Children are the future hope of alternative medicine

In spite Big Pharma - and its willing handmaiden, the FDA - alternative health supplements are actually gaining in popularity. In fact, so-called "alternative" medicines could be more mainstream than you realize. A new study shows that as many as one in nine children and teens try nontraditional remedies.

The study was conducted by the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, and the authors seemed pleasantly surprised by the results - as am I. According to the results, as many as 2.8 million young people use supplements.

As you know, I've been a longtime advocate of natural remedies, and at one time or another, I've written you about my support of pretty much everything that was defined by this study as "alternative medicine": homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, as well as herbal supplements like ginseng and fish oil.

This was the first study to ever focus on kids' use of alternative medicines. And the only thing that gives me pause about what they authors call the "amazing" results of this study is that children and teens from age 18 and younger rarely - if ever - make independent healthcare choices. So of course, the practices of the parents of these kids played is key to these results.

According to the study, kids with parents or relatives who use alternative medicines were five times more likely to use the same therapies. A statistic that I hardly find surprising at all.

But at the very least, you can infer from this study that the diehards like myself who are open to the realities and benefits of alternative medicines have at the very least planted the idea of these nontraditional options in the minds of their offspring - and in that way the "movement" will continue to move forward.