Eating Sesame Seeds Superior To Tylenol For Knee Arthritis

Eating Sesame Seeds Superior To Tylenol For Knee Arthritis | sesame-seeds | Natural Medicine

A remarkable study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases confirms that food is not only medicine, but sometimes superior to it. Medical researchers working out of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran, sought to investigate the effects of sesame seed supplementation on clinical signs and symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis.[i]

Knee arthritis is a form of degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis localized in the knee, and causes a variety of symptoms including pain, swelling, abnormal bone growth (which can result in bone spurs), disfigured cartilage and loss of motion, and it affects as many as 12.1% of adults aged 60+, according to the CDC.[ii]  Standard therapy involves the use of NSAID drugs, many of which have been linked both to internal bleeding and significantly increased risk of cardiac mortality, which is why the researchers sought out to look for “a complementary treatment to reduce complications and costs.”

The study took fifty patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, and divided them into two 25-patient groups: a sesame group, receiving 40 grams/day of powdered sesame seeds, and a standard drug therapy group, receiving two 500 mg doses of Tylenol twice a day along with 500 mg of glucosamine once daily. After two months of treatment, 22 patients in the sesame intervention group and 23 patients in the control group completed the study.

Eating Sesame Seeds Superior To Tylenol For Knee Arthritis | sesame_benefits | Natural Medicine

Table 1

Considering that treatment was comprised of little over an ounce and one half of sesame seeds, the results were truly remarkable. As presented in Table 1 above, there was a significant difference in pain intensity between the two groups after treatment, with the sesame group seeing the largest drop from 9.5 before treatment to 3.5 after treatment, and the control group seeing a more modest drop from 9 before treatment to 7 after treatment. Additional measurements were taken using both the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) Questionnaire and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test. Both tests revealed a similar degree of positive change in both treatment and control groups, when compared to baseline. [See table 2 and table 3 below].

Eating Sesame Seeds Superior To Tylenol For Knee Arthritis | KOOS_score | Natural Medicine

Table 2 [KOOS]

Eating Sesame Seeds Superior To Tylenol For Knee Arthritis | TUG_score | Natural Medicine

Table 3 [TUG]

Taken together, sesame was the clear winner. Not only was this food therapy superior in reducing the intensity of pain, but it was at least equal in effectiveness to Tylenol and glucosamine in both the KOOS and TUG tests. This, of course, was accomplished without the notorious side effects associated with Tylenol; to the contrary, sesame seed has a wide range of side benefits, which we covered recently in our article on sesame’s health benefits.

So, how much is 40 grams of sesame seed? A tablespoon of sesame seeds is approximately 9 grams. So, approximately 4 tablespoons will get you to what the study found to be a ‘clinical dose.’ Also, the researchers powdered the sesame seeds in order to enhance digestion. Remember, it is best to do this fresh with a mortar and pestle (first choice) or coffee grinder, also making sure that your seeds are raw, certified organic, and vetted to have not undergone gamma irradiation.

To truly appreciate the significance of this study, take a look at the growing body of toxicological research indicating that the unintended, adverse health effects of Tylenol (acetaminophen) far outweigh its purported benefits. We recently featured articles on the fact that even only occasional use of Tylenol may raise a child’s asthma risk 540%, and that it may be time for the FDA to remove it from the market.

For additional research on natural and/or integrative interventions for knee osteoarthritis visit our research page on the topic: knee osteoarthritis.


[i] Bina Eftekhar Sadat, Mahdieh Khadem Haghighian, Beitollah Alipoor, Aida Malek Mahdavi, Mohammad Asghari Jafarabadi, Abdolvahab Moghaddam. Effects of sesame seed supplementation on clinical signs and symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

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Topical Black Seed Oil Beats Tylenol For Pain Relief in Osteoarthritis

Topical Black Seed Oil Beats Tylenol For Pain Relief in Osteoarthritis | black_seed_hashimotos_natural_cure_greenmedinfo | Natural Medicine

The tiny black seed strikes again! Even orally administered Tylenol can’t compete with the topical application of this potent healing oil to reduce symptoms of one of the most common health complaints of our time. 

Recently, over-the-counter “pain killing” drugs like ibuprofen and Tylenol have been found to have a battery of serious adverse side effects, some even life-threatening. Even aspirin, commonly believed to be a life-saving cardioprotective agent, has come under scrutiny as perhaps doing far more harm than good. Even more astounding is the recent discovery that some of these drugs have soul-numbing properties not unlike psychotropic medications.

