Just like their parents, kids are taking herbal supplements from fish oil to ginseng, a sign of just how mainstream alternative medicine has become.
More than one in nine children and teens try those remedies and other nontraditional options, the government said in its first national study of young people’s use of these mostly unproven treatments.
Given that children are generally pretty healthy, the finding that so many use alternative medicine is “pretty amazing,” said one of the study’s authors, Richard Nahin of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The sweeping study suggests about 2.8 million young people use supplements.
Their parents’ practices played a big role. Kids were five times more likely to use alternative therapies if a parent or other relative did.
The same study showed that more than a third of adults use alternative treatments, roughly the same as in a 2002 survey.
The researchers used a big umbrella in defining alternative medicine: Acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, traditional healing, yoga, Pilates, deep breathing, massage and even dieting were included.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are not considered alternative medicine, nor are prayer or folk medicine practices.
Herbal remedies were the leading type of alternative therapy for both adults and those under 18. Among kids, such therapies were most often given for head or neck pain, colds and anxiety.
Read more at ABC News