Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Herbs & NCCAM

It is pretty cool that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have a center that funds research for complementary and alternative medicine like herbs, acupuncture, yoga and meditation.

In 2012, there were over 3 million visitors to National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM’s) Web site seeking information on complementary health approaches.

The top 5 searched-for herbs that led visitors to the NCCAM site:
1. Evening Primrose Oil
2. St. John’s Wort
3. Fenugreek
4. Echinacea
5. Aloe Vera

NCCAM's advice:  These herbs and botanicals are widely marketed and readily available, often sold as dietary supplements. However, the scientific evidence available to assess safety or efficacy of each of these products is quite variable. In some cases, there is limited evidence to support a product’s use, while in others, evidence identifies significant safety concerns, fails to suggest efficacy, or is insufficient. Because of this variability, consumers and health care providers should carefully review the available information before deciding to use a specific product.

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