Alternative Medicine (CAM) Journals and Research Databases

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Alternative Medicine Journals Currently in MEDLINE

The NLM procedure for reviewing and accepting journals of current interest is appropriately rigorous. Not all journals concerning alternative medicine are indexed on MEDLINE. For example, MEDLINE only abstracts 3 of the 16 journals available on chiropractic. Some of the journals relating to alternative medicine indexed in MEDLINE are:

  • Acupuncture and Electro-Therapeutics Research
  • Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
  • American Journal of Chinese Medicine
  • Biofeedback and Self Regulation
  • Chen Tzu Yen Chui (Acupuncture Research)
  • Chinese Medical Journal
  • Chung-Hua I Hsueh Tsa Chih (Chinese Medical Journal)
  • Chung-Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih
  • Chung-Kuo Chung Yao Tsa Chih (China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica)
  • Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
  • Journal of Natural Products
  • Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Planta Medica

Other Databases

Other databases are available if MEDLINE does not satisfy your requirements. Most of these databases require an account and have usage fees. Users can search for many specific topics in biomedical science, including cancer, AIDS, toxicological and chemical data, health services research, and other specialized areas of health and disease. For a complete list contact the MEDLARS Management Section at the NLM (800) 638-8480, or refer to the NLM Home Page.

NLM Publications

The NLM produces a wide variety of publications to assist health professionals, researchers, librarians, and the general public to use the many available resources. The publications include indexes to biomedical literature, newsletters, reports about library activities, bibliographies, and manuals for using NLM programs. The newsletters include technical bulletins for Grateful Med« users and other online mechanisms, and personal stories by people who have researched their own illnesses.

All publications are available online through the NLM's Internet Home Page, or you can visit the Library at the National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland.

Databases: Alternative Medicine Resources

ACUBASE, by the Bibliothèque Universitatire de Médicine de Nîmes: database of over 17,000 French and English references and full text articles dedicated specifically to the discipline of acupuncture and Traditional Chniese medicine, also includes conference proceedings.

AGRICOLA (AGRICultural OnLine Access): "bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature created by the National Agricultural Library and its cooperators" includes citations herbs and medicinal plants and includes references from The Herb Research Foundations' HerbalGram

AMED- Allied and Complementary Medicine is a unique database produced by the Health Care Information Service of the British Library This database will be of interest to individuals wanting to know more about alternatives to conventional medicine, and includes resources to complementary medicine, palliative care and several professions allied to medicine. Available in a variety of formats from print to online. Indexed journals are found on this list.

AltHealthWatch , EBSCO Information Services: "web-based fulltext database of periodicals, peer-reviewed journals, academic and professional publications, magazines, consumer newsletters and newspapers, research reports, and association,

Bandolier Evidence-based health care: "print and Internet journal using evidence-based medicine techniques to provide advice about particular treatments or diseases for healthcare professionals and consumers. The content is 'tertiary' publishing, distilling the information from (secondary) reviews of (primary)trials and making it comprehensible."

 -Complementary and Alternative Therapies
 -Oxford Pain Internet Site

CINAHL, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health: indexes alternative medicine journals

CISCOM Database, ©The Centralized Information Service for Complementary Medicine, The Research Council for Complementary Medicine, United Kingdom: 4,000 randomized trials and over 60,000 citations and abstracts covering and arranged by the major complementary therapies including acupuncture, aromatherapy, healing, hypnotherapy, chiropractic, homoeopathy, and manipulative.

Chinese Medicine: Traditional Chinese Medicine Database System, Institute of Information on Traditional Chinese Medicine, China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine: ten Chinese language and two English language databases available on the web. The English language database, Traditional Chinese Medicinal Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (TCMLARS) contains references and abstracts to articles on acupuncture and phytotherapies beginning in 1984. The Traditional Chinese Drug Database (TCDBASE), also in English language, contains a Chinese materia medica that includes medicinal plants, herbal drugs, animal derived drugs and mineral drugs. locate current information on disease treatment at particular institution or by a disease, drug, modality, therapy or procedure. Does contain complementary and alternative medicine therapies [search by words: alternative (medicine or therapy) or complementary (medicine or therapy) or by particular modality: acupuncture or by a particular substance: ginko or shark cartilage

