Consumer Summaries

In 2005, the CAM Field staff partnered with Gill Gyte and Janet Wale of the Cochrane Consumer Network to coordinate the preparation of plain language, brief summaries of Cochrane Reviews that are user-friendly, accessible, and quality-assessed. These Consumer Summaries have been posted on this website so that they are freely available to everyone. This project was supported by Grant Number R24 AT001293 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) which is now called the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The contents of the summaries are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NCCAM/NCCIH, the National Institutes of Health, or Cochrane.

The evidence underlying these summaries is now outdated and the summaries are maintained for historical interest. The aim of consumer summaries was to ensure that the high quality science of the Cochrane Reviews was maintained, while also including the perspective of consumers who may use the therapies. Cochrane now includes Plain Language Summaries (PLS) for all published reviews, with these same goals of relevance and accessibility in mind. If you are interested in writing blog posts on Cochrane reviews, or creating other consumer-accessible formats to summarize Cochrane evidence on complementary medicine, please contact L Susan Wieland, PhD at

Therapeutic Area 

Healthcare Condition 




Diet  Vitamin B6-Magnesium  Sound  Music


Diet  Acupuncture  Yoga  Vitamins


High cholesterol  

Diet  Artichoke leaf extract  Omega 3 fatty acids

High blood pressure  

Calcium  Magnesium  Potassium supplements singly and combined  Low salt and dietary salt reduction


Zinc  Fish oil  Self monitoring  Adherence to treatment  Group training in self management  Exercise

Peripheral vascular disease  

Arterial: Omega 3 fatty acids  Vitamin E  garlic  Chelation therapy  Homocysteine

Ulcers: Zinc  Electromagnetic therapy  Ultrasound  Horse chestnut seed extract


Dan Shen  Gingko biloba  Electrical stimulation for shoulder



House dust mite  Pets  Feather  bedding  Humidity control  Ionisers  Staying in caves

Reducing salt intake  Tartrazine exclusion  Fish oil  Vitamin C  Selenium

Acupuncture  Homeopathy Breathing  Alexander technique  Inspiratory muscle training  Physical training  Manual therapy

Common ailments 

Common cold  

Echinacea  Vitamin C

Urinary tract infection  


Muscle soreness  

Hyperbaric oxygen 

Wound healing  

Therapeutic touch

Pressure sores  

Electromagnetic therapy  Ultrasound  Dietary

Ill health  

Prayer (intercessory)

Air travel  

DVT  Melatonin for jetlag



Ginkgo biloba  Hyperbaric oxygen

Mental health 


Kava Passiflora Valerian Cognitive behavioural therapy Exercise Meditation Psychological therapies Psychosocial therapies Paraprofessional care  


Music therapy Folate Inositol St John's wort Tryptophan Acupuncture Light therapy Transcranial magnetic stimulation Exercise Psychological therapy and education Psychosocial therapy Paraprofessional care Psychological therapies for preventing postnatal depression  


Polyunsaturated fatty acids  Music therapy   Hypnosis  Art therapy



Calcium postmenopause  Vitamin D  Calcium and vitamin D for people on corticosteroids



Exercise  Glucosamine  Electrotherapy  Low level laser  TENS  Ultrasound

Hip or knee joint replacement  

Patient education  Continuous passive motion

Rheumatoid arthritis  

Acupuncture  Herbal therapies  Spa therapy  Thermotherapy  Exercise  Electrical stimulation  TENS  Low-level laser  Ultrasound  Occupational therapy  Splints and insoles


Prevention of gastrointestinal  

Dietary fibre  Calcium  Antioxidants

Relief of side effects  

Aromatherapy and massage  Chinese herbal medicines

Women's health 

Period (menstrual) pain  

Herbs and diet  Exercise  Behavioural therapy  Spinal manipulation  TENS  Chinese herbal medicines



Vitamins A, C, D, E  Folate  Iron and folate  Magnesium  Zinc

Blood pressure complications  

Calcium  Garlic  Marine oil  Vitamin E


Acupuncture  Homeotherapy  Enemas  Shaving  Continuous support  Position  Fetal monitoring  Episiotomy  Perineal massage  Therapeutic ultrasound

Men's health 

Prostate enlargement  

Pygeum africanum  Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)  Beta-sitosterols  Cernilton