Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Science Reference Services (Science, Technology, and Business Division)
  Home >> Science Reference Guides

Science Reference Guides

Alternative, Complementary & Integrative Medicine -- A Curator's Choice

Science Reference Section
Science, Technology & Business Division
Library of Congress

Photograph of glass jars with metal caps filled with traditional Chinese medicine.
Traditional Chinese Medicine

Photo from the National Center for Complementary
and Integrative Health (NCCIH) website.

According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine.”

When describing these approaches, people often use “alternative” and “complementary” interchangeably, but the two terms refer to different concepts. If a non-mainstream practice is used together with conventional medicine, it’s considered “complementary.” If a non-mainstream practice is used in place of conventional medicine, it’s considered “alternative.” There are many definitions of “integrative” health care, but all involve bringing conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way. The use of integrative approaches to health and wellness has grown within care settings across the United States. Researchers are currently exploring the potential benefits of integrative health in a variety of situations, including pain management for military personnel and veterans, relief of symptoms in cancer patients and survivors, and programs to promote healthy behaviors. In Asia, integrative medicine has been the most common practice for many years.



Chinese herbal drug research trends. Edited by Felix M. Ching. New York: Nova Biomedical Books, c2007. 267 p.
   LC Call Number: RM666.H33C55 2007 OVERFLOWJ34; FLM2016 075445
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2007028466

This book presents the latest research in the field of Chinese Herbal Medicine, as a part of a larger healing system called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is a popular method of treatment that includes acupuncture, massage, dietary advice, and exercise and is called Chinese Drug Therapy in China because it uses a wide variety of substances and therapeutic modalities. The earliest uses date back over more than 4,000 years to the Shang dynasty, and plant, animal, and mineral substances are all included in the Materia Medica of Chinese Drug Therapy.

Complementary and alternative medicine sourcebook: basic consumer health information about Ayurveda, acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic care, diet-based therapies, herbal and vitamin supplements, homeopathy, massage, meditation, naturopathy, reflexology, reiki, shiatsu, feng shui, tai chi, qi gong, traditional Chinese medicine, yoga, and other complementary and alternative medical therapies; along with statistics, tips for selecting a practitioner, treatments for specific health conditions, a glossary of related terms, and a directory of resources for additional help and information. 5th ed. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2016. 623 p.
   LC Call Number: R735.C66 2016
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2015030054

This book covers basic consumer health information about alternative and complementary medical therapies, including dietary supplements, mind-body medicine, and manipulative and body-based therapies, along with facts about alternative treatments for specific diseases and conditions. It also includes an index, a glossary of related terms, and other resources.

Complementary and integrative therapies for mental health and aging. Edited by Helen Lavretsky, Martha Sajatovic, and Charles Reynolds III. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. 571 p.
   LC Call Number: RC451.4.A5C633 2016 OVERFLOWJ34; FLM2016 075038
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2015020578

This book is edited by three of the leading experts in the treatment of geriatric mental health disorders. They have summarized years of research and clinical and scholarly insight into a resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about the evidence behind complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine for late-life mental health disorders.

Daulter, Anni, Jessica Booth, and Jessica Smithson. Sacred medicine cupboard: a holistic guide and journal for caring for your family naturally. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 2017. 433 p.
   LC Call Number: RZ440.D383 2017
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2016019366

This is a guide for holistic family wellness. It has seasonal insights, practical knowledge, recipes, projects, and journal prompts for a year of sacred medicine practice—scheduled for 52 weeks. The text is accompanied by an abundance of full-color photographs. The book helps readers cultivate skills and tools for navigating an increasingly complicated world of alternative medicine. Oorganized by topics of the week, such as Awakening, Blossom, Spicy, Glow, and Rest, Sacred Medicine Cupboard provides a treasury of tools to nurture and rejuvenate the entire family, along with spaces at the end of each section to write, reflect, and develop a way of life rooted in peace and natural health.

Fondin, Michelle S. The wheel of healing with Ayurveda: an easy guide to a healthy lifestyle. Novato, California: New World Library, 2015. 265 p.
   LC Call Number: R605.F66 2015 OVERFLOWJ34; FLS2016 112635
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2015001783

Ayurveda is a complete wellness system that includes all that we associate with medical care, prevention of disease, observation and diagnosis, and treatment. The author’s self-assessment questions allow readers to zero in on their own best practices through interventions such as eating plans, healing addictions, detoxification, and improving relationships and work.

