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The Entirely Online Alt Med Primer

…offering accurate, science-based and popular articles and abstracts on acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, “energy” therapy, herbal and traditional Chinese medicine and other forms of human and veterinary alternative medicine. (a.k.a. the Alt Med Primer) 

To get to the “full text versions” of the articles, papers, chapters or abstracts you’re looking for, just follow (i.e., "click" on) the pertinent highlighted-in-blue link(s) Entries dealing with veterinary “alternative” medicine are highlighted in green text

(Including Veterinary Abstracts) 

Alternative Medicine in general (via Medline) 
Acupuncture and TCM (via Medline) 
Homeopathy (via Medline) 
Chiropractic (via Medline and Chirobase) 
Herbal Medicine (via Medline)  FDA Adverse Event Reports and other material also linked 

“Alternative” and “Complementary” Medicine in General:

An Herbal Rumble: A Government Study that Calls for more Funding for “Alternative Medicine” has some Doctors Seeing Red. Adam Rogers, Newsweek Web, April 8, 2002. (Unfortunately, this article is no longer available without charge. It is, however, available on-line for a fee of $2.95.)

Sins of Commission: Insurance Coverage is Every Acupuncturist, hypnotist, and Chiropractor’s Dream. Christina Larson, Washington Monthly, April 2002

Science Fiction: After Spending Half a Billion Taxpayer Dollars, Alternative Medicine Gurus Still Can’t Prove Their Methods Work – How Convenient. Chris Mooney, Washington Monthly, April 2002.

Alternative Medicine Report: Is it for Learning or Burning?  Ridgely Ochs, Newsday, April 2, 2002. (Unfortunately, this article is no longer available without charge. It is, however, available on-line for a fee of $5.00 – which also allows one to retrieve four other archived Newsday articles at no additional cost.)

What kind of evidence is it that Evidence-Based Medicine advocates want health care providers and consumers to pay attention to?  R. Brian Haynes BMC Health Services Research 2002, 2:3

As heart patients flock to alternative medicine, hazards may lurk. University of Michigan Health Services press release, March 19, 2002

Revolutionary New Insoles Combine Five Forms of PseudoscienceThe Onion, 2002

Scorin' with Orrin: How the gentleman from Utah made it easier for kids to buy steroids, speed, and Spanish fly. Stephanie Mencimer The Washington Monthly, Sept. 2001

Systematic reviews in health care: Investigating and dealing with publication and other biases in meta-analysis, Sterne JAC, Egger M, Smith GD, BMJ 2001;323:101-105 ( 14 July )

It’s All Good: The Appeal of Deepak Chopra.  David Beers,, May 10, 2001.

NIH Funds Research into "Distant Healing" for 150 HIV Patients, CSICOP, February 20, 2001.

A Consumer Advocate’s Dilemma: Should CAM Therapies Be Researched? Paul Lee, December, 2000

Education and debate: The role of complementary and alternative medicine. E Ernst, director, Department of Complementary Medicine, School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, UK. BMJ 2000;321:1133-1135 (4 November)

The Evidence for Evidence-Based Medicine (“Is Only 15% of Scientific Biomedicine ‘Evidence Based’”?), Robert Imrie, David Ramey, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, June, 2000, vol. 8, no. 2, pp 123-126

Are Reviewers Biased against Unconventional Therapies? Edzard Ernst, The Scientist, 14[21]:6 Oct. 20, 2000. (Responseby Saul Green, 14[23]:6, Nov. 27, 2000.) (Requires free on-line registration.)

Scaring Up Money with False Attacks on Science. Bonner R. Cohen, Lexington Institute
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News - 9/20/00

Deaths Due to Medical Errors Are Exaggerated in Institute of Medicine Report. Clement J. McDonald, MD; Michael Weiner, MD, MPH; Siu L. Hui, PhD.JAMA, July 5, 2000, Vol. 284 No. 1. (Unfortunately, this article is no longer available on-line to JAMA non-subscribers, but copies may be ordered, for a fee, from the JAMA document delivery service.)

Use of Complementary Medicines by Patients With HIV: Full Sail Into Uncharted Waters  Stephen C. Piscitelli, PharmD Medscape, 6(3), 2000. (May require free registration.)

