Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are treatments that generally fall outside the realm of conventional medicines. Current areas of MS research focus on the efficacy of a diverse range of treatments, from cannabis to vitamin supplements, and yoga to acupuncture. Studies suggest that these therapies are used by a large proportion of people with MS and often used alongside conventional medication.

Potentially beneficial therapies

Several CAM therapies may provide relief to some MS symptoms and some may also have disease-modifying effects. Yoga may provide relief from MS fatigue, while various mind/body approaches may be beneficial for several symptoms including anxiety, depression and pain.

Harmful or ineffective therapies

Dietary supplements considered to be potentially harmful therapies for people with MS include skullcap, germanium, chaparral, comfrey, kava kava, echinacea, ashwagandha, alfalfa, astragalus, cat’s claw, garlic, Asian and Siberian ginseng.

CAM therapies found to be ineffective include hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) and bee venon therapy.

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