Fundamentals of complementary and alternative medicine. Edited by Marc S. Micozzi. St. Louis, Missouri: Saunders/Elsevier, 2015. 702 p.
   LC Call Number: R733.F86 2015 CABIN BRANCH
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2014039588

This title is the leading text in the popular series Medical Guides to Complementary and Alternative Medicine. It has been fully updated and expanded, and focuses on the alternative therapies that are best supported by clinical trials and hard evidence.

Integrative nutrition therapy. Edited by Mary J. Marian, Gerard E. Mullin. Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016. 484 p.
   LC Call Number: RM217.2.I58 2016 OVERFLOWJ34; FLM2015 249477
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2015007177

This book is one of the most comprehensive works on integrative nutrition. With 20 chapters written by 30 authors, it covers integrative nutrition therapy using traditional methods, and also weaves in the latest advances in nutrition science.

Integrative therapies for depression: redefining models for assessment, treatment, and prevention. Edited by James M. Greenblatt, Kelly Brogan. Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016. 531 p.
   LC Call Number: RC537.I562 2016 OVERFLOWJ34; FLM2016 120268
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2016302034

The book summarizes emerging theories and research findings on various non–pharmaceutical therapies to treat mood disorders. Supported by the review of nearly 3000 scientific studies, the book describes the concepts of inflammation, genetics, hormonal imbalance, gastrointestinal conditions, environmental stress, and nutritional deficiencies and their possible link to the pathogenesis of mood disorders.

Khare, C.P. Ayurvedic pharmacopoeial plant drugs: expanded therapeutics. Boca Raton: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016. 627 p.
   LC Call Number: RS160.K48 2016 OVERFLOWJ34; FLM2016 031422
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2015037468

The book is the first review of all the therapeutic sections of 456 plant medicines in the first six volumes of the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India. It covers pharmacognosy of classical Ayurvedic herbs, their chemical constituents, therapeutic uses, and doses on the basis of contemporary scientific literature. The book reviews the classical qualities, compounds, and textual references of Ayurvedic plant medicines and updates the pharmacopoeial qualities of Ayurvedic herbs and formulations to make them more industry–oriented and facilitate their implementation to the modern medicine.

Kurn, Sidney J., and Sheryl Shook. Herbs & nutrients for neurologic disorders: treatment strategies for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis, migraine, and seizures. 2nd ed. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2016. 244 p.
   LC Call Number: RC350.H47K87 2016
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2015046036

A large number of medical journals have published studies supporting the use of herbs and nutrients in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. However, very few neurologists include herbs as part of their protocols. In this practical guide, the authors explain how to safely and easily incorporate herbs, antioxidants, and nutritional supplements into the standard conventional treatments for 6 common neurologic disorders: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, stroke, migraine, and seizures.

Parente, M. (Matilde). Healing ways: an integrative health sourcebook. Hauppauge, New York: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 2016. 240 p.
   LC Call Number: R733.P34 2016 OVERFLOWJ34; FLM2016 047092
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2015004196

The book covers important information about conventional and alternative therapies, and how they can work together to help you earn maximum benefits. In this guide, you will find: How traditional Western medicine can work with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM); What are the expectations, cautions, and myths; Talking to your doctor about CAM; How to be a better health consumer; How to decide which CAM methods are right for you; Integrated Approaches—from ancient to modern; Mind–Body Approaches, including mediation, yoga, relaxation techniques and more; Chiropractic, massage therapy, reflexology, and other body work; Herbal Medicine and Supplements; CAM Method Finder, etc.



Advances in integrative medicine. 2014-
   LC Call Number: R733.A353
   LC Catalog Record Number: 2014205218

Alternative & complementary therapies: a new bimonthly publication for health care practitioners. 1994-
   LC Call Number: R733.A453
   LC Catalog Record Number: 96652800

Complementary medicine international: CMI: the official journal of the World Natural Medicine Foundation. 1996-
   LC Call Number: R733.C6555
   LC Catalog Record Number: 97647542

The Journal of alternative and complementary medicine: research on paradigm, practice, and policy. 1995-
   LC Call Number: R733.J67
   LC Catalog Record Number: 95660807



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Tips for Dietary Supplement Users: Making Informed Decisions and Evaluating Information

National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM)

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy


Compiled by Tomoko Y. Steen, Ph.D., April 24, 2017

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >>Science Reference Guides
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
   May 19, 2017
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian