Chapter 39 Complementary and alternative medicine Chapter uri icon


  • The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies continues to rise worldwide. The cultural importance of various CAM techniques and systems cannot be overlooked. As data become available on the use and adverse events, misuse, adulterations, toxicities and interactions of various dietary supplements (DS) and other CAM therapies, the clinician can piece together appropriate patient care approaches. Reporting mechanisms in many countries continue to be sporadic and inconsistent. Information may be biased or inaccurate in the public domain, causing consumer distrust of healthcare provider guidance. As with any therapeutic decision-making, the patient/consumer should be included in the process and given evidence-based information to weigh the risks and benefits for the individual's needs. Healthcare providers should familiarize themselves with CAM practices and the benefits and associated risks to best care for their patient populations. In this review of the current literature from January through December 2019, the adverse effects of herbal dietary supplements (HDS) are organized as affecting different physiological systems. Systematic reporting and monitoring of AEs from mind/body therapies are extremely limited though reported as found. The full impact caused by side effects (SE) of various CAM therapies may be underappreciated due to this lack of complete data.

author list (cited authors)

  • Bellanger, R. A., & Seeger, C. M.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Bellanger, Renee A||Seeger, Christina M

editor list (cited editors)

  • Ray, S. D.

Book Title

  • A Worldwide Yearly Survey of New Data in Adverse Drug Reactions

publication date

  • January 2020