Empirical assessment of effect of publication bias on meta-analyses, A J Sutton, S J Duval, R L Tweedie, K R Abrams, D R Jones, BMJ 2000;320:1574-1577 ( 10 June )

A Dictionary of Alternative-Medicine Methods Jack Raso, Canoe

The Skeptic’s Dictionary – Alternative Health Practices Robert Todd Carroll

Medical "Pathies," Tim Gorski, Health Care Reality Check

Alternative? What alternative? John Foley, Skeptic, Vol. 17, No. 1

Testimonial Evidence, Robert Carroll Todd,  Skeptic's Dictionary

Fatal Hypermagnesemia in a Child Treated With Megavitamin/Megamineral Therapy, John K. McGuire, MD, Mona Shah Kulkarni, MD, Harris P. Baden, MD, Pediatrics, Vol. 105 No. 2 February 2000, p. 18

Alternative Medicine: The Multi-Billion Dollar Fraud.  Tony Matthews

Fair Conduct and Fair Reporting of Clinical Trials, Drummond Rennie, MD,  JAMA, Vol. 282 No. 18, November 10, 1999. (Unfortunately, this article is no longer available on-line to JAMA non-subscribers, but copies may be ordered, for a fee, from the JAMA document delivery service.)

Systematic Research is Needed in Alternative Medicine. Michael Ke, Max H. Pittler, MD, Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, FRCP(Edin) Archives of Internal Medicine, vol. 159, no.17, Sept. 27, 1999. (Unfortunately, this article is no longer available on-line to Archives non-subscribers, but copies may be ordered, for a fee, from the Archives document delivery service.)

Is Integrative Medicine the Future? Relman-Weil debate focuses on scientific evidence issues Edited by: Steve Bunk, The Scientist, vol. 13, no. 19, May 10 1999. (Requires free on-line registration.)

Alternative Medicine from an Ethnobiological Perspective, Rachel Dodes, Priorities, vol. 11, no. 3, Summer, 1999

Can Alternative Treatments Induce Immune Surveillance Over Cancer in Humans? - A Review S Green, 1999

The Politics of the Alternative Medicine Movement:  An essay from the frontlines of the war on quackery, Wallace Sampson M.D., 777 Healthproducts, 1999

A Trip to Stonesville: Andrew Weil, the boom in alternative medicine, and the retreat from science Arnold S. Relman, The New Republic, December 14, 1998

Alternative Medicine: It’s time to get smart. Walter A. Brown, The Scientist, 12[24]:13, Dec. 7, 1998. (response by Charles G. Smith, and response by Bernard F. Erlanger, 13[2]:12, Jan. 18, 1999) (Requires free on-line registration.)

The Braid of the Alternative Medicine Movement, Wallace Sampson, SRAM, Fall/Winter, 1998

Alternative Healthcare: Past, Present and Prospects, William T. Jarvis, Priorities, vol.10, no. 4, Fall, 1998

Alternative Medicine -- The Risks of Untested and Unregulated Remedies. Editorial from The New England Journal of Medicine -- September 17, 1998 -- Vol. 339, No. 12. (Requires Acrobat Reader to access. To download a free copy of Acrobat Reader, click here.)

Alternative Medicine Has a Lot of Soul: Observations of a Lexicographer,Jack Raso, Skeptical Briefs, December 1997

Alternative Medicine and the Laws of Physics,  Robert Park,  Skeptical Inquirer, September 1997

Why Bogus Therapies Seem to Work, Barry Beyerstein,  Skeptical Inquirer,  September 1997

Why a New Alternative Medicine Journal? Wallace Sampson, MD, Editor, SRAM, Fall 1997

Is there a Cure for Alternative Medicine? Jack Raso, M.S., R.D., Priorities, vol. 9, no. 2, 1997

Effect of colour of drugs: systematic review of perceived effect of drugs and of their effectiveness. Anton J M de Craen, Pieter J Roos, A Leonard de Vries, Jos Kleijnen. BMJ 1996;313:1624-1626 (21 December)

Scientists Call For Clearer Information, Warnings on Potentially Dangerous "Natural" ProductsACSH Press Release, August 29, 1996

Mystical Medical Alternativism, Jack Raso, Skeptical Inquirer, September 1995

Medline Abstracts on Alternative Medicine in General

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):

