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This guide focuses on Palmer Library's books, videos, eBooks, databases and journals pertaining to alternative & complementary therapies.
The purpose of this guide is to provide key resources for the subject of alternative and complementary medicine. While chiropractic is considered a part of CAM, resources in this guide will be focusing on other aspects of alternative medicine.
Populations throughout the world use traditional medicine to help meet their primary health care needs. In 2002, in an effort to meet the growing challenges in the area of traditional medicine, WHO developed a comprehensive working strategy for TM for 2002-2005. In May 2003, the 56th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on TM, which urges Member States, in accordance with established national legislation and mechanisms, to adapt, adopt, and implement the WHO Traditional Medicines Strategy as a basis for national traditional medicine programmes or work plans.
WHOa€™s mandate is to provide adequate support to countries to promote the safety, efficacy, quality, and sound use of traditional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine. In the Western Pacific Region, for example, the WHO Regional Office organized a series of workshops to support countries in developing and formulating their national policy on TM, issued a document on the development of national policy on TM in 2000, and developed an action plan on TM in the Pacific Island States in 2001. Over the past four years, WHO has developed a series of technical guidelines to support countries in establishing the regulations for ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of TM therapies and products.
In 1999, a WHO report on malaria in Africa revealed that over 60 % of sick children with fevers were treated with herbs at home and by traditional health practitioners - often the only form of treatment they received. In addition, in 2003 WHO developed guidelines on Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACP) for medicinal plants and initiated the development of guidelines on assessing the safety of herbal medicines, with particular reference to residues and contaminants. The quantity and quality of the safety and efficacy data on traditional medicine are far from sufficient to meet the criteria needed to support its use worldwide. Although there has been a recent increase in the number of governments that regulate herbal medicines, national regulation and registration of herbal medicines vary from country to country. However, a group of herbal products categorized other than as medicines, may also exist within the same country.
WHO recognizes that TM knowledge is the property of the communities and nations where that knowledge originated and should be fully respected. In 2002, in response to increased awareness of intellectual property rights issues relating to TM, WHO held an inter-regional workshop on this in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2003, WHO developed guidelines on GACP for cultivated and wild medicinal plants (see also EO 2.2), which are designed, inter alia, to encourage and support the sustainable cultivation and collection of medicinal plants of good quality.
Many countries have started to take action on protection of traditional medicine through recording the use of their traditionally used medicinal plants.
One of the major challenges in the use of TM is the lack of measures to protect and preserve the TM knowledge and national resources necessary for its sustainable use. In 2002, WHO published Volume 2 of the WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants, containing 30 monographs.
Traditional medicines are increasingly used outside the confines of traditional culture and far beyond traditional geographical areas, without proper knowledge of their context and use. There is a widespread misconception that a€?naturala€™ means a€?safea€™ and many believe that remedies of natural origin carry no risk.
The WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products Information Portal was designed and is maintained by Human Info NGO. Daniel Henryk Rasolt writes articles that cover diabetes, health, self management, and complementary and alternative medicine.
Many members of his immediate family have diabetes so he has personal experience with the disease. Henryk is a graduate of Cornell University, where he majored in physics, with a concentration in astrophysics. His interests outside of science include travel to over 75 countries, many by motorcycle, an extensive interest and knowledge of wine, has climbed several mountains above 20,000 feet, is an advanced and specialized scuba diver; and believes days are not to be wasted. Henryk was recently exploring the mountains, jungles, oceans, and people of South America, hoping that maybe a shaman contains the secret cure for diabetes (no luck). There is much debate amongst doctors, nutritionists, and fitness experts, as to the optimal circumstances for exercise. For people living with type 1 diabetes, weight gain in the long term may in fact be beneficial.
Over 60% of type 1 diabetics are considered inactive, and a recent study has concluded that a fear of exercise induced hypoglycemia might be a big reason why.
The compound resveratrol, often associated with benefits of drinking red wine, has recently been confirmed to be present in cocoa and dark chocolate.


