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The Rise of Integrative and Alternative Medicine on a Global Level

Written byAmatul Ameen

Last updated on : 16 May, 2024

Read time : 6 min

Supportive and alternative medicine is gaining credit over time for its positive applications. Alternative medicine is ancient and has been an innovative addition to the ever-evolving way of treatment. 

Integrative medicine spends most of its efforts on preventing the disease in the first place rather than spending efforts once the infection gets in. This type of approach to treatment is beneficial in reversing or stopping the progression of diseases like diabetes, heart problems, and cancer.

The globalisation of integrative and alternative medicine

The rise of integrative and alternative medicine is imminent and has spread worldwide. Applications of Homoeopathic treatments, aromatherapy of oils, and herbal remedies increased by 41% from 1992 to 1996 in the U.K. 

In Germany, (St. John wort) herbal remedy is widely prescribed for the treatment of depression. In the USA, the total market for botanical medicine was worth US$3.87 billion in 1998.

How does it benefit us?

  • Integrative & alternate medicine is required to treat medical conditions which are uncooperative & unmanageable by allopathic medicine.
  • Many of the original concepts of complementary & alternative medicine are aligned & consistent with the ideas of primary health care centres. Bringing CAM and PHC together will increase healthcare value. 
  • People will have a complete range of healthcare services, which in turn will enhance the quality of life & reduce morbid conditions.

Extending integrative and alternative medicine to educate for good

CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) is known for its uses and advantages. To put this in practice, a formal way of learning and understanding it better has begun. Many educational institutions are considering adding a module to the curriculum. In the meantime, El-Olemy has incorporated the module for undergraduate medical students.

The modules have concepts like 

  • Use of ayurveda medicine to treat chemically-induced hepatotoxicity. 
  • Narrative exposure theory is to treat psychological symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Cognitive therapy treats a wide range of psychological disorders among children and adolescents.

Concept & growth of Herbal Medicine 

Herbal medicine forms the basis of culture. Herbal medicine is the most widely used alternative medicine. It holds traditional values & Nearly 80% of the rural population in developing countries uses herbal medicine. 

The concept of Herbal Medicine extends to conventional Chinese medicine, which is popular in China and other parts of the western world. The unique dual medicine system in the Republic of Korea has led to the emergence of dual-licensed medical doctors. They have licences for both traditional Korean medicine and western medicine.

Conventional methods like Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, Japanese Kampo and Indian Ayurveda are a few essential bio-prospecting tools. 

Herbal medicine reforms: How & Why

The quality parameters in many developing countries could be better for preparing herbal formulations. As a result, implementing a quality policy is required to bring good quality & uniformity to herbal products. 

Knowledge of identifying the plant with desired medicinal properties is required. It will help to pick the correct plant & extract the drug for use. 

The procedure to choose the correct plant of therapeutic value is diminishing. This unique way of collecting and making medicine will soon end; this skill needs to be conserved. 

Integrating CAM and primary healthcare centres will reduce the gap and validate traditional medicines. 

Global centre for traditional medicine in India & WHO

Following all this, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the government of India agreed on 25 March 2022 to establish a WHO Global Center for Traditional Medicine.

Funding of $250 million from the Government of India was helpful for this. The prime aim of this setup is to tap the potential of traditional medicine worldwide through modern technology and science. And, at large, improve the quality of life for all. 

View of WHO on Traditional medicine

As per Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, “Many people seek traditional medicine as the first option to treat diseases” and WHO Definition of traditional medicine is the “Total sum of knowledge, skills, in indigenous practice, diagnosing and treating physical diseases”. It includes 

  1. Acupuncture
  2. Herbal mixtures
  3. Ayurvedic medicine 
  4. And, Modern medicine 

To provide safe & effective medicine is the motto of WHO, and the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine is where it all can start. 

The influence of Modern techniques is the main reason for the growth of traditional medicine. Artificial intelligence maps drugs, studies trends in conventional medicine, and natural screen products for their pharmacokinetic properties. A functional MRI is used to study brain activity after yoga, one of the most common medicinal therapies. 

Finally, History is the evidence of how we have been using natural products for our benefit, for example. Aspirin was discovered in the bark of a willow tree, while in the root of wild yam trees, we will get a contraceptive pill.


The rise of integrative and alternative medicine therapies is going huge & beneficial in many ways. Identifying new branches of science and learning them through formal education will help humanity in a good way. If you place an order for medicines on our Online pharmacy or download our Truemeds app, you can also get expert doctors’ advice. If you place an order for drugs on our Online pharmacy or download our Truemeds app, you can also get expert doctors’ advice. Get branded and generic prescription drugs by uploading your prescription on Truemeds. When placing an online order for medicines, you may save more money by selecting an alternative or generic medicine advised by Truemed’s expert doctors. And also, save up to 72% on your purchase and get free home delivery pan India.

DisclaimerTruemeds’ sole intention is to ensure that customers have access to information that is accurate & trustworthy. However, the information here should not be used directly, and it cannot act as a substitute for the advice of a doctor. The information provided is only to stay informed. The information on side effects, drug interactions or warnings, and alerts are limited. Please consult your doctor for the right advice on diseases & medication information.


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