Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) is a broad-based, interactive resource for information on herbs, dietary supplements, alternative systems of medicine, vitamin and mineral ingredients of currently available natural medicines and more. You can get reliable information on all the herbal remedies, dietary supplements, vitamins, minerals and other natural products. You can look up safety and effectiveness ratings for each product, find out what to take for any given condition or use the "Natural Product / Drug Interaction Checker" to test for harmful interactions between products you are taking.
This Consumer version of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database – now available from this MD Anderson Web site – provides you with easy-to-understand information. You do not have to log in.
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Reviews of Therapies by CIMER and Others
- Alternative Medical Systems are systems such as traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathy that have evolved apart from current conventional medical practices.
- Herbal/Plant Biologic Therapies include single plants such as ginger or garlic and herbal combination tonics such as Hoxsey and Essiac.
- (Non-Plant) Biologic/Organic/Pharmacologic Therapies are naturally occurring substances such as cartilage or isolated elements such as selenium.
- Nutrition and Special Diets include the Gerson and macrobiotic diets and a link to information and services provided by the MD Anderson Department of Clinical Nutrition.
- Manipulative and Body-Based Methods include methods such as massage that move or manipulate the body.
- Energy Therapies focus on energy perceived to be within or outside of the body. Examples include yoga, Healing Touch, Reiki, Qigong and magnets.
- Mind-Body Approaches support the whole mind-body-spirit through support groups, visualization, music and other programs of the MD Anderson Place ... of wellness.
Methodology for Review Process
Reviews of complementary/integrative medicines are the responsibility of the staff of the Complementary/Integrative Medicine Education Resources (CIMER) Web site of the Integrative Medicine Program of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The process begins with the MD Anderson Research Medical Library staff who search the U. S. National Library of Medicine "Medline" database for published research studies using guidelines and keywords identified by the CIMER staff. Abstracts of articles identified through these searches are then reviewed for relevancy by the CIMER staff.
Relevant articles are obtained and categorized as human, animal, in vitro or other. A brief background section is then developed utilizing major reviews and commentaries. Human studies then receive an in-depth review and are further classified by study design (randomized controlled trial, case-control, prospective cohort study - clinical series or case reports). Descriptions of study designs, methodologies and results are then compiled into an Annotated Bibliography and Summary of Research within the Detailed Scientific Review of each therapy.
Animal Studies Policy
In order to provide the most relevant information, it is our practice to focus on human studies. Accordingly, we do not review animal studies if human studies are available. (Results in animal studies may not be confirmed when substances are tested in humans due to poor absorption, unanticipated side effects or general lack of effectiveness.)
We acknowledge that both favorable and unfavorable initial results of basic science or clinical research on complementary or alternative therapies may be presented at respected research and clinical meetings and subsequently published in proceedings of those meetings as abstracts. These abstracts may then be referenced in secondary sites such as other research or clinical papers or lay publications.
The problem with these abstracts is that they do not contain all the available details of the study methodology and data, and are not reviewed by experts in the same field (peer-reviewed) for how well the data supports the conclusions. In fact, it is not uncommon for such abstracts to be subsequently published in greater detail in peer-reviewed scientific and clinical journals with modified conclusions from the original abstract, or to be rejected for publication because the methodology or data was judged to not support the conclusions.
Because of this problem with abstracts, the CIMER Web site has a policy for its content of only drawing conclusions from the most carefully reviewed information available in complete articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Although we will note abstracts within the Annotated Bibliography sections of our reviews, we will label them as such and not consider them in the drawing of any conclusions.
An exception to this policy will be made if there is an abstract reporting potential for harm to the health of people who might be using the complementary or alternative approach and we judge it is important that such information be disseminated quickly pending further confirmation.