbal products, the European Medicines Agency provides criteria for evaluating and grading the quality of clinical research in preparing monographs about herbal products.[25]

In the United States, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health funds clinical trials on herbal compounds, provides fact sheets evaluating the safety, potential effectiveness and side effects of many plant sources,[26] and maintains a registry of clinical research conducted on herbal products.[27]

The use of herbal remedies is more prevalent in patients with chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, asthma and end-stage renal disease.[28][29][30] Multiple factors such as gender, age, ethnicity, education and social class are also shown to have association with prevalence of herbal remedies use.[31]

A survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health focused on who used complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), what was used, and why it was used. The survey was limited to adults, aged 18 years and over during 2002, living in the United States. According to this survey, herbal therapy, or use of natural products other than vitamins and minerals, was the most commonly used CAM therapy (18.9%) when all use of prayer was excluded.[32][33]

Herbal remedies are very common in Europe. In Germany, herbal medications are dispensed by apothecaries (e.g., Apotheke). Prescription drugs are sold alongside essential oils, herbal extracts, or herbal teas. Herbal remedies are seen by some as a treatment to be preferred to pure medical compounds that have been industrially produced.[34]

In India the herbal remedy is so popular that the government of India has created a separate departmentAYUSHunder the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The National Medicinal Plants Board was also established in 2000 by the Indian government in order to deal with the herbal medical system.[35]

There are many forms in which herbs can be administered, the most common of which is in the form of a liquid that is drunk by the patienteither an herbal tea or a (possibly diluted) plant extract.[36]

Several methods of standardization may be determining the amount of herbs used. One is the ratio of raw materials to solvent. However different specimens of even the same plant species may vary in chemical content. For this reason, thin layer chromatography is sometimes used by growers to assess the content of their products before use. Another method is standardization on a signal chemical.[37]

Herbal teas, or tisanes, are the resultant liquid of extracting herbs into water, though they are made in a few different ways. Infusions are hot water extracts of herbs, such as chamomile or mint, through steeping. Decoctions are the long-term boiled extracts, usually of harder substances like roots or bark. Maceration is the old infusion of plants with high mucilage-content, such as sage, thyme, etc. To make macerates, plants are chopped and added to cold water. They are then left to stand for 7 to 12 hours (depending on herb used). For most macerates 10 hours is used.[38]

Tinctures are alcoholic extracts of herbs, which are generally stronger than herbal teas.[39] Tinctures are usually obtained by combining 100% pure ethanol (or a mixture of 100% ethanol with water) with the herb. A completed tincture has an ethanol percentage of at least 25% (sometimes up to 90%).[38] Herbal wine and elixirs are alcoholic extract of herbs, usually with an ethanol percentage of 1238%.[38]Extracts include liquid extracts, dry extracts, and nebulisates. Liquid extracts are liquids with a lower ethanol percentage than tinctures. They are usually made by vacuum distilling tinctures. Dry extracts are extracts of plant material that are evaporated into a dry mass. They can then be further refined to a capsule or tablet.[38]

The exact composition of an herbal product is influenced by the method of extraction. A tea will be rich in polar components because water is a polar solvent. Oil on the other hand is a non-polar solvent and it will absorb non-polar compounds. Alcohol lies somewhere in between.[36]

Many herbs are applied topically to the skin in a variety of forms. Essential oil extracts can be applied to the skin, usually diluted in a carrier oil. Many essential oils can burn the skin or are simply too high dose used straight; diluting them in olive oil or another food grade oil such as almond oil can allow these to be used safely as a topical. Salves, oils, balms, creams and lotions are other forms of topical delivery mechanisms. Most topical applications are oil extractions of herbs. Taking a food grade oil and soaking herbs in it for anywhere from weeks to months allows certain phytochemicals to be extracted into the oil. This oil can then be made into salves, creams, lotions, or simply used as an oil for topical application. Many massage oils, antibacterial salves, and wound healing compounds are made this way.[40][citation needed]

Inhalation, as in aromatherapy, can be used as a treatment.[41][42][43]

A number of herbs are thought to be likely to cause adverse effects.[45] Furthermore, “adulteration, inappropriate formulation, or lack of understanding of plant and drug interactions have led to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening or lethal.[46]” Proper double-blind clinical trials are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of each plant before they can be recommended for medical use.[47] Although many consumers believe that herbal medicines are safe because they are “natural”, herbal medicines and synthetic drugs may interact, causing toxicity to the patient. Herbal remedies can also be dangerously contaminated, and herbal medicines without established efficacy, may unknowingly be used to replace medicines that do have corroborated efficacy.[48]

