Complementary medicines include nutritional supplements such as vitamins and minerals, herbal medicines, indigenous medicines, traditional chinese or indian (Ayurvedic) medicine and homeopathic medicine.
They are usually supplied by naturopaths, herbalists, homeopaths, acupuncturists and doctors and can be purchased in pharmacies, health food stores and supermarkets. In Australia, for example, all complementary medicines must meet government safety and quality standards.
It is important to include any complementary medicines you are taking on your medicines list as they may interact with other medicines. For example Glucasamine is known to interfere with Warfarin.
Some common complementary medicines and their effects:
- Black Cohosh is known to relieve menopausal symptoms.
- Cranberry helps the urinary tract
- Fish oil can lower triglycerides and reduce joint stiffness
- Ginger can relieve sea sickness and other nausea
- Selenium helps improves muscle weakness, muscle pain and muscle inflammation.
- Valerian can help insomnia
- Zinc promotes a healthy immune system
National Ayurvedic Medical Association of USA
Traditional Chinese Medicine Information Page