Due to the growing concern about both the physical and psychological harms of these pharmaceutical agents, interest in natural, evidence-based alternatives has been exploding. In order to satisfy the demand for scientifically validated alternatives to drugs GreenMedInfo has accumulated hundreds of abstracts on the topic, which can be viewed on our various related database pages, such as Pain, Aspirin Alternatives, and Ibuprofen Alternatives.

Topical Black Seed Oil Beats Tylenol For Pain Relief in Osteoarthritis | tylenol_blackseed_greenmedinfo | Natural Medicine

Why is Everyone Using NSAIDs and Tylenol?

The reality is that because millions suffer from pain and inflammation on a daily basis, the promise of popping a pill to relieve discomfort is an ever-present temptation. It doesn’t help that the US is one of three countries that permit drug companies and pharmacies are allowed to advertise these medications directly to the consumer through television and other mainstream media channels.

But is it logical to expect a potent chemical to positively alter symptoms that aren’t caused by a lack of that chemical?  If poor diet, lifestyle, chemical exposures, and a suboptimal mindset are the basis of most chronic health issues, then shouldn’t the focus be on addressing and reversing these underlying variables instead? This would be the goal of so-called “root cause resolution” medicine. Instead, palliative medicine — where the goal is to suppress symptoms — is the default approach; but it’s not sustainable and the collateral damage to one’s health is often not worth the risk of the intervention.

When Food (Applied Topically) Is More Powerful Than Pharmaceutical Medicine

A recent clinical trial entitled, “Effect of Topical Application of Nigella Sativa Oil and Oral Acetaminophen on Pain in Elderly with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Crossover Clinical Trial,” compared topical black seed oil with oral Tylenol on pain in elderly osteoarthritis patients.

Topical Black Seed Oil Beats Tylenol For Pain Relief in Osteoarthritis | Screen-Shot-2017-04-30-at-10_04_07-AM-1024x947 | Natural Medicine

Study participants were divided into two groups of 10:

  1. One group received 1 milliliter of black seed oil applied on the knee joint 3 times a day every 8 hours for 3 weeks.

  2. One group was given 1 tablet of 325 mg acetaminophen also 3 times a day every 8 hours for 3 weeks.

This study was performed on 40 elderly patients, average age 77, 18 (45%) men and 22 (55%) women.

The criteria for inclusion in the study included the following common symptoms related to knee osteoarthritis:

“Age over 65 years diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis, according to American College Rheumatology diagnostic criteria, included 1) knee pain on most days of the last month; 2) crepitus (joint sound in active motion); 3) morning stiffness less than 30 minutes; and 4) inflation in the examination of the knee bone, respectively (15).”

The promising results of the intervention were reported as follows:

“Study results showed that topical application of Nigella sativa oil and oral acetaminophen reduced pain in elderly with knee osteoarthritis; after using Nigella sativa oil, the reduction of pain was higher (p=0.01).” [emphasis added]

The researchers concluded:

“This study showed that topical use of Nigella sativa oil can be more effective in reducing knee pain in elderly patients than acetaminophen, which is typically used as a safe supplement for the elderly.” [emphasis added]

What Gives Black Seed Its Remarkable Power?

Unlike pharmaceutical agents which are comprised of either singular chemicals or simple combinations of them, black seed is a complex food which contains a wide range of nutritional and phytochemical components. These all act in concert to produce complex physiological responses in the human body. The study described some of the known constituents of black seed as follows:

“Nigella sativa oil is composed of 30% by weight of p-cymene, which is the most original composition, and 61.48% of the weight is composed of the volatile oil. Nigella sativa seeds contain fat, vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential amino acids, and carbohydrates (8). Nigella sativa seed is a rich source of essential fatty and unsaturated acids. The main unsaturated fatty acids are linoleic acid and oleic acid. There are also other compounds in seeds, such as phospholipids, carotene, calcium, iron, and potassium (9).”

One of the reasons why the pharmaceutical industry and mainstream medicine will not invest in food-based solutions for preventing and treating disease is because these common foods and spices do not lend themselves to being easily understandable, nor patentable. We may never know exactly why the relatively infinitely more complex concentrate of a food like black seed oil produces superior effects when compared to drugs like Tylenol.  But knowing how something works should be of secondary importance to the fact that it does work, shouldn’t it? 

“Mother Nature’s formulas are proprietary, but she does not grant patents.” ~ Sayer Ji

The primary reason why we will never see conventional physicians prescribing food as medicine is because the FDA defines anything that “prevents, cures, diagnoses or cures disease” as a “drug,” and FDA drug approval can cost up to 11 billion dollars per drug. Can you imagine a walnut company investing that much money in order to prove the obvious: namely, that its product has health benefits? Chemicals, on the other hand, are ideal for this kind of commercialization, even if they almost invariably carry debilitating and deadly side effects.