Standardization of purity and dosage is not mandated in the United States, but even products made to the same specification may differ as a result of biochemical variations within a species of plant.[49] Plants have chemical defense mechanisms against predators that can have adverse or lethal effects on humans. Examples of highly toxic herbs include poison hemlock and nightshade.[50] They are not marketed to the public as herbs, because the risks are well known, partly due to a long and colorful history in Europe, associated with “sorcery”, “magic” and intrigue.[51] Although not frequent, adverse reactions have been reported for herbs in widespread use.[52] On occasion serious untoward outcomes have been linked to herb consumption. A case of major potassium depletion has been attributed to chronic licorice ingestion.,[53] and consequently professional herbalists avoid the use of licorice where they recognize that this may be a risk. Black cohosh has been implicated in a case of liver failure.[54] Few studies are available on the safety of herbs for pregnant women,[55] and one study found that use of complementary and alternative medicines are associated with a 30% lower ongoing pregnancy and live birth rate during fertility treatment.[56] Examples of herbal treatments with likely cause-effect relationships with adverse events include aconite, which is often a legally restricted herb, ayurvedic remedies, broom, chaparral, Chinese herb mixtures, comfrey, herbs containing certain flavonoids, germander, guar gum, liquorice root, and pennyroyal.[57] Examples of herbs where a high degree of confidence of a risk long term adverse effects can be asserted include ginseng, which is unpopular among herbalists for this reason, the endangered herb goldenseal, milk thistle, senna, against which herbalists generally advise and rarely use, aloe vera juice, buckthorn bark and berry, cascara sagrada bark, saw palmetto, valerian, kava, which is banned in the European Union, St. John’s wort, Khat, Betel nut, the restricted herb Ephedra, and Guarana.[46]

There is also concern with respect to the numerous well-established interactions of herbs and drugs.[46] In consultation with a physician, usage of herbal remedies should be clarified, as some herbal remedies have the potential to cause adverse drug interactions when used in combination with various prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, just as a patient should inform a herbalist of their consumption of orthodox prescription and other medication.[citation needed]

For example, dangerously low blood pressure may result from the combination of an herbal remedy that lowers blood pressure together with prescription medicine that has the same effect. Some herbs may amplify the effects of anticoagulants.[58] Certain herbs as well as common fruit interfere with cytochrome P450, an enzyme critical to much drug metabolism.[59]

A 2013 study found that one-third of herbal supplements sampled contained no trace of the herb listed on the label.[49] The study found products adulterated with contaminants or fillers not listed on the label, including potential allergens such as soy, wheat, or black walnut. One bottle labeled as St. John’s Wort was found to actually contain Alexandrian senna, a laxative.[49][60]

Researchers at the University of Adelaide found in 2014 that almost 20 per cent of herbal remedies surveyed were not registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, despite this being a condition for their sale.[61] They also found that nearly 60 per cent of products surveyed had ingredients that did not match what was on the label. Out of 121 products, only 15 had ingredients that matched their TGA listing and packaging.[61]

In 2015, the New York Attorney General issued cease and desist letters to four major U.S. retailers (GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart) who were accused of selling herbal supplements that were mislabeled and potentially dangerous.[62][63] Twenty-four products were tested by DNA barcoding as part of the investigation, with all but five containing DNA that did not match the product labels.

A herbalist is:[64][65][66]

Herbalists must learn many skills, including the wildcrafting or cultivation of herbs, diagnosis and treatment of conditions or dispensing herbal medication, and preparations of herbal medications. Education of herbalists varies considerably in different areas of the world. Lay herbalists and traditional indigenous medicine people generally rely upon apprenticeship and recognition from their communities in lieu of formal schooling.[citation needed]

In some countries formalized training and minimum education standards exist, although these are not necessarily uniform within or between countries. For example, in Australia the currently self-regulated status of the profession (as of April 2008) results in different associations setting different educational standards, and subsequently recognising an educational institution or course of training. The National Herbalists Association of Australia is generally recognised as having the most rigorous professional standard within Australia.[67] In the United Kingdom, the training of medical herbalists is done by state funded Universities. For example, Bachelor of Science degrees in herbal medicine are offered at Universities such as University of East London, Middlesex University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Westminster, University of Lincoln and Napier University in Edinburgh at the present.[40][citation needed]

