Crtical Care and Shock Journal

Herbal Remedies in the ICU: Guaranteed Results or Trouble for Sure?

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Overview

Alternative medicine techniques are commonly used across the world and not uncommonly encountered even in the intensive care setting. The use of these unconventional remedies, including relaxation techniques, herbal medicine, massage therapy, aromatherapy, chiropractic practices and acupuncture rose from 33.8% to 42.1% over a seven-year period in one study. In the United States, the last twenty years have seen an exponential rise in the use of alternative medicine, especially the use of herbal remedies. The latest National survey reported that almost one third of adult Americans use some kind of alternative medicine. Therefore, it is not uncommon for critical care practitioners to be confronted with patients that are taking these herbal preparations prior to their admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). What is even more interesting is that in many instances either the patient or a family member requests that these preparations be continued during their stay in the ICU.

Pilar Acosta, Joseph Varon

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