Closing Comments

This study illustrates the power of natural, food-based alternatives for reducing symptoms in a way that does not produce the risks associated with drug-based interventions. In fact, given that pain killers such as Tylenol actually increase the risk of serious diseases such as asthma, and black seed oil has been shown to reduce asthma, the superiority of black seed oil over conventional drugs like Tylenol may be far more profound than overtly discussed in this study.

For more information on the “side benefits” of black seed oil, please visit our Black Seed database which contains research on over 100 health conditions that it has been studied to have potential therapeutic application in improving. Also, please use our extensive Osteoarthritis database to learn more about natural and/or integrative approaches to treating the condition.

It should also be noted the highly therapeutic ritual of massaging the oil into the knee may have played a significant role in producing the observed positive outcome. Here is the specific method used:

“In the first stage, for the first group about 1 ml Nigella sativa oil was applied on the knee joint three times a day every 8 hours for 1 week. The massaging method was done with the entire palm in a way that continued for 5 minutes, massaged in a clockwise direction at the front and sides of the knee joint. It should be noted that the Nigella sativa oil used was owned by Barij-e-Kashan; for all subjects, it was maintained away from sunlight and at ambient temperature.”

Consider also that 1 millimeter is only about 1 gram. That’s a very small amount of oil. One teaspoon would have about 5 grams, or 5 servings worth of black seed oil.

Black seed oil is clearly a perfect example of an ancient healing substance which has undergone a modern day Renaissance of scientific validation. As the old world drug-based paradigm of symptom suppression continues to be proven inadequate, especially outside of the emergency  setting (where drugs can sometimes have life-saving applications), interest is growing in evidence-based natural alternatives like black seed. Black seed is only the tip of a massive iceberg of thousands of science-backed natural compounds that could be used to alleviate human suffering. Please use the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard to search over 10,000 health topics and share your findings with friends, family, and practitioners who may be interested in this topic.

© May 1, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.


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Turmeric Extract Found Superior To Blockbuster Drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Turmeric Extract Found Superior To Blockbuster Drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis | hand | Natural Medicine

A highly promising study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research[i] broke new ground in 2012 by identifying a safe and effective natural alternative to drug therapy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful and debilitating autoimmune disease that can lead to a substantial loss of mobility and function, if not adequately treated. While gradual disfiguration of flexible joints in the fingers are a characteristic sign of this disorder, RA has the potential to affect many tissues and organs by contributing to chronic, systemic inflammatory activity. Estimates are that RA activity beyond the joints, also known as extra-articular rheumatoid arthritis, affects 15-25% of all individuals afflicted by the condition.[ii]

Standard treatment often involves the use of pharmacological painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs intended to suppress symptoms but not alter the underlying trajectory of the disease.  In some cases steroids, and even chemotherapy class drugs like methotrexate are employed, which carry serious if not also on rare occasion lethal side effects.

In the study titled, “A randomized, study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin patients with active rheumatoid arthritis,” forty-five patients diagnosed with RA were randomized into three groups with patients receiving curcumin (500 mg) and diclofenac sodium (50 mg) alone or their combination. Curcumin is the most thoroughly researched pharmacologically active component of the spice turmeric, and which gives this root its bright, saffron colored hue. Diclofenac sodium is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) sold under over 100 different trade names throughout the world, e.g. Aclonac, Cataflam, Voltaren.

The primary study endpoints were reduction in Disease Activity Score (DAS) 28. The secondary endpoints included American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for reduction in tenderness and swelling of joint scores.

Remarkably, the researchers found that while patients in all three treatment groups showed statistically significant changes in their DAS scores, the curcumin only group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall DAS and ACR scores (ACR 20, 50 and 70) and these scores were significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium group. They also noted, “More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate with any adverse events.” [emphasis added]

They concluded:

Our study provides the first evidence for the safety and superiority of curcumin treatment in patients with active RA, and highlights the need for future large-scale trials to validate these findings in patients with RA and other arthritic conditions.” [emphasis added]

If you have followed our work at GreenMedInfo.com, you already know that we have reported extensively on the research indicating that turmeric, and its primary polyphenol curcumin, have a wide range of potential applications for disease prevention and treatment.*  For additional information read our research review article titled “600 Reasons Why Turmeric May Be The World’s Most Important Herb,” or visit our research center: Health Guide: Turmeric Research.