The World Health Organization (WHO), the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is concerned with international public health, published Quality control methods for medicinal plant materials in 1998 in order to support WHO Member States in establishing quality standards and specifications for herbal materials, within the overall context of quality assurance and control of herbal medicines.[68]

In the European Union (EU), herbal medicines are regulated under the Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products.[69]

In the United States, herbal remedies are regulated dietary supplements by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) policy for dietary supplements.[70] Manufacturers of products falling into this category are not required to prove the safety or efficacy of their product so long as they do not make ‘medical’ claims or imply uses other than as a ‘dietary supplement’, though the FDA may withdraw a product from sale should it prove harmful.[71][72]

Canadian regulations are described by the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate which requires an eight-digit Natural Product Number or Homeopathic Medicine Number on the label of licensed herbal medicines or dietary supplements.[9]

Some herbs, such as cannabis and coca, are outright banned in most countries though coca is legal in most of the South American countries where it is grown. The Cannabis plant is used as an herbal medicine, and as such is legal in some parts of the world. Since 2004, the sales of ephedra as a dietary supplement is prohibited in the United States by the FDA,[73] and subject to Schedule III restrictions in the United Kingdom.

Herbalism has been criticized as a potential “minefield” of unreliable product quality, safety hazards, and potential for misleading health advice.[74] Globally, there are no standards across various herbal products to authenticate their contents, safety or efficacy,[49] and there is generally an absence of high-quality scientific research on product composition or effectiveness for anti-disease activity.[74][75]

Unethical practices by some herbalists and manufacturers, which may include false advertising about health benefits on product labels or literature,[74] and contamination or use of fillers during product preparation,[49][76] may erode consumer confidence about services and products.[77][78]

Closely related to herbalism, phytotherapy is the intended medical use of plants and plant extracts for therapeutic purposes.[79][80][81] A possible differentiation with herbalism is that phytotherapy may require constituents in the plant extract be standardized by adhering to a minimum content of one or several active compounds in the therapeutic product.[79]

Modern phytotherapy may use conventional methods to assess herbal drug quality, but more typically relies on modern processes like high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography, ultraviolet/visible spectrophotometry or atomic absorption spectroscopy to identify species, measure bacteriological contamination, assess potency, and create Certificates of Analysis for the material.[82]

Phytotherapy is distinct from homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine, and avoids mixing plant and synthetic bioactive substances. Phytotherapy is regarded by some as traditional medicine.[81]

Up to 80% of the population in Africa uses traditional medicine as primary health care.[83]

Native Americans medicinally used about 2,500 of the approximately 20,000 plant species that are native to North America.[84]

Some researchers trained in both western and traditional Chinese medicine have attempted to deconstruct ancient medical texts in the light of modern science. One idea is that the yin-yang balance, at least with regard to herbs, corresponds to the pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant balance. This interpretation is supported by several investigations of the ORAC ratings of various yin and yang herbs.[85][86]

In India, Ayurvedic medicine has quite complex formulas with 30 or more ingredients, including a sizable number of ingredients that have undergone “alchemical processing”, chosen to balance “Vata”, “Pitta” or “Kapha”.[87]

In Ladakh, Lahul-Spiti and Tibet, the Tibetan Medical System is prevalent, also called the ‘Amichi Medical System’. Over 337 species of medicinal plants have been documented by C.P. Kala. Those are used by Amchis, the practitioners of this medical system.[88][89]

In Tamil Nadu, Tamils have their own medicinal system now popularly called Siddha medicine. The Siddha system is entirely in the Tamil language. It contains roughly 300,000 verses covering diverse aspects of medicine. This work includes herbal, mineral and metallic compositions used as medicine. Ayurveda is in Sanskrit, but Sanskrit was not generally used as a mother tongue and hence its medicines are mostly taken from Siddha and other local traditions.[90]

In Indonesia, especially among the Javanese, the jamu traditional herbal medicine is an age old tradition preserved for centuries. Jamu is thought to have originated in the Mataram Kingdom era, some 1300 years ago.[91] The bas-reliefs on Borobudur depicts the image of people grinding herbs with stone mortar and pestle, a drink seller, a physician and masseuse treating their clients.[92] All of these scenes might be interpreted as a traditional herbal medicine and health-related treatments in ancient Java. The Madhawapura inscription from Majapahit period mentioned a specific profession of herbs mixer and combiner (herbalist), called Acaraki.[92] The medicine book from Mataram dated from circa 1700 contains 3,000 entries of jamu herbal recipes, while Javanese classical literature Serat Centhini (1814) describes some jamu herbal concoction recipes.[92]

Though highly possible influenced by Indian Ayurveda system, Indonesia is a vast archipelago with numerous indigenous plants not to be found in India, which include plants similar to Australia beyond the Wallace Line. Indonesians might experimented and figure out the medicinal uses of these native herbal plants. Jamu may vary from region to region, and often not written down, especially in remote areas of the country.[93] Although primarily herbal, materials acquired from animals, such as honey, royal jelly, milk and ayam kampung eggs are also often used in jamu.

