The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point

Archive for July, 2008

Pelargonium for treating acute respiratory infections

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Pelargonium sidoides (aka EPs 7630 and Umckaloabo) is an herbal extract derived from the gerenium. It’s used to treat acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) where antibiotics are unnecessary.

The Cochrane Library has reviewed the evidence, as has Prof. Ernst. (more…)

Lowering cholesterol with functional foods

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

This study shows it can be done, with reductions that are relatively small. But read the comment to see what can be accomplished with diet, exercise, and omega-3.

Why does the Australian government support CAM?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Dr. Hans Baer from the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia thinks he knows.

It might be a window on what would occur with government funded universal healthcare in the US. (more…)

Should we be warned about black cohosh liver toxicity?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Based on this safety review, the US Pharmacopeia may develop monographs about black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, formerly Cimicifuga racemosa). (more…)

Hypnosis in children receiving cancer chemotherapy

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

 This meta-analysis concludes, “Hypnosis could be a clinically valuable intervention [to reduce] anticipatory and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in children with cancer.” (more…)

Cochrane reviews injection therapy for low back pain

Monday, July 28th, 2008

The reviewers conclude, “There is insufficient evidence to support the use of injection therapy in subacute and chronic low-back pain.” (more…)

Effect of acupuncture on in vitro fertilization

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Researchers from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London have reviewed the literature. (more…)

Massage to prevent postpartum bleeding

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

This Cochrane review concludes, “Uterine massage after delivery of the placenta is advised to prevent postpartum hemorrhage.” (more…)

Effect of garlic on blood pressure

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Garlic preparations are better than placebo in reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure, according to this review by researchers from The University of Adelaide in Australia. (more…)

California bans trans fats

Friday, July 25th, 2008

It’s the first state to outlaw a vegetable oil. (more…)

Negative effect of soy on sperm

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston tell us eating (a lot) more soy food results in lower sperm counts. (more…)

Gynecomastia associated with excessive use of lavender oil and tea tree oil

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a report of 3 boys aged 4, 7, and 10 who were diagnosed with gynecomastia, which the authors attributed to the use of the oils when it resolved after they stopped using them.

Thanks to a reader who brings us up to date. (more…)

A Bent view of herbals

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Dr. Stephen Bent is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

Here’s his view. (more…)

Biofeedback for low back pain

Monday, July 21st, 2008

In this study, conventional physiotherapy was compared to physiotherapy with the addition of postural biofeedback. (more…)

Do antioxidants lower the side effects of chemotherapy?

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Some studies suggest that cancer patients who take antioxidants are more likely to tolerate more full doses of chemotherapy. (more…)

Oxygen for migraine and cluster headaches

Monday, July 21st, 2008

The supporting evidence is marginal according to this Cochrane Library review. (more…)

Benefits of tea drinking in older women

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

There appear to be beneficial effects on the skeleton. (more…)

Fewer infections when older folks take zinc supplements

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

As we age, zinc deficiency combined with impaired immunity increase our susceptibility to infection.

Now, a study hows that zinc supplementation raises zinc blood levels, and lowers circulating proteins that increase the risk of infection. Most importantly, it also lowered the rate of infection in the elderly.


Learning to apply spirituality to end-of-life care

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Two white physicians simply sat for a time and respectfully and attentively conversed about end-of-life care with 23 terminally ill Black patients at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta Georgia. Almost every patient willingly brought up spirituality.

In their article based on this experience they conclude that to understand and show respect for patients’ spiritual views in the context of the patient doctor relationship are keys to providing excellent palliative care.

Here are some quotes from their experience.


“Hip-Hop” Stroke

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Teaching children to recognize stroke. (more…)