It’s a commonly accepted belief in the medical field that moderate consumption of red wine can be healthy and potentially preventative of cardiovascular disease.
Older adults with type 2 diabetes who eat a characteristically unhealthy meal often experience memory loss shortly after, according to a recent study. Soaking brown rice in water for a full day before cooking might help reduce common damage done by type 1 diabetes.
Ayurvedic medicines are used throughout South Asia, especially in India, and are available throughout the world through Internet purchase.
One to two glasses of beer or wine per day, as well as other forms of moderate alcohol consumption, might help strengthen bones. Type 2 diabetics may benefit from consuming cacao-rich beverages, according to a recent study. In a country with far and away the highest incidence of diabetes in the world, a potential preventative treatment has been found in an unlikely place; camels. A unique study performed on identical twins suggests that lifestyle choices, not genetics, plays the biggest role in the development of insulin resistance.
A common antioxidant found in green tea might delay or prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes. Low aerobic fitness levels in young adults make them more than twice as likely to develop diabetes later in life, concludes a recent study. A recent study suggests that people who fast once a month are less likely to suffer from heart disease. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals, such as nurses and physical therapists, practice'. It requests WHO to support Member States by providing internationally acceptable guidelines and technical standards, seeking evidence-based information, and facilitating information sharing.19 WHO Regional Committees in AFRO, EMRO, SEARO, and WPRO have each discussed TM at recent sessions. As a result, there has been no parallel development of standards and methods, either national or international, for evaluating them.
In addition, seven regional training workshops have been held in five WHO regions (covering 52 countries) to help strengthen national capacity in the regulation of herbal medicines. However, the safety and efficacy of these antimalarial herbs have not been fully understood. In 2003, WHO also supported China in the evaluation of research in integrated treatment for SARS cases. One of the reasons for the shortage of research data is the lack of financial incentives as most of these products are not covered by patents. Moreover, the regulatory status of a particular herbal product varies in different countries. However, in many parts of the world, knowledge of TM is often passed on orally from one generation to the next, and can easily be lost or incorrectly transferred. The African Region has also organized a meeting of regional experts to discuss guidelines for the protection of TM knowledge. For instance, in CA?te da€™Ivoire, the TM programme at the Ministry of Health carried out a survey involving traditional health practitioners in 7 of its 19 regions. Another is the potential discovery of active ingredients in TM that could be used in R&D and patented for use in Western medicine - leaving the country and community of origin without fair compensation and with no access to the outcome of the research. Moreover, they are also used in different doses, extracted in different ways, and used for indications which are different from their traditional intended use. Information comes from a variety of sources including peer reviewed research that has been translated for the layman. Because of this family history, Henryk is also aware of his increased risk of becoming diabetic, so he tries to follow a “healthier” lifestyle that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and plenty of exercise. His physics research has been published, and he uses his analytic skills as a health, medical and science writer.
Some believe that early morning, pre-food consumption exercise, is best for burning calories and enhancing metabolism, while others have a variety of ideas of what is best to consume before physical activity.
A new study showed a general trend that over a 20 year period, type 1 diabetics that gained weight were less likely to die from the disease. This reasoning is seriously flawed however, as proper exercise is essential to diabetes maintenance.
Besides not eating such things, the study found that one might be able to prevent this effect by taking antioxidant supplements along with the unhealthy meal. While there are many proponents of its usage, it has recently been found by researchers that over 20% of internet purchased Ayurveda has unhealthy amounts of mercury, lead and arsenic.


Heavy alcohol consumption, however, appears to have the opposite effect, leading to decreased bone density.
An oral consumption of pomegranate extract was seen to decrease the numbers of certain chemicals that are known to cause inflammation.
The result is connected to the anti-inflammatory abilities of herbs and spices high in antioxidants.
Some naturally occurring compounds in cacao, called flavanols, may have increase blood flow in type 2 diabetics, limiting the risk for cardiovascular disease. According to researchers in Bikaner, India, camel milk contains sufficient levels of insulin to help prevent, and perhaps treat, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance is both a precursor and a symptom of type 2 diabetes, a disease which effects approximately 21 million adults in the United States.
By reducing inflammation associated with the onset of obesity and type 2 diabetes, the answer appears to be yes. The finding was an unexpected bi-product of a study focusing on Sjogren’s syndrome, a condition associated with mouth and eye dryness due to damaged moisture glands.
Young women and young African American men demonstrated the lowest fitness levels, portending serious problems in the future for these groups.
It plays an important role in treating illnesses as well as improving the quality of life of those suffering from minor illness or from certain incurable diseases. The WHO Regional Committees for Africa, Eastern Mediterranean, South-East Asia, and Western Pacific adopted resolutions on TM in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 respectively. This is especially true of herbal medicines, the efficacy and quality of which can be influenced by numerous factors. Four WHO Regions (AFRO, AMRO, EMRO, and SEARO) developed regional minimum requirements for registration of herbal medicines based on WHO technical guidelines.
In response, in 2000 WHO initiated a pilot project on the contribution of traditional medicine in combating malaria and has been supporting national clinical studies on antimalarial herbal medicines in three African countries. Scientifically justified and accepted global research methodology for evaluating the efficacy and safety of traditional medicine is a major challenge. The appropriate use of TM requires the transfer of correct knowledge and practice, in order to ensure its safety and efficacy.
As a result of this, a list has been drawn up of more than 1000 plants used by traditional health practitioners in these regions and the TM programme has developed national monographs on 300 of these medicinal plants. The European Commission recommends WHO monographs to its members as an authoritative reference on the quality, safety, and efficacy of medicinal plants. To compound the problem, contrary to their use in the traditional context, traditional medicines are now often used in combination with other medicines - a practice which has become a safety concern. Resveratrol is an antioxidant, a type of compound that limits oxidative stress by killing off free radicals. This knowledge could enable production of these specific chemicals as a diabetic treatment. According to the study, drinking a flavanol-rich cocoa beverage daily can bring about this positive outcome. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and is often found in Indian and Asian cooking, including many curries. The regulation and registration of herbal medicines are the key measures to ensure their safety, quality, and efficacy.
An additional challenge is the increasing popularity of herbal products categorized other than as medicines or foods. Today, over 12 other countries use WHO monographs for their regulation and registration of herbal medicines.
Significant support has been made of late for the anti-inflammatory abilities of antioxidants. There is an increased risk of medicine-related adverse events, due to lack of regulation, weaker quality control systems, and loose distribution channels (including mail order and Internet sales).
Elsewhere, the Iranian Government has also taken steps to protect its TM knowledge - in 1991 establishing the National Academy of Traditional Medicine in Iran and Islam and in 2002 recording 2500 flora among 8000 traditionally used medicinal plants in Iran. In addition, several countries, including Armenia, Benin, Mexico, Malaysia, South Africa and Viet Nam, have developed their own national monographs based on the WHO format.



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