Our guide to alternative medicine boiled down stacks of studies, interviews with experts, and comprehensive reviews into quick takes on 38 treatments. 

If you want to learn more about any one of the treatments in our A-to-Z guide, you can start here to see a sampling of the research behind each entry. If you want to do your own research on an alternative medical treatment, check out our our tips for evaluating something new.


"Acupuncture for chronic pain." Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012.

"Acupuncture for depression." Cochrane, 2018.

"Acupuncture: In Depth." National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), 2016.

"Low back pain and sciatica in over 16s: assessment and management," (PDF); "summary." National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, Royal College of Physicians, 2016. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

"Superfood or Super Hype?" Consumer Reports On Health, 2016.

"Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect." Medscape General Medicine, 2006. 


"Chelation for Coronary Heart Disease." NCCIH, 2017.

"Chelation: Therapy or “Therapy”?" National Capital Poison Center, 2011.

"Don’t recommend chelation." The American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and American College of Medical Toxicology, Choosing Wisely, 2013.

Detoxes & Cleanses

"The dangers of colon cleansing" (PDF). Journal of Family Practice, 2011.

“Detoxes” and “Cleanses”. NCCIH, 2017. 

Ear Candling

"Clinical Practice Guideline (Update): Earwax (Cerumen Impaction)." Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 2017. 


"Iodine: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals." NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, 2018. 


"Kava." NCCIH, 2016.

"Kava Linked to Liver Damage." NCCIH, 2010.


"Meditation: In Depth." NCCIH, 2016.


"How ‘Natural’ Doctors Can Hurt You." Consumer Reports, 2018.

Qi Gong

"Tai Chi and Qi Gong: In Depth". NCCIH, 2016.

"Qigong to prevent cardiovascular disease." Cochrane, 2015. 


"Reiki: In Depth." NCCIH, 2015. 

Tai Chi

"Tai Chi for Risk of Falls. A Meta-analysis." Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 2017.

"Health benefits of tai chi: What is the evidence?" Canadian Family Physician, 2016.  

"The Overview of Tai Chi." American Tai Chi and Qigong Association.



"Curcumin." Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, Oregon State University, 2016.

"The Essential Medicinal Chemistry of Curcumin." Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2017.

Wild Yam

"Wild Yam." Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2018.


"Yoga treatment for chronic non-specific low back pain." Cochrane, 2017.

"Yoga in America Study"(PDF). Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, 2016.

"ACE Study Examines Effects of Bikram Yoga on Core Body Temps." American Council on Exercise, 2015.