This paper explores the alternatives to the conventional biomedicine and the various advantages they offer against conventional medicine as well as against each other. It is also studied how the various alternative medicines are chosen to treat the illness The conventional medicine which uses pharmaceuticals are observed to have side effects along with the desired physiological and psychological effects and the lack of side effects with the alternative health remedies makes it a more desirable among all age groups and for all kinds of treatments. While it is observed that the "conventional medicine uses scientific approach to understand and combat disease very effectively, it is found to be costly" (Treweek, Heller, 2006: 131) whereas the alternative medicinal therapies are economical. Also, there is another kind of remedy called Complementary therapies which are used in conjunction with the conventional medicine. Both the complementary and alternate therapies are not based on evidence and hence fall out of the realm of conventional allopathic medicine which is evidence-based and is tested for efficiency and safety (Health Care, 2009). Complementary and Alternate Medical (CAM) therapies are designed to prevent illnesses and enhance the overall health of the person by considering the physiological as well as the psychological health of the person. It is categorised into five basic realms of approach or practices to therapy. These are the Whole Medical Systems, Mind-Body Medicine, Biologically based practices, Manipulative and Body-based practices and Energy Medicines (NCCAM, 2009).
This paper explores the alternatives to the conventional biomedicine and the various advantages they offer against conventional medicine as well as against each other. It is also studied how the various alternative medicines are chosen to treat the illness and how they affect the holistic health of the person. Further, the reasons if any to choose alternate therapies is considered along with the disadvantages of each kind of therapy. Data is gathered for the ways in which the different therapies are advocated and administered and the analysis of these different therapies for their usage and effectiveness is determined with particular reference to multi-vitamin supplements as an alternative medicine. It is observed that the choice of using a particular therapy is purely based on the illness and its intensity as observed by (Health Care, 2009). It is observed that almost 65-80% of the world's population use traditional or alternative medicine as primary form of health care according to World Health Organisation (WHO) (Health Care, 2009).
2. Kinds of alternate health medicine (NCCAM, 2009)-
a. Whole Medical Systems- These therapies are "built on complete systems of theory and practice and include systems evolved from Western culture like the Homeopathic medicine and Naturopathic medicine, and non-Western cultures like the Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine Yin-Yang.
i. Homeopathy- This kind of alternative medicine originated in Europe and focuses on the body's ability to heal itself although it uses very small doses of highly diluted substances that are administered to stimulate the healing process.
ii. Naturopathy- This kind of treatment uses the body's ability to heal itself by bringing about some dietary and lifestyle changes. This therapy uses both complementary and alternative medicine techniques.
iii. Ayurveda- In this therapy, the aim is to integrate the body with the mind and soul of the human as these are interconnected in affecting the health of the per