36. Complementary Therapy: Is there a Needle in the Haystack?

  1. Peter M. Irving MD, MRCP2,
  2. Corey A. Siegel MD, MS3,4,5,
  3. David S. Rampton DPhil, FRCP6 and
  4. Fergus Shanahan MD7,8
  1. Shane M. Devlin MD, FRCPC

Published Online: 30 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444342574.ch36

Clinical Dilemmas in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: New Challenges, Second Edition

Clinical Dilemmas in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: New Challenges, Second Edition

How to Cite

Devlin, S. M. (2011) Complementary Therapy: Is there a Needle in the Haystack?, in Clinical Dilemmas in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: New Challenges, Second Edition (eds P. M. Irving, C. A. Siegel, D. S. Rampton and F. Shanahan), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444342574.ch36

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Gastroenterology, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals, London, UK

  2. 3

    The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, NH, USA

  3. 4

    Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH, USA

  4. 5

    Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center, Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Lebanon, NH, USA

  5. 6

    Centre for Digestive Diseases, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK

  6. 7

    Department of Medicine, Cork, Ireland

  7. 8

    Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College Cork, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland

Author Information

  1. Division of Gastroenterology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic, The University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2012
  2. Published Print: 1 OCT 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334548

Online ISBN: 9781444342574

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Keywords:

  • Complementary therapy;
  • inflammatory bowel disease;
  • Crohn's disease;
  • ulcerative colitis;
  • acupuncture;
  • moxibustion;
  • curcumin;
  • aloe vera;
  • wormwood;
  • BOSWELLIA serrata

Summary

As many as half of patients with IBD in some regions use complementary and alternative medicine, a phenomenon common to other chronic diseases. However, until recently, good evidence supporting its use from an efficacy standpoint was lacking. Recent small, randomized, and controlled trials have been undertaken with a number of alternative therapies for patients with both ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). Encouraging results have been found with the use of curcumin for maintaining quiescent ulcerative colitis and Artemisia absinthium (wormwood) as a steroid-sparing agent for CD. Further studies with larger, well-conducted randomized controlled trials are needed before widespread use can be advocated. However, these studies have provided preliminary evidence in a modern context for therapies that have been long-standing components of alternative medicine for many years.