According to Eisenburg: The Chinese and Western medical models are like two frames of reference in which identical phenomena are studied. Neither frame of reference provides an unobstructed view of health and illness. Each is incomplete and in need of refinement.” Specifically, the traditional Chinese medical model could effect change on the recognized and expected phenomena of detachment to patients unique to the clinical relationships between patient and physician of the Western school of medicine.[94]

Four approaches to the use of plants as medicine include:[95]

1. The magical/shamanicAlmost all societies, with the exception of cultures influenced by Western-style industrialization, recognize this kind of use. The practitioner is regarded as endowed with gifts or powers that allow him/her to use herbs in a way that is hidden from the average person, and the herbs are said to affect the spirit or soul of the person.

2. The energeticThis approach includes the major systems of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Unani. Herbs are regarded as having actions in terms of their energies and affecting the energies of the body. The practitioner may have extensive training, and ideally be sensitive to energy, but need not have supernatural powers.

3. The functional dynamicThis approach was used by early physiomedical practitioners, whose doctrine forms the basis of contemporary practice in the UK. Herbs have a functional action, which is not necessarily linked to a physical compound, although often to a physiological function, but there is no explicit recourse to concepts involving energy.

4. The chemicalModern practitioners called Phytotherapists attempt to explain herb actions in terms of their chemical constituents. It is generally assumed that the specific combination of secondary metabolites in the plant are responsible for the activity claimed or demonstrated, a concept called synergy.

Herbalists tend to use extracts from parts of plants, such as the roots or leaves but not isolate particular phytochemicals.[96] Pharmaceutical medicine prefers single ingredients on the grounds that dosage can be more easily quantified. It is also possible to patent single compounds, and therefore generate income. Herbalists often reject the notion of a single active ingredient, arguing that the different phytochemicals present in many herbs will interact to enhance the therapeutic effects of the herb and dilute toxicity.[82] Furthermore, they argue that a single ingredient may contribute to multiple effects. Herbalists deny that herbal synergism can be duplicated with synthetic chemicals They argue that phytochemical interactions and trace components may alter the drug response in ways that cannot currently be replicated with a combination of a few potentially active ingredients.[97] Pharmaceutical researchers recognize the concept of drug synergism but note that clinical trials may be used to investigate the efficacy of a particular herbal preparation, provided the formulation of that herb is consistent.[98]

In specific cases the claims of synergy[99] and multifunctionality[100] have been supported by science. The open question is how widely both can be generalized. Herbalists would argue that cases of synergy can be widely generalized, on the basis of their interpretation of evolutionary history, not necessarily shared by the pharmaceutical community. Plants are subject to similar selection pressures as humans and therefore they must develop resistance to threats such as radiation, reactive oxygen species and microbial attack in order to survive.[101] Optimal chemical defenses have been selected for and have thus developed over millions of years.[102] Human diseases are multifactorial and may be treated by consuming the chemical defences that they believe to be present in herbs. Bacteria, inflammation, nutrition and reactive oxygen species may all play a role in arterial disease.[103] Herbalists claim a single herb may simultaneously address several of these factors.[104] In short herbalists view their field as the study of a web of relationships rather than a quest for single cause and a single cure for a single condition.

In selecting herbal treatments herbalists may use forms of information that are not applicable to pharmacists. Because herbs can moonlight as vegetables, teas or spices they have a huge consumer base and large-scale epidemiological studies become feasible. Ethnobotanical studies are another source of information.[105] Herbalists contend that historical medical records and herbals are underutilized resources.[106] They favor the use of convergent information in assessing the medical value of plants. An example would be when in-vitro activity is consistent with traditional use.

