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Where are the Randomized, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trials?
05-31-2005

Glancing through the HerbClips ready for publication and having just sent the writers their monthly articles to be turned into HerbClips, I realized that the amount of clinical trial articles was at an all time low. I do not know if this is because human trial articles are simply not being conducted and/or published or if the articles being sent my direction lately are of a different sort, but this is a concern that certainly needs to be remedied.

While overview articles, critical reviews, meta-analyses, in vitro and animal studies, surveys, and cohort studies to name a few are important components in the study of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), the clinical trial is considered the "gold standard." There are those of us who have used CAM all our lives and for whom anecdotal information, personal experience, and advice from respected CAM practitioners are enough. However, reaching out to the conventional medical community and the general public and "speaking their language" is vital if CAM is to find greater acceptance within mainstream medicine. Clinical trials are both time consuming and expensive. Eating a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables and taking nutritional supplements can also expensive, however the goal in this type of lifestyle is optimum health. In the same manner, clinical trials are important for the optimum health of CAM.

At the American Botanical Council, we strive to provide CAM practitioners, conventional medicine practitioners, and the public with valuable information that will aid in the integration of CAM and mainstream medicine. To that end, I am making two requests 1) if you are in a position to conduct or encourage others to conduct clinical trials, please make every effort to do so and 2) if you come across clinical human trial articles that you think would be suitable for HerbClip, please send that information to me at HerbClip. Thank you.

Lori Glenn, Coordinator