Lastly, our Ailments database contains an extensive data set of Pubmed.gov citations on rheumatoid arthritis, including 41 natural substances of potential value, as well as problematic exposures including chemicals and vaccinations which may participate in the etiology of RA. View the Rheumatoid Arthritis database here.

*This statement is not intended to prevent, treat, diagnosis or cure any disease, rather to indicate that peer-reviewed research exists wherein the authors conclude turmeric (curcumin) has potential medicinal value.


[i] Binu Chandran, Ajay Goel. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639. Epub 2012 Mar 9.

[ii] Turesson C, O’Fallon WM, Crowson CS, Gabriel SE, Matteson EL (2003). “Extra-articular disease manifestations in rheumatoid arthritis: incidence trends and risk factors over 46 years”. Ann. Rheum. Dis.62 (8): 722–7. doi:10.1136/ard.62.8.722. PMC 1754626. PMID12860726.

©  April 4, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.


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Birch Essential Oil For Arthritis, Muscle And Joint Pain

Birch Essential Oil For Arthritis, Muscle And Joint Pain | birch-tree | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Once you move beyond the basic, everyday essential oils that we all know and love, it becomes time to explore some of the more esoteric oils that solve specific ailments.  In my own exploration of essential oils, a specific ailment high on my list was relief from muscle and joint pain.

The oil of choice?  Birch essential oil for arthritis and other aches and pains of the muscles and joints is perfect!

Not only is Birch effective against common, everyday aches and pains, but it is superior if not outstanding in providing relief from arthritis joint pain and those deep, spasmodic cramps that only seem to visit in the dead of night.

What is Birch Oil?

Not surprisingly, Birch essential oil comes from the bark of birch trees. The scientific name is Betula Lenta and sometimes the oil is referred to as Sweet Birch Oil.

Pure, unadulterated birch oil, while not rare, can be difficult to find. That said, it is not an expensive oil relatively speaking.  What makes it special is that 100% pure Birch essential oil contains both salicylic acid and methyl salicylate. Both have a cortisone-like quality that reduces discomfort in the muscles, bones, and joints and in addition, are recognized as germicides and bactericides in the world of medicine.

Whereas Birch essential oil is an effective anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, and diuretic, it really shines in its use to combat muscle and joint pain.  Bar none, Birch is the oil you want to use to relieve the pain of arthritis, tendonitis, gout, and severe muscle cramping.

How to Use Birch Oil to Fight Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain

In my own household, we use Birch essential oil blended synergistically with both Geranium and Lemongrass oils.  We came up with this formula by trial and error and although it uses other oils, we still fondly refer to it as “The Birch”.

We use “The Birch” in two ways: as a topical, roller-ball application diluted with fractionated coconut oil, and also as a heavy duty pain-relieving salve. According to Shelly, who is also known as the Survival Husband, the back to back use of both the roller ball and the salve, morning and night, has made the arthritis in his hands bearable.

Here is what he has to say:

“Before using the essential oils Gaye made up for me, I had so much arthritis pain in my right hand that at times my hand was non-functional.  After using the EO blends morning and night for five months, my arthritis pain has almost disappeared.

I can ride my Harley, play golf, do my chores, and simply get through the day with minimal discomfort.”

Replicating the formula I made for Shelly is easy.  Here are my two “arthritis busting” recipes.  That is what I call them although, of course, they are used for other aches and pains as well.

Arthritis Busting Roller Ball Formula

6 drops Birch Essential Oil
6 drops Geranium Essential Oil
6 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

Add the oils to a 5ml roller ball bottle.  Top with enough fractionated coconut oil (FCO) to fill the bottle.  If you are using a 10ml roller ball bottle, just fill half way.  (I find that the 10ml size is more common.)

Arthritis Busting Salve

30 drops Birch Essential Oil
30 drops Geranium Essential Oil
30 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil

Add the oils to a 1 ounce jar (I use both these and these).  Top with either Plain “Simple” Salve or DIY Miracle Healing Salve and mix well with a small stick (I use a coffee stir stick).  Use twice daily or as needed.

A Word of Caution

Birch essential oil is a strong oil and if used undiluted, may cause irritation.  In addition, Birch should be avoided by those who use blood thinners, have epilepsy, or women who may be pregnant.

If you do use blood thinners, I suggest substituting the birch essential oil with additional drops of lemongrass oil. While not quite as effective as Birch, Lemongrass EO is an amazing pain reliever in it’s own right.  It is also a very inexpensive oil.

About Essential Oils

After a significant amount of research, for health, first-aid, and wellness purposes I use essential oils from Spark Naturals.  There are a lot reasons, the most important being their commitment to both quality and value.  I am satisfied that the raw materials used in Spark Naturals products are tested and authenticated to be of pharmaceutical grade purity.