Indigenous healers often claim to have learned by observing that sick animals change their food preferences to nibble at bitter herbs they would normally reject.[107] Field biologists have provided corroborating evidence based on observation of diverse species, such as chickens, sheep, butterflies, and chimpanzee. The habit[which?] has been shown to be a physical means of purging intestinal parasites. Lowland gorillas take 90%[verification needed] of their diet from the fruits of Aframomum melegueta, a relative of the ginger plant, that is a potent antimicrobial and apparently keeps shigellosis and similar infections at bay.[108] Current research focuses on the possibility that this plants also protects gorillas from fibrosing cardiomyopathy which has a devastating effect on captive animals.[109]

Sick animals tend to forage plants rich in secondary metabolites, such as tannins and alkaloids.[110] Since these phytochemicals often have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antihelminthic properties, a plausible case can be made for self-medication by animals in the wild.[108]

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Herbalism – Wikipedia

Alternative Medicine Alone Leads to Lower Cancer Survival – Asbestos.com

Cancer patients who opt for alternative therapy instead of conventional medicine significantly decrease their chances of survival, according to researchers at Yale School of Medicine.

Although the popularity of alternative medicine continues to grow, a recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found survival rates significantly reduced for those who use it as first-line therapy.

Conventional cancer treatments chemotherapy, surgery and radiation still produce a much better chance of survival.

Mesothelioma was not included in the study, but the findings are relevant to this rare and aggressive cancer as alternative treatment becomes more commonly used.

A person with cancer who choses alternative medicine is 2.5 times more likely to die than somebody who uses proven methods of treatment, Dr. Skyler Johnson, Yale School of Medicine radiation oncologist and lead author of the study, told Asbestos.com. When you choose alternative medicine instead of conventional, it likely will impact survival [in a negative way].

The study looked at survival rates for breast, lung, prostate and colorectal cancers, including 840 patients diagnosed from 2004-2013 who were listed in the National Cancer Database.

It did not include patients who received alternative therapies alongside conventional medicine as many mesothelioma patients do. These are often become known as complementary.

Alternative medicine refers to any treatment approach outside of mainstream or conventional medicine and is not approved for cancer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

They can range from body-based therapies such as acupuncture or nerve stimulation to special diets filled with herbs and botanicals. They could be homeopathic, which are derived from natural substances, or mind-body therapies such as yoga or tai chi.

They have become a popular way to avoid the side effects that often come with chemotherapy, radiation or aggressive surgery.

Unfortunately, they dont work very well, according to the team of researchers from Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

Alternative medicine kills cancer patients, surgical oncologist Dr. David Gorski at the Karmanos Cancer Institute wrote for the website Science-Based Medicine, in response to the latest study from Yale. It is basically no different than refusing treatment altogether.

The Yale study examined the records of 280 cancer patients who had chosen alternative medicine and 560 patients who opted for conventional medicine.

Researchers found the five-year mortality rate was 2.5 times greater for the alternative treatment option. When separated by cancer type, breast cancer patients had a five-times greater risk, followed by colon cancer patients (four-times greater) and lung cancer (two-times greater).

There was no greater risk for prostate cancer, which typically grows much slower.

Researchers believe that a cancer patient often will start with alternative medicine, then switch to conventional after the cancer has progressed, a dangerous option that shortens survival time in most cases.

Patients are presenting to us in clinic with more advanced cancers than they would have otherwise, if they had done proven therapy initially instead of alternative therapy, Johnson said. And mesothelioma is one of those where you dont have the luxury with taking time to delay treatment. Survival chances decrease with each day.

Mesothelioma specialists typically rely on surgery, chemotherapy and radiation as conventional medicine.

Researchers at Yale also observed that those who opted for alternative therapy generally were younger, more educated and with higher incomes, a demographic that would suggest a better chance for survival.

They found the opposite was true.

Youd assume that someone who is more educated and has a better understanding of science and medicine, theyd be less likely to make a choice like this, Johnson said. But thats clearly not true, based on this data.

He believes the bad choices often come after a patient hears second-hand success stories with alternative treatments, but without realizing conventional medicine was used in conjunction.

Its important to note that when it comes to alternative cancer therapies, there is just so little known patients are making decisions in the dark, said co-author Dr. Cary Gross. We need to understand more about which treatments are effective and which ones arent.

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Alternative Medicine Alone Leads to Lower Cancer Survival – Asbestos.com

Keep open mind about value of alternative medicine – The Straits Times

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), as a form of complementary alternative medicine (CAM), is a unique system of medicine based on more than 2,000 years of clinical application.

While modern science cannot explain the mechanism of TCM treatment modalities, clinical studies have supported its efficacy in many diseases. And so we disagree with the report (Traditional health practices: More harm than good; Aug 15).

As stated in the report, the fact that “not many people know that rheumatoid arthritis can be treated” and that it is often equated with rheumatism shows the lack of public awareness of the illness. In both studies mentioned in the report, the use of CAM included self-administration of vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter (OTC) TCM drugs. This reflects the prevalence of cases where patients self-medicate in the absence of professional advice, which could result in adverse reactions to the drugs. Rather than discrediting CAM, we see opportunities for CAM and conventional medicine to work together through effective healthcare communication and education. Likewise, seemingly harmless CAM like vitamins, supplements and herbal medicines, should also be taken under the advice of certified professionals.

Mr Chee Hong Tat, in his Aug 2 speech at the Convocation of the Nanyang Technological University-Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Double Degree Programme, encouraged doctors and scientists to keep an open mind to the potential value of TCM. We urge the media and general public to keep an open mind to the potential value of CAM.

Ho Chin Ee (Ms)

Vice-President

NTU Chinese Medicine Alumni Association Executive Committee

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Keep open mind about value of alternative medicine – The Straits Times

Alternative Treatments More Than Double Risk of Death for Cancer Patients – Healthline

Unproven treatments for breast and lung cancers are especially dangerous, researchers say. So, why do people opt for these alternatives?

Alternative cancer treatments that seem too good to be true may actually be dangerous.

In fact, these treatments can more than double the risk of death for some people with cancer, according to a recently published study.

Some alternative treatments promise a cure or a way to fight cancer without the harsh side effects of chemotherapy or radiation.

In order to find out how people with cancer fare on these treatments vs. traditional medications, researchers from Yale University turned to the National Cancer Database.

Dr. Skyler Johnson, a physician at the Radiation Oncology at Yale-New Haven Hospital and lead author of the study published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, said he wanted to look into survival rates for alternative medicine after he saw an increase in people wanting to pursue these methods.

We had started to see lots of patients who were coming in with advanced cancers who had been diagnosed earlier but who had tried an alternative therapy, Johnson told Healthline. It clearly impacted their survival.

This issue was debated after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of cancer in 2011 after trying alternative treatments.

In their study, Johnson and his co-authors used the data from the National Cancer Database to see how people with cancer fared on alternative treatments compared with traditional therapies.

They found data on 281 people with breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer that had not metastasized. These people had chosen alternative therapies not proven by science to be helpful in treating cancer.

Researchers then compared how these people fared compared with 560 people who had undergone conventional cancer treatment such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or surgery.

It was needed for us to be able to have informed discussions with patients, said Johnson. To tell them this is the risk and benefit from this decision.

Overall, they looked at how people fared from 2004 to 2013, with the median follow-up of slightly more than five years.

They found that people who chose alternative medicine were two and half times more at risk of dying.

For breast and colorectal cancers, the risk was even higher.

People with breast cancer were more than five times as likely to die if they pursued solely alternative treatment.

People with colorectal cancer were more than four times as likely to die as their counterparts who underwent conventional treatments.

Johnson said the study will help doctors relay concrete information to people considering alternative medicine.

This is especially true for people who have cancer that has not yet metastasized and has a high survivability rate.

Cancer cures is one of those things that need to be done in a timely fashion, he said.

There was one cancer outlier in the study.

Prostate cancer didnt have as much of a difference in life expectancy between people treated conventionally and those treated with alternative medicine, but Johnson pointed out prostate cancer is extremely slow growing and many people can live more than a decade without significant health impacts.

Johnson said anecdotally hes heard from people that they believe the alternative therapy they are pursuing has no downside.

In conversations, it seems that theres a belief that the alternative therapies are as effective, and that they’re also nontoxic, said Johnson.

Dr. Jordan Berlin, a medical oncologist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the study is not surprising but could still help people with cancer.

Data like this is helpful, he told Healthline. Knowing we can say to our patients the track record for these things in general has not been better.

Berlin said these alternative treatments tend to come in and out of fashion. Right now, hes seen people pursue using medical marijuana, salves, and unproven supplements for cancer treatment.

Berlin said he understands why some would be more willing to look into alternative medicine after a cancer diagnosis.

I tell people that cancer is the scariest word in the English language, Berlin said. They’re looking for anything that might help.

Berlin said that for many people the promise of these treatments can become especially appealing when facing an initial diagnosis.

When you hear 100 percent of people [cured] with no side effects, and we tell people every side effect we could possibly cause, its very appealing, Berlin said.

Berlin said when people pursue alternative medicine, he does his best to insist they come back for scans so he can monitor their progress.