Chinese medicines for slimming still cause health problems.  Karl Metcalfe, Cathryn Corns,  Michael Fahie-Wilson, Paul Mackenzie BMJ 2002;324:679 ( 16 March, 2002 )

Systematic reviews of complementary therapies - an annotated bibliography. Part 1: Acupuncture. Klaus Linde, Andrew Vickers, Maria Hondras, Gerben ter Riet, Johannes Thormählen, Brian Berman, Dieter Melchart. BMC Complement Altern Med  2001; 1: 3 [July 16]

Randomised trial of acupuncture compared with conventional massage and "sham" laser acupuncture for treatment of chronic neck pain. Dominik Irnich, Nicolas Behrens, Holger Molzen, Achim König, Jochen Gleditsch, Martin Krauss, Malte Natalis, Edward Senn, Antje Beyer, Peter Schöps. BMJ 2001;322:1574 ( 30 June ) (Electronic responses to article.)

Acupuncture for Chronic Low Back Pain: Diagnosis and Treatment Patterns Among Acupuncturists Evaluating the Same Patient.Donna Kalauokalani, Karen J. Sherman, Daniel C. Cherkin. South Med J 94(5):486-492, May 2001. (Requires free registration for healthcare professionals.)

Methodological Issues in Trials of Acupuncture (letter), Erika Frank, MD, MPH, JAMA, vol. 285, no. 8, February 28, 2001

Electroacupuncture for Control of Myeloablative Chemotherapy-Induced Emesis: A Randomized Controlled Trial (abstract), Joannie Shen, MD, MPH; Neil Wenger, MD, MPH; John Glaspey, MD, MPH, et al, JAMA, vol. 284, no. 21, December 6, 2000

Acupuncture of the Neck Linked to Intracranial Hemorrhage, Reuters Health, June 23, 2000. (Reprinted on “chiroviewpresents.”)

Efficacy of Acupuncture as a Treatment for Tinnitus, Jongbae Park, Adrian R. White, Edzard Ernst, Archives of Otolaryngology, Vol. 126 No. 4, April 2000. (Unfortunately, this article is no longer available on-line to Archives non-subscribers, but copies may be ordered, for a fee, from the Archives document delivery service.)

Acupuncture, The Facts, Stephen Basser, MD

NCAHF Position Paper on Acupuncture

Horsefeathers: acupuncture from a veterinary perspective, Dave Ramey, Jack Raso,Priorities, vol. 11., no. 2, Spring, 1999

Review of randomised controlled trials of traditional Chinese medicine BMJ 1999;319:160-161 ( 17 July ) Jin-Ling Tang, associate professor in community medicine,  Si-Yan Zhan, associate professor in epidemiology,  Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine

On the National Institute of Drug Abuse Consensus Conference on Acupuncture Wallace Sampson, SRAM, Spring, 1998

Chinese medicine in the Western Worldexcerpt from Dr. Paul Unschuld's “Chinese Medicine” (1998)

Acupuncture, Fools, and Horses. Letter to the editor of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Vol. 14 No. 6 December 1997, by Edzard Ernst, Head of Department, Department of Complementary Medicine, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter

Traditional Medicine and Pseudoscience in China, pt. 1, Barry Beyerstein, Skeptical Inquirer, July, 1996

Traditional Medicine and Pseudoscience in China, pt. 2, Barry Beyerstein, Skeptical Inquirer, September, 1996

China, Chi, and Chicanery, Peter Huston, Skeptical Inquirer, September, 1995

Acupuncture: Nonsense with Needles, by Arthur Taub, M.D., Ph.D., excerpt from “The Health Robbers,” Stephen Barrett, MD, William Jarvis, PhD, 1993, Prometheus Books

Acupuncture, Naturopathy and other Health-Care Wanna-Bes, from "A Consumer's Guide to Alternative Medicine," Kurt Butler, 1992, Prometheus Books

Kicking Against the Pricks, Stephen Basser, Australian Skeptics Website

Acupuncture, Qigong, and "Chinese Medicine," Stephen Barrett, Quackwatch

From Acu-Powder to Zhenjiu: A Topology of "Chinese Med," Jack Raso, Health Care Reality Check

Scott Fausel's letter to Compendium  in response to their glowing and highly misleading 1997 article “Acupuncture Therapy in Small Animal Practice.” (Compendium not only refused to publish all or part of Dr. Fausel’s letter, they ignored it entirely.)

