An epidemic of obesity in both humans and companion animals has spawned a large trade in weight loss supplements. Some, such as those which contain ephedrine, have been eliminated from the market in the United States and Canada due to potential adverse cardiac effects.
Whole food supplements, or glandular therapies, are supplements made from glands, organs or tissues from healthy animals. These supplements may be administered as whole fresh tissue or as tissue extracts.
Herbs are plants that contain ingredients with active therapeutic properties. These active ingredients may be present in the whole plant or only in a specific part.
Homeopathy is a distinct philosophy of medicine that has its roots in eighteenth century Germany, and subsequently spread to Europe, India, Australia, South America, the United States, and Canada. The underlying basis of homeopathy is the principle that 'like cures like', or that a substance that is capable, in toxic doses, of producing a set of symptoms is also capable, in much lower doses, of curing the same set of symptoms regardless of their perceived cause.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete system of medicine developed in China. Its roots are in writings and practices which were developed over millennia.
The underlying philosophy of all alternative medical therapies is the 'holistic' approach, in which the patient is treated as a whole being rather than as a collection of organs and parts. The patient is treated as an individual rather than as a diagnosis, and the treatment is determined by the way that he or she is responding to illness.
White willow bark (Salix alba) is the source from which aspirin is extracted. It is often used as a natural substitute for aspirin in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain and inflammation, and in the prevention of blood clots.