By Lois Snyder
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Extra info for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Ethics, the Patient, and the Physician
A key aspect of CAM is the perception that these healh promotion therapies are natural and hence without side effects or toxic properties. Patients perceive conventional medicine, on the other hand, as having either serious side effects or risks not worth taking, viewing it as unnatural or invasive. CAM practitioners claim that as conventional medicine and pharmacology attempt to purify substances, they remove the essence of the compound that nature has provided. Herbs, for example, are seen as complete substances, with balanced healing powers: when kept intact, side effects are minimized.
All one need do is visit a health food store to view the plethora of available biologically based therapies. 3 billion in sales (2). About 22% of the population use biologically based therapies, and about 19% use natural products, including Echinacea, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, garlic supplements, glucosamine, St. Johns Wort, peppermint, fish oil, ginger supplements, and soy supplements. As previously noted, given the fact that many patients do not tell their physicians about the use of these substances, and that many 30 Carroll patients use these in combination with prescription drugs and other substances, the potential for drug–drug interactions is high.
Kaptchuk TJ, Eisenberg DM. The persuasive appeal of Alternative medicine. Ann Intern Med 1998;129(12):1061–1065. 13. Eisenberg DM. Advising patients who seek alternative medical therapies. Ann Intern Med 1997;127(1):61–69. 14. Davidoff, F. Weighing the alternatives. Lessons from the paradoxes of alternative medicine. Ann Intern Med 1999;129(12): 1068–1070. 15. ). Essentials of complementary and alternative medicine. Baltimore, MD:Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 1999. 16. Kaptchuk TJ. Acupuncture: theory, efficacy, and practice.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Ethics, the Patient, and the Physician by Lois Snyder