Medline  Abstracts on Acupuncture and TCM


Use of ultramolecular potencies of allergen to treat asthmatic people allergic to house dust mite: double blind randomised controlled clinical trial, G T Lewith, A D Watkins, M E Hyland, S Shaw, J A Broomfield, G Dolan, S T Holgate. BMJ 2002;324:520 ( 2 March )

A systematic review of the quality of homeopathic clinical trials. Wayne B. Jonas, Rachel L. Anderson, Cindy C. Crawford, and John S. Lyons, BMC Complement Altern Med 2001; 1: 12

Systematic reviews of complementary therapies - an annotated bibliography. Part 3: Homeopathy. Klaus Linde, Andrew Vickers, Maria Hondras, Gerben ter Riet, Johannes Thormählen, Brian Berman, Dieter Melchart. BMC Complement Altern Med 2001; 1: 4 [July 20, 2001]

Homeopathy: Effective Health Care, Nov. 2001. vol.7, no. 2, National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. (Requires Acrobat Reader to access. To download a free copy of Acrobat Reader, click here.)

Systematic Reviews in Health Care: Investigating and Dealing With Publication and other Biases in Meta-Analysis. Sterne JAC, Egger M, Smith GD. BMJ 2001;323:101-105. July 14, 2001

Homeopathy Found Effective for Hypochondriasis, Q Fever, January 17, 2001

Homeopathy and Veterinary Medicine: Has Bird Talk been Quacked?Laura Ainsworth and Daniel Barnett, Newsletter of the North Texas Skeptics, vol. 14, no. 12, December 2000

If “Less is More,” is Nothing Best? Jack Raso, Priorities for Health, Vol. 12, No. 3

An Up-Side Down View of Health, Robert Park,  SRAM, Fall/Winter, 1999

Homeopathy and its Founder: Views of a British Researcher, Steven Ransom, Priorities, vol. 11, no.4, Fall, 1999

Homeopathy and Science: a Closer Look, David W. Ramey, DVM, Mahlon Wagner, Ph.D, Robert H. Imrie, DVM, Victor Stenger, PhD, 1998

Homeopathy Update from Prescrire International,  February 1996 Vol 5 No. 21

Effect of homoeopathy on pain and other events after acute trauma: placebo controlled trial with bilateral oral surgery. Per Lokken, Per Atle Straumsheim, Dag Tveiten, Per Skjelbred, Christian Fredrik Borchgrevink. BMJ 1995;310:1439-1442 (3 June)

Homeopathy and its Kindred Delusions. Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1842

Homeopathy and What it’s Really Worth! Tony Matthews’ scathing, irreverent, but accurate and informative assessment.

The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics blasts homeopathy

NCAHF Position Paper on Homeopathy

Medline  Abstracts on Homeopathy


Texas Worker’s Compensation Medical Costs Highest of Eight States; Chiropractic Services a Prime Factor, Says New WCRI Study. Business Wire, Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Stroke victims five times more likely to have visited chiropractor Wayne Macphail, Canoe, May 9, 2001

"Veterinary Chiropractic" David W. Ramey, D.V.M., Chirobase

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Says Chiropractors May Not Use the Term "Physical Therapy",American Physical Therapy Association, May 1999

Spinal Manipulation and Chiropractic: Views of a Reformist Chiropractor, Craig F Nelson, D.C., Priorities, vol. 11, no.2, Spring, 1999

A backbone is a backbone: Alberta's vets are out of joint over animal chiropractic,Alberta Report, March 23, 1998

Do Pinched Nerves Reduce the Flow of Nerve Energy? Stephen Barrett, Chirobase

Don’t Let Chiropractors Fool You, Stephen Barrett, Chirobase

A Warning for Pre-Chiropractic Students, Bill Lattanze, D.C., Chirobase

Take It from a DC: A Lot of Chiropractic Is a Sham. If you suspect that diagnostic shortcomings and therapeutic abuses still plague the profession, you're right. Mark Sanders, D.C., Chirobase, (originally appeared in Medical Economics)

Malpractice Is an Inevitable Result of Chiropractic Philosophy and Training (1979),Peter J. Modde, D.C., Chirobase

National Association for Chiropractic Medicine (a national organization comprised of chiropractors who realize that the “spinal subluxations,” upon which ~ 97% of their colleagues base their practices, are imaginary)

Concerns about Chiropractic at York University

In Defense of Science Over Pseudoscience in University Education Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine

NCAHF Position Paper on Chiropractic

Chiropractic: A Skeptical View William T. Jarvis, Ph.D., Chirobase

A Scientific Test of Chiropractic's Subluxation Theory The first experimental study of the basis of the theory demonstrates that it is erroneous. Edmund S. Crelin, Ph.D.

