Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the popular name for health care practices that traditionally have not been part of conventional medicine. In many cases, as evidence of efficacy and safety grows, these therapies are being combined with conventional medicine.
Thus, the term alternative has been dropped and replaced with newer terms, such as complementary and integrative medicine, integrative medicine and health, or just integrative medicine.
The treatments promoted in integrative medicine are not substitutes for conventional medical care. They should be used in concert with standard medical treatment.
Certain therapies and products are not recommended at all or not recommended for certain conditions or people. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health is a good tool for researching a therapy you're considering. It's also important to talk with your health care provider before trying something new.