The Cochrane Collaboration: systematic, up-to-date review of relevant randomized control trials of health care includes access to Free summarries from The Cochrane Library. Search for complementary and alternative therapies (examples: acupuncture, ginko, chinese medicine)

Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field, [ "to help promote and facilitate the production of systematic reviews in topics such as acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, herbal medicine, homeopathy and mind-body therapy" ] University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Center for Integrative Medicine Medicine

  -To understand the definition, role and function of a Cochrane Collaboration Field read the Cochrane Manual on 3.4 Fields (Networks). 

Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Datadiwan : "a database where you can access actual information on holistic medicine and frontier sciences. Secondly, the Datadiwan is as a scientific discussion forum, where interested parties can discuss scientific topics with others like-minded people...all over the globe. And thirdly, the Datadiwan is a network which links research institutions and organizations world-wide." Most literature is in German.

Directory of Databases, Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York : "compilation of established sources in the USA, Eur ope and Asia, designed to facilitate research by both professionals and the public. This may be clinical, biomedical, review, meta-analytical or survey research. The listing is hyperlinked to existing Web sites where available, or to brief information on the resource, such as: how to obtain further details; type of literature covered; size of the holding; and mode of access"

EMBASE : an international database to citations covering the biomedical, pharmacological and drug literature. Detailed description can be found at the EMBASE home page

HerbMed™ - " herbal database – provides hyperlinked access to the scientific data underlying the use of herbs for health. It is an evidence-based information resource for professionals, researchers and general public, project of the Alternative Medicine Foundation"

The Hom-Inform Database of indexed literature references in homoeopathy is produced by British Homoeopathic Library at Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital is searchable free online.

Index to Chiropractic Literature: bibliographic citations produced by "the Chiropractic Library Consortium (CLIBCON: a group of health science librarians working in chiropractic colleges throughout the world whose goal is to improve access to the chiropractic literature"

The International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) database: "produced by the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, in conjunction with the Food and Nutrition Information Center, National Agricultural Library, United States Department of Agriculture. IBIDS contains bibliographic records, including abstracts published in international scientific journals on the topic of dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals, herbal and botanical supplements. The general public, scientists, researchers, and other interested parties will be able to search the database using keywords to obtain the citations of research journal articles."

MANTIS - Manual, Alternative and Natural Therapy Index System, ( formerly CHIROLARS ) Action Potential, Inc.: coverage for health care disciplines not significantly represented in the major biomedical databases, references from more than 1,000 journals, with preference given to peer-reviewed journals. Includes health promotion, & prevention, accupuncture, allopathic medicine, alternative medicine, chiropractic, herbal medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathic medicine, physical therapy, and Chinese medicine.

   -MANTIS database available as a fee-based product from the following services and web sites:
       + ChiroACCESS; the online chiropractic community
       + Dialog Corporation
       + Health Index
       + OVID Technologies, Inc.

MICROMEDEX"sThe AltMedDex™ System , "an accurate and scientifically based, in-depth series of databases covering four areas: herbal medicine and dietary supplements,clinical protocols, patient education, and herbal & dietary supplement toxicology." The AltMedDex™ System, the first in the series provides information on herbals and other dietary supplements. "The Complementary & Alternative Medicine Series from MICROMEDEX is a comprehensive, clinically focused reference tool that is based on a thorough compilation of scientific literature. Monographs in the series present data on administration, dosing, warnings, precautions, contraindications, and interactions."

NAPRALERT, NAtural PRoducts ALERT from STN International: contains bibliographic and factual data on natural products, including information on the pharmacology,biological activity, taxonomic distribution, ethno-medicine and chemistry of plant, microbial, and animal (including marine)extracts. In addition, the file contains data on the chemistry and pharmacology of secondary metabolites that are derived from natural sources and that have known structure. The NAPRALERT File contains more than 100,000 records from 1650 to the present. Approximately 50% of the file is from systematic survey of the literature from 1975 to the present. The remaining records were obtained by selective retrospective indexing dating back to 1650.

