State of complementary and alternative medicine in cardiovascular, lung, and blood research: Executive summary of a workshop

M. C. Lin, R. Nahin, M. Eric Gershwin, J. C. Longhurst, K. K. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Scopus citations


The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recently cosponsored a workshop on the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in cardiovascular, lung, and blood research. In view of the increasing use of CAM by the general public, it is imperative to promote credible research by the established biomedical community. The goal of this workshop was to enhance the exchange of information and ideas between alternative medicine practitioners and scientists in cardiovascular, lung, and blood research and to foster collaborative research among these researchers. The workshop focused on 5 areas of research, including a historical and cultural perspective of CAM, methodological issues in clinical trials, herbal medicine, chelation therapy, mind/body (meditation) therapy, and acupuncture. CAM has become widely used without rigorously proven efficacy and safety. To protect the public, it was recommended that the fundamental mechanistic research for these CAM approaches be vigorously pursued and that any large-scale clinical trial be carefully executed to avoid any waste of resources and any unnecessary risk. It was felt that standardization of botanical products and procedure-based CAM intervention, such as acupuncture and meditation, is essential for meaningful basic and clinical research. Although botanical products properly consumed are perceived as generally safe, potential herb-drug interactions are a major safety concern. Clearly, many challenges need to be addressed by the scientific community before the public can be assured of the proper use of CAM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2038-2041
Number of pages4
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 24 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Acupuncture
  • Alternative medicine
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Herbal
  • Medicine
  • Meditation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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