If they get worse and want to pursue traditional treatment he can start them on conventional therapies, hopefully before the cancer metastasizes.

However, some people may still put their faith in their original, unproven treatment when they make a recovery.

Ive had this where one of my patients says how well they did on alternative therapy, Berlin said. In truth, they got chemo too, or radiation. No one gave any credit to those therapies.

Berlin said hes willing to talk to people who want to pursue supplemental treatment in addition to conventional treatments.

He does warn them there are risks that supplements or other ingested items could negatively affect cancer medication.

He also said more should be done to understand which, if any, alternative treatments could be a help either by alleviating symptoms or actually combatting tumor cells.

It is worthwhile to study something of these things we want to know as much as anybody he said.

Both Berlin and Johnson said the study will only do so much to convince some people who are skeptical of conventional medical treatment.

Johnson said he keeps a list of people who ignored medical advice in favor of alternative treatments, and reaches out to them periodically.

While Johnson hopes the study will help people get better care, he acknowledged a lot of work remains for doctors trying to gain the trust of their patients and attempting to understand why those patients want to pursue alternative treatments.

Facts dont often change people’s beliefs, Johnson said. Developing trust with people is really the bottom line.

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Alternative Treatments More Than Double Risk of Death for Cancer Patients – Healthline

Turkey embraces alternative and complementary medicine – Daily Sabah

As medical practices become more and more advanced, many people are turning to traditional medicine and alternative therapies which are considered to have healing effects on the human body, despite not being scientifically proven. Recently, alternative medicine and complementary medicine is widely used around the world, and even accepted by the traditional medical practitioners.

Complementary medicine is a group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that are used together with conventional medicine. Complementary medicine includes a large number of practices and systems of health care which have begun to be adopted by mainstream Western medicine as well. Complementary medicine includes a variety of products such as herbs, vitamins and minerals and probiotics. These items are widely marketed, readily available to consumers in local pharmacies without a prescription and are often sold as dietary supplements. Moreover, alternative medical practitioners tend to advise their patients to engage in therapeutic practices to renew the mind and body for good health.

In 2014, Turkish health care institutions and state medical schools made alternative medicine a part of their health care routine.

The head of Turkey’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practices Department of the Ministry of Health’s Directorate General for Health Services Zafer Kalayc stated that they are conducting studies to promote Turkey as full of “world cuisine” for alternative medicine.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Kalayc provided information about traditional and complementary medicine. He said that, in addition to protecting people from and preventing physical and psychological diseases through alternative therapies, traditional and alternative medicine include experimental and proven practices, research and holistic approaches that are unique to various cultures and are being applied for sustaining good health.

Stating that traditional and complementary medicine is a new area of application both in Turkey and world, Kalayc said that Turkey is making strides in the world in this area. It is evident that Turkey now has well-coordinated, comprehensive regulations in alternative medicine that are the first of their kind in the world. In the context of this regulation, which is already in use in Turkey, educational standards are being enacted in the fields of reflexology, music therapy, osteopathy, prolotherapy, apitherapy, mesotherapy, homeopathy, phytotherapy, and acupuncture, along with larva, hypnosis, leeching, cupping and ozone applications.

For the application of these standards, traditional and complementary medicine centers were opened at 32 universities and training research hospitals across the country.

Noting that active education is ongoing at 14 of these centers, Kalayc added: “The regulation was issued in 2014; however, we were able to create the educational standards for the applications, as part of the series, in 2016. Up until now, 2,500 people have become certified at these branches. The demand for instruction from our physicians has been high and there is a waiting list for applicants. Currently, we have education centers in Ankara, Istanbul, zmir, Erzurum and Kayseri. Also, the University of Health Sciences of the Ministry of Health and training research hospitals working under its auspices have begun to offer education on these branches of treatment. The University of Health Sciences is planning to launch a master’s degree program in the area.”

Saying that they have made international connections as they continue to advance in this area, Kalayc said: “We are conducting one-to-one research with the World Health Organization (WHO). We also conduct joint studies with universities in the U.S., South Korea and China. Turkey is setting a new global standard in this area. We have begun to create new regulations which will make Turkey the gold standard in education in these fields. We are a shining star in the world arena now.”

Kalayc also stressed Turkey’s diversity in endemic plants, asserting that the country has 4,750 endemic plants. “When you calculate the number of endemic plants all around Europe, you see that their total number does not exceed that of Turkey. Here, we conduct research in cooperation with the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Forestry. In addition to the fact that there are studies conducted by prominent academics and smart agriculture applications, the number of plants in Turkey has reached 12,000. We raised awareness by a lot, sharing this information with the world.”

