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34 Billion Spent on Alternative Care – Worthwhile or Waste?

Evidence based practice

A recent release by the Associated Press reported that Americans spend about 1/10 of their income on alternative care options. Click here for the whole story.

Massage, meditation, yoga, herbal supplements, such as echinacea and ginseng are all commonly used by consumers. But, as Dr. Sidney Wolfe, who leads Public Citizen's health research, notes, many of these "alternative remedies" have little to no proof of their effectiveness.

While some of the remedies may work, Dr. Briggs states in the release, "I personally am pretty conservative about supplement use," Briggs said. She believes that research her center has sponsored has affected consumer use. After widely publicized studies showed the ineffectiveness of echinacea for colds and St. John's wort for major depression, their use fell; fish oil use has risen following some research suggesting it might help lower risk of heart problems."

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