More than 40 percent of adults seek some form of holistic therapy, or alternative medicine, when dealing with their physical health, according to the Mayo Clinic
The growing popularity is guiding more medical research dollars to projects that seek to determine if there is a scientific basis for what the medical world calls CAM, or complementary and alternative medicine. While there’s some debate on whether those dollars are well-spent, numerous websites online offer information about CAM and oftentimes post research studies that support the therapy.
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Here are six websites with information on natural healing, in no particular order:
• Earth Clinic
– This website bills itself as the “world’s largest collection of natural cures.” While many articles in the section about remedies and traditional medicine are uploaded from individuals and don’t contain links or information about scientific studies, blog posts and articles written by the site’s contributors often cite studies. For instance, a recent article about turmeric, a spice from India, to treat cancer or slow its progression pointed to the American Cancer Society’s research on the topic.
• Natural Medicine
— This site operates an online store selling natural remedies, offers blogs identifying natural treatments, and runs a news article section that details studies and other information. A recent article was about the importance of Vitamin D, and and it referenced several studies, including one from Great Britain that showed energy boosts and improved muscle efficiency from taking the vitamin.
— This is a popular website for medical information and numerous articles here refer to complementary medicine or alternative treatments. One article detailed CAM options for individuals with HIV or AIDS, and said that 70 percent of people with AIDS have used some form of alternative therapies.
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• Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
— This website, which has both a professional and patient version, was launched in 1999 by the editorial staff of the Therapeutic Research Center, with a goal of answering questions about natural medicine remedies and research with evidence-based and source information.
“Our research team quickly discovered that there were no reliable, evidence-based resources that could be used to answer questions in this subject area,” editor-in-chief Jeff M. Jellin, PharmD, writes on the site. “Different resources often contained conflicting information, had unreliable references, or no references at all. Most resources contained questionable information, were outdated, or were based on anecdotal evidence or author opinions.”
• Green Med Info
— This website was founded in 2008 and, according to the site, receives more than 1 million hits a month. The site has a goal of providing “convenient and open access to the biomedical research available today on the therapeutic value of natural substances in disease prevention and treatment.” The site includes articles, research information, and a store.
• Several sites track evidence-based information about CAM, including the U.S. government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
, operated by the National Institute for Health, and a wide variety of journals that publish studies on CAM. (The Research Council for Complementary Medicine maintains a list of those journals
on its website.)
Before trying a CAM remedy or treatment, it’s a good idea to research the information thoroughly and talk to your doctor.
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