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Health practitioners and alternative medicine

Few traditional (allopathic) doctors are knowledgeable about vitamins, minerals, nutrition, or herbal medicine. Here are several sites that help consumers find licensed health care providers—both traditional and "alternative"—who are familiar with supplements of various kinds and how to use them. These sites also provide a wealth of information on new perspectives on health and medicine. This page also contains links to support groups for a variety of medical concerns.

Physicians | Nutritionists
Herbalists | Support Groups


American Association for Health Freedom (formerly Americal Preventive Medical Association)

Members of the American Association for Health Freedom approach health from a comprehensive perspective, utilizing preventive medical techniques and less-invasive, more natural methods of patient management. APMA's website includes three resources for finding a practitioner. Another website maintains a searchable index for finding a physician who is a member of AAHF and knowledgable about nutrition and supplements.

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)

A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) is educated in the same basic sciences as an MD but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. The ND curriculum includes clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. Website of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians includes a searchable index for finding an ND.

American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM)

Originally formed in 1981 as "the unifying force for American acupuncturists who are committed to ethical, high educational standards," the American Association of Oriental Medicine says its members "are regarded as the highest qualified practitioners of Oriental medicine in the United States." The website lists books, schools of Oriental medicine, and its members by state.

American College For Advancement In Medicine (ACAM)

The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) was founded in 1973 as a medical society dedicated to educating physicians in the latest findings and emerging procedures in complementary and alternative medicine. Site includes a searchable listing of ACAM physicians, relevant books for sale, and links to other websites.

American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA)

The practice of holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease, and most importantly, to promote optimal health. This American Holistic Medical Association website contains a searchable "doctor finder" to help consumers find local practitioners.


American Dietetic Association (ADA)

The American Dietetic Association is the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being. The website includes a feature that allows the public to search for a registered dietician (RD) by city, state, or zip code.


American Herbalists Guild (AHG)

The American Herbalists Guild was founded in 1989 as a non-profit, educational organization to represent the goals and interests of herbalists. It is the only peer-review organization for professional herbalists specializing in the medicinal use of plants. AHG membership consists of professionals, general members (including students) and benefactors. A related website allows people to search for an herbalist. 770-751-6021.

See also American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), above.

Support Groups

See also American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), above.


eSupportGroups.com hosts online discussion and support groups covering a wide variety of medical health topics—from acne to women's sexual health. As of October 2003, these 115 groups were just getting underway, but are likely to attract a wide audience.



Other Links:

Consumer empowerment:

Information about specific supplements

Consumer publications & information

Consumer advocacy groups

Healthcare practitioners and alternative medicine

Suppliers of high-quality supplements

Sources of research information:

General scientific research information

Databases of scientific literature


NCCAM research on specific health issues

Ethnobotanical information (Use of plants by indigenous peoples)

Industry resources:

Trade organizations

Trade publications

Government regulation:

DSHEA: Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act

US government agencies

Codex Alimentarius Commission (UN)

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(c) Copyright 1999-2003 Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative. For permission to reprint, please contact our editor.