Jul 30, 2009 | 41
People in the U.S. spent $33.9 billion last year on alternative health goods and services, ranging from antioxidant supplements to yoga, according to a new study released today by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
About 38 percent of adults are using some sort of alternative treatment (known as “complementary and alternative medicine” or CAM), and what they’re buying makes up about 11 percent of total U.S. out-of-pocket health care spending, the report states.
“With so many Americans using and spending money on CAM therapies, it is extremely important to know whether the products and practices they use are safe and effective,” Josephine Briggs, director of NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, said in a prepared statement.
Nov 19, 2008 | 67
A large-scale study released this week showed that the herb gingko biloba has no effect in preventing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. But alternative medicine aficionados may find hope in a new research touting the bennies of another "herb" in preserving memory.
Scientists from Ohio State University report that marijuana, contrary to the conventional wisdom, may help ward off Alzheimer's and keep recall sharp. Their findings, released today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C.: chemical components of marijuana reduce inflammation and stimulate the production of new brain cells, thereby enhancing memory.
The team suggested that a drug could be formulated that would resemble tetrahydroannibol, or THC, the psychoactive ingredient in pot sans making the user high. But the research may ultimately drive those who fear impending dementia to roll their own solution to the problem.
Oct 6, 2008 | 1
The U.S. has a decidedly ambivalent relationship with alternative medicine, though large numbers of Americans routinely ingest nostrums from ginkgo to garlic. In Bolivia, by contrast, the status of holistic medicine has risen at even the highest levels of government. President Evo Morales is such a strong advocate that he recently launched a campaign to encourage its use by his countrymen, a majority of whom have neither the insurance nor the cash to pay for conventional health care.
Morales's pitch includes the appointment of a curandero (holistic healer), Emiliano Cusi, as his vice minister of medicine. Cusi plans to set up a national registry of practitioners and establish “cottage pharmacies” consisting of herbalists trained to make natural remedies in their homes, which they sell and distribute to hospitals.
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