Stating that Turkey has seriously important endemic plants, Kalaycsaid: “Every single one of the 81 provinces in Turkey has their own unique, endemic plants. We have to evaluate them. This situation is also gaining world-wide attention. Some products are imported to Turkey for between $45 and $50, while they are exported for $1.”

“At the Ministry of Health, our aim is to turn Turkey into a fountain of cuisine for the education and application process of traditional and complementary medicine. We are conducting sophisticated academic, clinical and laboratory studies in education in this area. We have a department known as the Directorate of Health Institutions, as well as six institutions bound to it. One of these is the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Application Institution. We are making progress in a well-organized way in all aspects,” he said.

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Turkey embraces alternative and complementary medicine – Daily Sabah

A case for choosing alternative medicine | Health | montrosepress.com – Montrose Daily Press

It started with an infection, but it ended with a life-changing experience.

In early May 2013, Brian Lucchesi got a tattoo to celebrate a birthday. But within a few days, he started to notice an infection spreading from his lower leg, where he got the tattoo, to the rest of his body. He initially went to a dermatologist, but after 10 days the infection as not improving and he was in terrible pain.

Finally, he drove himself to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a methicillin resistant staph infection. He wound up in the hospital for four days.

It was terrifying, Lucchesi says.

He also remembers not being the most reasonable patient and getting angry with hospital staff the first couple of days. It was for a mixture of reasons, he recalls, stemming from bad experiences in health care settings as well as the uncertainty of how long he would be hospitalized.

It was at the end of the third night, and I was having a really bad time, Lucchesi says. The best way I can sum it up is that I had some kind of a spiritual experience.

I remember this energy just saying, Brian, if you let go of your anger, we can get you out of the hospital. This anger was holding me in the hospital. If I let go, my body would start healing and I would be able to go home.

That night shifted his behavior and attitude, and by the end of the fourth day, he was able to go home.

The experience led Lucchesi to dive into the world of spiritual healing and wellness and he hasnt looked back.

Lucchesi has been a number of things throughout the years. After high school, he joined the Navy and served for nearly five years. After that, was an underwater construction worker. He was even a rugby player for a time.

But when he was 26, he went back to school to get a degree in physical and health education and become a teacher. Including one year as a graduate assistant, he spent seven years in the education field. During that time, he learned he really enjoyed creating wellness curriculum.

I developed wellness programming for one of the school districts, which didnt exist before, he says.

It was during this time that he made the decision to get into adult wellness programs. He left the education field and became a wellness coach for Wellness Coaches USA, and in 2011 he created a website called Wellness Hero. But in 2013, he was no longer under contract with Wellness Coaches USA, and he was trying to figure out his next step.

An infection and near-death experience later, Lucchesi began to completely change his lifestyle. He started using essential oils, adopted a plant-based diet and began connecting to his ability to heal naturally.

It became very clear to me from my own spiritual connection to this healing, and what I was able to utilize through meditation or through global synchronizations, I realized I wanted to get into the ultimate level of our being, Lucchesi says.

He started researching DNA programming, Reiki healing and Qigong all with the goal of getting more in tune with his own life force and how his body responds to disease or other ailments, be it emotional, spiritual or physical.

After learning different teachings, he began sharing his knowledge in 2015. On his Wellness Hero blog, he went over the different guided studies and meditations. But he also took his sessions on the road, whether it was at school districts or corporate events.

I wanted to tailor it to be more in tune with nontraditional delivery methods, he says of the Wellness Hero mission. It started leading toward guided meditations, and I really focused on that aspect.

Hes been on that path ever since, balancing Wellness Hero work with his role as a stay-at-home father for his son. Recently, he went to a school district and showed students how to do guided meditations and energy balancing movements.

But no matter what setting he is in, his goal is the same.

Its making everyone evolve into wellness heroes, he says. Thats my mission.

Moving forward, Lucchesi believes 2017 is the year to expand his website.

Im preparing for September to be that (push) to have this both as a physical class or a digital class that is recurring on a weekly basis, with different themes, he says.

That includes teachings focusing on the joints, muscular systems and aspects of wellness.

This is something Ive been working on and will be delivering in a more unique way as we go, he says. Its something Im very excited about doing.

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A case for choosing alternative medicine | Health | montrosepress.com – Montrose Daily Press


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