Chiropractic Fraud, Chirowatch

Chiropractic: The Victim’s Perspective Quackwatch

Medline Abstracts on Chiropractic

Aromatherapy and Bach Flower Therapy:

Aromatherapy Works Because you Want It Too. David Derbyshire, Electronic Telegraph, April 19, 2001

Scents and Nonsense: Does Aromatherapy Stink? Cheryl Sweet, Priorities Magazine, vol. 9, no. 4, Fall 1997

What's That I Smell: The Claims of Aromatherapy, Lynn McCutcheon, Skeptical Inquirer, June 1996

Bach Flower Remedies: Time to Stop Smelling the Flowers? Lynn McCutcheon,Skeptical Inquirer, July/August 1995,

Herbal Medicine:

Child herbal medicine risk. Robyn Riley, Herald Sun, May 5, 2002

Effect of Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s Wort) in Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group, JAMA, Vol 287, No. 14, April 10, 2002

Kava may be linked to liver damage. Lauran Neergaard , Associated Press, Monday, March 25, 2002

Health Canada warns public not to use Hua Fo [Ginseng]. Health Canada, February 15, 2002

Anxiety over kava: FDA, others investigate reports of liver toxicity.Judy Packer-Tursman, The Washington Post, Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Herbal stimulant may be deadly. Associated Press, Nov. 9, 2001.

Problems and ambiguity among alternative estrogen products reported by — Results of soy and red clover isoflavone product testing released online today., August 15, 2001

Systematic reviews of complementary therapies - an annotated bibliography. Part 2: Herbal medicine. Klaus Linde, Andrew Vickers, Maria Hondras, Gerben ter Riet, Johannes Thormählen, Brian Berman, Dieter Melchart. BMC Complement Altern Med 2001; 1: 5 [July 16]

Herbal Medicines and Perioperative Care. Michael K. Ang-Lee, MD; Jonathan Moss, MD, PhD; Chun-Su Yuan, MD, PhD. JAMA Vol. 286 No. 2, July 11, 2001.

Many herbal sleep products lack key claimed ingredient — Results of's testing of valerian products released on web today., July 9, 2001

FDA Seeks Withdrawal of Comfrey Dietary Supplements. Reuters, July 7, 2001

It's "Buyer Beware" with Alternative Botanical Treatments for Menopausal Symptoms, Says ACOG, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, May 31, 2001

Vital Nutrients Recalls Joint Ease & Verified Quality Brand Joint Comfort Complex Because of Adverse Health Risk Associated with Aristolochic Acid FDA News Release, May 21, 2001

Herbal-product sales dip tied to confusion, concern.  Nanci Hellmich USA Today, May 9, 2001.

Ethnobotanist warns of mixing herbs with traditional medications: Many patients ‘self-medicate’ and don’t tell physicians. Washington University in St. Louis/Eurekalert press release, May 8, 2001.

Over Forty Percent of Echinacea Products Fail Review - Inadequate Labeling and Missing Ingredients Found Common for Popular Herbal Cold Remedy., May 7, 2001

Why Your Pharmacist Wants to Know About Your Herbs: Some Druggists Can Issue Computer-Prompted Warnings About Hazardous Interactions. The Washington Post Online, May 1, 2001

Quality of popular herbal anti-depressant found to vary; certain types of St. John's Wort supplements more likely to pass testing., April 10, 2001

Effectiveness of St John's Wort in Major Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Richard C. Shelton, MD; Martin B. Keller, MD; Alan Gelenberg, MD; David L. Dunner, MD; Robert Hirschfeld, MD; Michael E. Thase, MD; James Russell, MD; R. Bruce Lydiard, MD, PhD; Paul Crits-Cristoph, PhD; Robert Gallop, PhD; Linda Todd; David Hellerstein, MD; Paul Goodnick, MD; Gabor Keitner, MD; Stephen M. Stahl, MD; Uriel Halbreich, MD. JAMA, Vol 285, No. 15, April 18, 2001

Code green: Seeing the side effects of alternative supplements.Victoria Stagg Elliott,  AMNews. March 5, 2001.

Green Tea and the Risk of Gastric Cancer in Japan. Yoshitaka Tsubono, et al, NEJM, Vol. 344, No. 1, March 1, 2001.

Comparison of St. John’s wort and imipramine: Study design casts doubt on value of St. John’s wort in treating depression.  BMJ  2001;322:493 ( 24 February )

Effectiveness of Ginkgo biloba in treating tinnitus: double blind, placebo controlled trial. Shelley Drew, Ewart Davies. BMJ 2001;322:73 ( 13 January )

What You Should Know About Herbal Use and Anesthesia (for the public). American Society of Anesthesiologists, 2000.

Considerations for Anesthesiologists: What You Should Know About Your Patients' Use of Herbal Medicines (for physicians). American Society of Anesthesiologists, 2000

Ginko Remedies Fail WHO Standards, Medscape, November 20, 2000.

Raw Animal Tissues and Dietary Supplements, Scott A. Norton, M.D., M.P.H., New England Journal of Medicine, July 27, 2000

Pesticide Contamination Found in Many Ginseng Supplements Tested by
— Only 9 of 22 Products Pass Product Review Published Online Today. July 11, 2000.

Product Review: Asian and American Ginseng,, 2000.

Chinese herb remedy linked with cancer of the kidneys, Jacqui Thornton, Electronic Telegraph, June 18, 2000

Modern-Day Snake Oil Needs Oversight, Henry I. Miller, Chicago Tribune, July 9, 2000

St. John's Wort Induces Drug-Clearing Enzyme, Sherry Katz, Clin Pharmacol Ther 2000;67:451-457.

Cancer and Herbs, David A. Kessler,  The New England Journal of Medicine, June 8, 2000 -- Vol. 342, No. 23

Use of Complementary Medicines by Patients With HIV: Full Sail Into Uncharted Waters Stephen C. Piscitelli, PharmD Medscape, 6(3), 2000.

Cancers Tied to Herb that Attacks Kidneys, New York Times News Service, June 8, 2000

Aloe Drinks “Could Cause Miscarriage,” Thomas Harding, Electronic Telegraph, Monday, May 22, 2000. (Requires free registration to access.)

St. John’s Wort Equivalent to Placebo for Treating Depression, Reuter’s Medical News, May 12, 2000

A Prescription Drug Packaged in China and Sold as an Ethnic Remedy, Stephen C. Dreskin, JAMA, Vol. 283 No. 18, May 10, 2000. (Unfortunately, this article is no longer available on-line to JAMA non-subscribers, but copies may be ordered, for a fee, from the JAMA document delivery service.)

Risk of Drug Interactions with St. John’s Wort. Jane E. Henney, JAMA Vol. 283 No. 13,
April 5, 2000

Risk of Drug Interactions with St. John’s Wort and Indinavir and Other drugs, FDA Public Health Advisory, February 10, 2000

Were Herbs (and bee pollen) Responsible for Acute Hepatitis? Shad JA, Chinn CG. Brann OS. Clinician Reviews, April 2000. Reprinted from South Med J. 1999;92:1095-1097.

Herbs can Hurt Instead of Heal, Erin McCormick,  San Francisco Examiner, March 12, 2000 finds many arthritis supplements lacking labeled ingredients; Glucosamine and Chondroitin product review published online today., March 7, 2000

The herbal history of digitalis: lessons for alternative medicine.  JAMA, Vol. 283, no. 7. Feb. 16, 2000. (Unfortunately, this article is no longer available on-line to JAMA non-subscribers, but copies may be ordered, for a fee, from the JAMA document delivery service.)

State Health Director Warns Consumers About Prescription Drugs In Herbal Products, California Department of Health Services news release, February 15, 2000.

Saint John’s Wort Causes Dangerous Interaction with Protease Inhibitors, Deborah Mitchell, Reuters Medical News, Feb. 11, 2000

Quality of prostate supplements get mixed review in study; Saw palmetto product review published online today.,  January 31, 2000

Herbs Banned After Contamination Fears,BBC News, Wednesday, January 19, 2000.

Herb-Drug Interactions, A. Fugh-Berman, Pharmaceutical Information Network, Pharmacotherapy News Network, January 10, 2000

Only three quarters of Ginkgo Biloba supplements contain proper ingredients. posts first of its dietary supplement product tests., November 16, 1999.

The Role of Pharmaceutical Scientists in the World of Nutraceuticals.Larry L. Augsburger, The Scientist, 13[22]:13, Nov. 8, 1999. (Response by Leonard L. Kaplan, 14[1]:4, Jan. 10,2000.) (Requires free on-line registration.)

Tea Tree Oil – Toxic to Cats Sarah Hartwell, 1995, 1999

Acute Hepatitis After Ingestion of Herbs LCDR Javaid A. Shad, MD, MC, USNR, CDR Colin G. Chinn, MD, MC, USNR, CDR Oscar S. Brann, MD, MC, USNR, South Med J  92(11), 1999

Chinese Medicine Contamination Scare, BBC News, Wednesday, July 28, 1999.

A Recipe for Disaster: Sun Trap (St. John’s Wort, Phototoxicity, and Cataracts), Nicole Johnston, New Scientist, July 24, 1999

K-State Vet Says Herbal Preventatives May Not Make Fleas Flee, Beth Bohn, Kansas State University News, July 15, 1999

Quality checks for herbal remedies, BBC News, Wednesday, May 12, 1999

Herbal Remedy May Not Be Hearth Healthy, Intelihealth, March 9, 1999.

Herbal Remedies Contain Steroids, BBC News, Friday, February 26, 1999

Herbal Remedies May Reduce Fertility, BBC News, Tuesday, February 23, 1999

Americans Gamble on Herbs as Medicine, Jane E. Brody,  New York Times, Feb. 9, 1999

Anesthesiologists Warn: If You're Taking Herbal Products, Tell Your Doctor Before Surgery, American Society of Anesthesiologists, 1999

Herbal Healing: In a new display of Flower Power for the late 1990s, baby boomers are gulping down all sorts of old remedies derived from plants. John Greenwald, Time Magazine, November 23, 1998 Vol.152 No. 21

New Health Drinks or Old-Style Snake-Oil Elixirs? Karl Taro Greenfeld,Time Magazine, November 23, 1998 Vol.152 No. 21

Alternative Medicine: The 18 Billion Dollar Experiment – Alternative, Conventional Care Forge Uneasy Alliance, Shari Roan, David Olmos, The Los Angeles Times, Sept. 2, 1998. (Now requires a $2.00 fee for non-subscribers)

Alternative Medicine: The 18 Billion Dollar Experiment – Hope or Hype? Terence Monmaney, Shari Roan, The Los Angeles Times, Aug. 30, 1998 (Now requires a $2.00 fee for non-subscribers)

Alternative Medicine: The 18 Billion Dollar Experiment – Remedy’s US Sales Zoom, but Quality Lags, Terence Monmaney, The Los Angeles Times, Aug. 30, 1998 (Now requires a $2.00 fee for non-subscribers)

Herbal Fen-Phen Warning. FDA Consumer 32, Jan. – Feb. 1998, part 2

More than a funny name: Ginko, long revered in the east, gets its first plug in a U.S. Medical Journal – as an Alzheimer’s drug. Christine Gorman, Time Magazine, Nov. 3., 1997, Vol. 150, No. 18.

Supplements with Plantain May Pose Danger, FDA warns, FDA Consumer 31, Sept. – Oct . 1997, part 5

Nature’s Prozac? Despite its growing popularity, St. John’s Wort has yet to convince skeptics that it’s safe and effective. J. Madeleine Nash, Time Magazine, Sept. 22, 1997, Vol. 150., No. 12

Imitation of Ecstasy: A Commentary on Ephedra Products, Cindy F. Kleiman, Priorities, vol. 9, no.2, Summer, 1997

Hepatotoxicity associated with herbal tablets De Smet P, Van den Ertwegh A, Lesterhuis W, Stricker B. BMJ  1996;313:92 (13 July)