If you decide to make a purchase from Spark Naturals, please know that you will enjoy a 10% discount on your order when you use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout. (Note:  I do receive a small commission on your purchase and for that I extremely appreciative.)

The Final Word

As I have mentioned, we call our Arthritis Busting formulas, “The Birch”.  In reality, the title of this article could have been “Using Essential Oils for Joint and Muscle Pain”. Still, with Birch essential oil being a key component, I wanted to introduce the oil to you along with some of its beneficial properties so that you can explore more uses on your own.

Personally, I love using all three of the oils in “The Birch” and even though I do not have arthritis myself, I find the formula useful for breaking down those knots of stress that appear on my neck and on my shoulders.  And for cramping hands and toes?  Nothing beats “The Birch” aka the Arthritis Busting formula.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!Save

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Source: Alternative news journal

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Turmeric Beats Ibuprofen For Arthritis Of The Knee

Turmeric vs Ibuprofen

An exciting new clinical trial published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has revealed that an effective natural alternative to the exceedingly popular pharmaceutical painkiller ibuprofen exists for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA), and it is a familiar kitchen spice known to be far superior both in safety and the number of side benefits it confers to any drug in the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug class.

Last year, in a Lancet review on the topic, ibuprofen was identified to be as toxic to the heart as the banned anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx, likely contributing to tens of thousands of deaths from cardiovascular disease each year. This is one of the reasons why evidence-based natural alternatives are extremely important, especially when they involve culinary spices that are already known to be safe, affordable, accessible and time-tested.

Titled, “Efficacy and Safety of Curcuma domestica Extracts in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis,”[i] the multi-center trial was conducted with 109 patients with primary knee osteoarthritis who were randomized to receive either ibuprofen 800 mg day ibuprofen (55 patients) or 2,000 mg turmeric (Curcuma domestica) per day (52 patients), for 6 weeks.  The ibuprofen was divided into 2 doses of 400mg daily, and the turmeric into 4 doses of 500 mg daily.

The researchers measured pain on level walking, pain on stairs, and functions of knee assessed by time spent during 100-m walk and going up and down a flight of stairs, as the primary outcomes.

After six weeks, significant improvements were observed in both groups, with all primary outcomes similar, except the turmeric group showed slightly better performance on the 100-m walk and less self-reported pain going up and down a flight of stairs.  Also, the turmeric group showed less adverse events.  Also, the subjects rated themselves to have higher satisfaction with the treatment results in the turmeric group (91.1%) versus the ibuprofen group (80.4%).

While the researchers acknowledged the limitations of their study – no double-blind protocol, the need for a higher dose in the placebo group, and the need for a larger patient sample size – they concluded that “C. domestica extracts seem to be efficacious and safe for the treatment of knee OA similarly to ibuprofen.”

They also pointed out that while some patients in the ibuprofen group rated themselves as having little satisfaction or no satisfaction (10.9% and 2.2%, respectively), not a single patient in the turmeric group reported being unsatisfied.

Finally, they observed a distinct trend towards a greater effect in patients receiving turmeric an ibuprofen.

The form of turmeric used in the study was manufactured by the Thai Government Pharmaceutical Organization. Its preparation was described as follows:

“The preparations were made under the Good Manufacturing Procedures Standard.

Dried rhizomes of C. domestica were grounded into powder. The turmeric powder was extracted with ethanol andthen evaporated at low pressure to obtain ethanolic extracts containing oil and curcuminoids. The oil part was then removed in order to have curcuminoids extracts. Each capsule of C. domestica extracts contained 250 mg of curcuminoids.”

The primary curcuminoid known to science is curcumin, and is the polyphenol in turmeric that gives the spice its radiant golden hue. Turmeric powder contains approximately 2-4% curcumin by weight. Curcumin has been studied to have over 600 health benefits. To view the first-hand research establishing its value, view our biomedical database on the topic: Curcumin Health Benefits.

For additional research on natural interventions for knee osteoarthritis view our database on the topic: Natural Knee Osteoarthritis Interventions


[i] Vilai Kuptniratsaikul, Piyapat Dajpratham, Wirat Taechaarpornkul, Montana Buntragulpoontawee, Pranee Lukkanapichonchut, Chirawan Chootip, Jittima Saengsuwan, Kesthamrong Tantayakom, Supphalak Laongpech. Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a multicenter study. Clin Interv Aging. 2014 ;9:451-8. Epub 2014 Mar 20. PMID: 24672232


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

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