National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NIH)

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is the lead U.S. agency for scientific research on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM comprises health care approaches developed outside of mainstream Western (conventional) medicine. NCCAM, a center within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has been charged by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with defining, through scientific research, the usefulness and safety of CAM therapies and their role in improving health and health care. NCCAM considers two main groups of CAM therapies: natural products (herbs/botanicals, vitamins and minerals, and probiotics) and mind and body practices (e.g., acupuncture and yoga). Natural products are particularly relevant to the subject of pharmacology and society because they are widely used, but their safety and ...

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