NCAHF Position Paper on Herbal Remedies, National Council Against Health Fraud

Chinese Herbs: Some Things to Remember, Bill Burley

Naming Medicinal Herbs: The Confusing Quagmire of Names Bill Burley

The Herbal Minefield, Stephen Barrett, Quackwatch

False Tenets of Paraherbalism, Varro E. Tyler, Quakwatch

Product reports from


Ginkgo Biloba


Saw Palmetto

St. John’s Wort

Medline Abstracts on Herbal Therapies

“Energy” Medicine:

Chemistry professor Stephen K. Lower’s ClusterBunk page and biochemist Keith McCall's Water Stupidity page deal with fanciful entities referred to as clustered- and/or structure-altered water (SAW), also sometimes called "revitalized" or "living" water. These are allegedly the key ingredients of “remedies” marketed as: Angel Water - CellCore Clustered Water™ - Chrysalis - Crystal Energy®Energy Water - Energy Stimulator - Ellis Water Machine - Flanagan - Grander Water - LivingWater™ - Maret - MicroCluster - Microhydrin® - Penta Water - Prill Water - Wheeler Water - Willard Water - Zanier Water. McCall’s page also deals with “Vitamin O” (plain salt water sold for $10-$20/ounce)

The Effectiveness of Magnet Therapy for Treatment of Wrist Pain Attributed to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. North American Primary Care Research Group, December 2001. Aspy, Cheryl B, Carter, Richard; Hall, Thomas; Mold, James W

Suit filed against Florsheim, manufacturer of Magneforce Shoes, August 9, 2000

Bipolar Permanent Magnets for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Pilot Study, Edward A. Collacott, MD, et al.  JAMA, Vol. 283 No. 10, March 8, 2000. (Unfortunately, this article is no longer available on-line to JAMA non-subscribers, but copies may be ordered, for a fee, from the JAMA document delivery service.)

Bioenergetic Fields, Victor Stenger, The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, Spring 1999

Therapeutic Touch Fails to Detect "Human Energy Fields" Further professional use of therapeutic touch is unjustified, JAMA, April 1, 1998. (Unfortunately, this article is no longer available on-line to JAMA non-subscribers, but copies may be ordered, for a fee, from the JAMA document delivery service.)

The Energy Fields of Life, Victor Stenger,  Skeptical Briefs, July 1998

Therapeutic Touch: What Could Be the Harm? Dnal P. O’Mathuna, SRAM,Spring 1998

Quantum Metaphysics, Victor Stenger, SRAM, Fall 1997

Quantum Quackery,Victor Stenger, Skeptical Inquirer, January 1997

HCRC FAQ Sheet: Therapeutic Touch

Therapeutic Touch (Putting Their Hands In Our Wallets), Tony Matthews

Magnetic and Electromagnetic Therapy in Horses, Dave Ramey


The Promise of Vaccines, The Science and the Controversy, David R. Smith, MD, The Ameircan Council on Science and Health, September 2001. (Requires Acrobat Reader to access. To download a free copy of Acrobat Reader, click here.)

Delusions of Intestinal Parasitosis, Elizabeth B. Ford, MD, David P. Calfee, MD, Richard D. Pearson, MD, South Med J  94(5):545-547, May, 2001. (This article may be of particular interest to those examining the medical claims of “Naturopathic Doctor” Hulda Regehr Clark, author of “The Cure For All Cancers,” and other similarly titled volumes.)

Popular Heart Remedy Debunked: Chelation Therapy Found Useless in First Rigorous Study, MSNBC News Health, March 21, 2001

Cerebral Palsy Treatment [Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy] Doubted. Emma Ross, Associated Press, February 23, 2001

What would happen if we stopped vaccinations, CDC, March 28,2000.

Pharmacotherapy for Low Back Pain, by the editors at Medscape Pharmacology, from Medscape Pharmacology, 2000.

Medical Errors: An Exposé of the Problem, by Laurie L. Briceland, PharmD, FASHP, FCCP,  from Medscape Pharmacists, 2000.

Impact of Vaccines Universally Recommended for Children.CDC, Division of Media Relations April 2, 1999

The "Persecuted" Doctor, by Stephen Barrett, from "The Health Robbers," 1993, Prometheus books

Anti-immunisation scare: the inconvenient facts, Stephen Basser,  Austrailian Skeptics

New Journal Defends Scientific Medicine, Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine

Oral Joint Supplements, Dave Ramey



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