+1 (218) 451-4151

Discuss the safety and effectiveness of alternative and complementary medicine

Discuss the safety and effectiveness of alternative and complementary medicine

 Reply to at least two other student posts with a reflection of their response.  Please make sure to provide citations and references (in APA, 7th ed. format) for your work.

   The discussion of 2 of my colleagues are the following:

Discussion # 1 :

 Alternative and Complementary Medicine

            Complementary and alternative medicine refers to the treatment methods that are extensively utilized in the treatment and management of infections and are not part of mainstream medicine. The significances of complementary and alternative medicines are several and have been backed up with several evidence-based pieces of research. In the treatment and management of chronic infections like diabetes, cancer, and hypertension complementary and alternative medicines have significantly and extensively been utilized to alleviate the side effects of allopathic treatment (Johnson et al., 2019). This is because, for a chronic infection like cancer, the treatment methods like chemotherapy and other medications have adverse side effects which might be uncomfortable for the patient.

            Complementary and alternative medicines can also be utilized to treat conditions resulting from an individual’s lifestyle. For instance, some types of diabetes and high blood pressure are caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices, and alternative and complementary treatments like consuming a healthy diet, smoking cessation, and consumption of large quantities of water can help treat individuals. Alternative and complementary medicines are very essential and effective in the clinical practice (Johnson et al., 2019). Additionally, the medications can be administered by anyone and on many occasions are home-based care and interventions which can significantly help an individual to lower the burden associated with accessing allopathic medicines. Despite being essential in the treatment and management of symptoms of several infections like cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure, an individual needs to utilize both complementary and alternative medications with allopathic medicine in their clinical interventions.

            Holistic and allopathic care is commonly used by medical service providers to offer advanced medical services to patients. Allopathic care has significantly improved medical service provision since its invention and has significantly increased the life expectancy of patients. This is because some conditions are very complicated and cannot be treated with holistic methods alone. Additionally, allopathic care has significantly advanced throughout the years which has enabled people to perform complex surgical operations like heart transplants and dialysis which have improved medical outcomes (Gaynor, 2022). However, despite significantly improving medical outcomes, allopathic care can sometimes lead to undesirable side effects. Therefore, to alleviate or lessen the adverse side effects of allopathic care medical service providers need to utilize holistic care in their interventions as well. This is because holistic care has limited to no side effects hence making it appropriate to treat undesirable side effects of allopathic care. Patients have the right to choose the type of treatment intervention they desire and nurses should not try to enforce the patients to choose a medical intervention that they do not desire. However, as a nurse, it is important to educate and advise the patient on the best medication to use depending on their conditions.


Johnson, A., Roberts, L., & Elkins, G. (2019). Complementary and alternative medicine for menopause. Journal of evidence-based integrative medicine24, 2515690X19829380.       

Gaynor, M. A. (2022). The Role of Healing and Holistic Nursing. Palliative Care Nursing: Caring for Suffering Patients, 305.

Discussion # 2 :


Alternative Medicine 

Alternative and complementary medicine (ACM) refers to health practices and products that are not part of conventional Western medicine, such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, probiotics, chiropractic, and naturopathy. 

Some cancer patients use acupuncture to help manage the side effects of chemotherapy, while others use herbal remedies to reduce anxiety and depression. Chiropractic can be used to improve musculoskeletal health and reduce pain without the use of medication. Several studies have shown that acupuncture may improve healing, relaxation, glucose control, blood pressure, and lipid profile in people with diabetes or hypertension (Wong, 2022). Acupuncture is generally considered safe when practiced by a trained professional who follows strict cleanliness protocols (Valdes, 2019). However, there have been rare reports of adverse events, such as infections, bleeding, allergic reactions, bruising, central nervous injuries, or organ injury, associated with acupuncture (Cleveland Clinic, 2023). 

Probiotics may improve glucose control, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and lipid profile in people with diabetes and hypertension. Probiotics are generally safe and well-tolerated, with few reports of adverse events. Yoga and meditation may improve glucose control, blood pressure, and quality of life in people with diabetes and hypertension (Sinha, 2018). These practices are generally safe but should be approached with caution in people with certain medical conditions, such as severe joint pain or uncontrolled hypertension, as some postures and breathing techniques may be contraindicated.

Ginseng has been shown to improve glucose control, lipid profile, and blood pressure in people with diabetes and hypertension. However, some herbal remedies have been found to interact negatively with prescription medications, while others can cause allergic reactions or liver damage. One of the main safety concerns is the lack of regulation and quality control in the production and sale of ACM products. Therefore, it is essential to inform healthcare providers of any ACM practices or products being used so that they can monitor for potential interactions and adjust treatment as needed.

Holistic and allopathic care have their strengths and weaknesses, and combining the two can result in a more well-rounded and effective approach to healthcare. This might involve using pharmaceuticals, but also incorporating elements of holistic care like acupuncture or meditation to help patients manage stress and symptoms. Patients are the ones who decide which treatment they want to receive, be it holistic or allopathic. Health care providers must respect the decisions of patients to get better outcomes. I respect alternative medicine if it is done in a safe way and there is evidence of its benefit.

In conclusion, ACM may offer potential benefits in the management of diseases, but it is essential to approach them with caution and in consultation with healthcare providers. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, probiotics, and mind-body practices have been shown to improve glucose control, blood pressure, lipid profile, and pain management in people with diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. However, some herbal remedies have been found to interact negatively with prescription medications, while others can cause allergic reactions or liver damage. There have been rare reports of adverse events, such as infections, bleeding, or organ injury, associated with acupuncture.


Acupuncture. (2023). Cleveland Clinic.


Wong, C. (2022). The Benefits and Side Effects of Acupuncture. Verywellhealth.


Valdes, V. (2019). International Journal of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation.

Volume 5 (2019), Article ID 5:IJPTR-157, 9 pages. Graphy