Alternative Medicine

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Alternative medicine like the name suggests is the type of medicines used other than the conventional doctor-prescribed-pharmaceutically produced medicines. It is also referred to as complementary medicine. The origin and use of alternative medicines can be traced back to ancient cultures and civilizations in China, India, Native America and even Africa.


(2001) According to the alternative medicine homepage, alternative medicine could take the form of eccentric, untraditional, unconfirmed or complementary, assimilative and novel therapies. (Alternative medicine homepage, 2008). That said there are many different type of alternative medicine interventions from acupuncture, use of herbs, homeopathy, to the use of prayer (faith healing), music, laughter and sound, which is why there are numerous definitions of alternative medicine. While they may not be fully accepted as part of mainstream western medicine, they have nonetheless grown to play a considerable role in medicine. More so that in the US congress established the Office of Alternative Medicine. Growth is evident in the fact that the use of alternative medicines increased in 1997 by 8.3% from the figure in 1990 of 33.8%. The concerns into the use of alternative medicine lie in the fact that patients use them without first notifying their doctors and physicians. This has important ramifications. Think of the mishaps that may occur when the cocktail of drugs prescribed by the physicians, mixes with the herbs provided in alternative therapy. (Silverstein & Spiegel, 2001) Or a situation where the patients believe alternative therapy may work better than the prescribed medications.
According to Silverstein & Spiegel, the use of alternative medicine has ...
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