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

      -CAM on PubMed: bibliographic citations obtained from the National Library of Medicine's PubMed (Medline) database that uses a feature to locate citations with a CAM subset database search
      -NCCAM Research Results: represents the results of NCCAM-funded research.

Native American Ethnobotany Database , Dan Moerman, Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan-Dearborn: "foods, drugs, dyes, fibers and other uses of plants (a total of over 47,000 items). This represents uses by 291 Native American groups of 3,895 species from 243 different plant families."

Natural Medical Protocols for Doctors: "fee-based service that "includes current research data and treatment protocols for most common medical conditions and cross-linked reference material about vitamins, minerals, herbs, homeopathy and other supplements and therapies. The information was gathered and organized by a consortium of doctors from various branches of medicine. This includes MDs (conventional medical doctors), NDs (naturopathic doctors), Acupuncturists and PhDs of various kinds. The data compiled here was taken from research journals (through 2000) and medical books and the reference citations are included."

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: "up-to-date clinical data on the natural medicines, herbal medicines, and dietary supplements used in the western world. This database is compiled by pharmacists and physicians who are part of the Pharmacist's Letter and Prescriber's Letter research and editorial staff" book counterpart Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database editors: Jeff M. Jellin, Forrest Batz, and Kathy Hitchens (Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter), 1310 pp, $92, Web version $92, both versions $132, ISBN 0-9676136-2-0, Stockton, Calif, Therapeutic Research Faculty, 1999.

     -ePocrates RX Pro Features: Alternative Medicine Monographs & Interactions: for use in PDAs ePocrates has partnered with Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database

Natural Standard, "an international research collaboration synthesizes data on complementary and alternative therapies. Using a comprehensive methodology and reproducible grading scales, information is created that is evidence-based, consensus-based, and peer-reviewed, tapping into the collective expertise of a multidisciplinary Editorial Board". Register and subscription required to use. Information arranged by herbs and supplements, conditions and alternative modalities.

Online Archive of American Folk Medicine, "For more than fifty years, folklorists associated with the University of California, Los Angeles have systematically documented beliefs and practices relating to folk medicine and alternative healthcare. In order to make the data more readily available to the worldwide community of researchers and medical practitioners, this Archive was established in 1996 under the direction of Dr. Michael Owen Jones, a professor of folklore and history at UCLA.

Patent Database, United States Patent and Trademark Office: tool to locate registered patents in complementary and alternative medicine

PhytoNET, Centre For Complementary Health Studies University of Exeter: "resource for those involved in the development, manufacture, regulation and surveillance of phytomedicines and herbal drugs", contains information from the European Scientific Co-operative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP), forms to submit adverse effects of herbal medicines, development of European standards for safe use of phytomedicines free service to individuals registering with the site, "sponsored by Herbworx Corporation, an Australian company dedicated to ensuring that practitioners are supplied not only with high quality herbal medicine, but also clinically relevant, scientifically validated technical information, and Phytomedicine, manufacturer quality herbal extracts for practitioners." Even though it is a commercial service the herbal monograph database contains indications, actions, constituents, studies & articles.

Poisonous Plant Database , United States Food & Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition, Office of Plant and Dairy Foods and Beverages

PsychINFO, American Psychological Association: source for mind-body and other complementary and alternative therapies used in mental disorders, stress reduction or psychological and behavioral processes and neuroimmunology.

The Special Nutritionals Adverse Event Monitoring System , United States Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition, Office of Special Nutritionals: database of adverse effects from the use of a special nutritional products: dietary supplements, infant formulas and medical foods" reported to this agency by the health professional or consumer Note: This database/website has been removed. Read the information at Adverse Event Reporting Dietary Supplements, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Food & Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition

Traditional Knowledge Digital Library : "promote the commercialization of traditional Indian remedies, The database, which will contain more than 100,000 traditional remedies, is based on information from the ancient healing arts known as ayurveda, unani and siddha. Note: Read Wikipedia entry for Traditional Knowledge Digital Library.

Tropical Plant Database:"authored and maintained by Ms. Leslie Taylor and much of the information contained herein can be found in her book, Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest, from Prima Publishing, Inc."

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