The National Center for Contemporary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has updated their introductory reviews.

Here’s what’s important.


  • More than 2.2 million adults in the United States have used Reiki.
  • It’s used for a wide variety of conditions.
  • But “Trial data for any one condition are scarce and independent replications are not available for each condition,” according to this review.
  • Overall, the value of reiki is unproven.


  • About 751,000 people in the United States had ever used ayurvedic medicine.
  • Of greatest interest (to me): “One-fifth of both US-manufactured and Indian-manufactured Ayurvedic medicines purchased via the Internet contain detectable lead, mercury, or arsenic.”

9/2/08 20:11 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.