Doctors increasingly believe that children can benefit from safe and effective complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies.
Alternative medicine has been shown to be effective when OTC medications were not. Doctors now increasingly recommend natural remedies such as honey to treat common colds or cough in children over the age of one.
"There is a huge place for complementary and alternative medicine in pediatrics," says Dr. Dolores Mendelow, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases at the University of Michigan Medical School.
She also stresses that CAM therapies are safe and effective if conducted under the supervision of a physician.
Dr. Mendelow further points to acupuncture, nutritional supplements and herbal or botanical therapies as being most promising for the treatment of a range of common childhood illnesses.
In addition to that, therapies such as yoga, with its deep breathing techniques, have been show to relieve symptoms in asthmatic patients and reduce stress in teens and adolescents.
According to a survey by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 40 percent of adults and more than 10 percent of children sought alternative medicine help in 2007.
Some have suggested that the increasingly dysfunctional healthcare system that excludes millions of Americans and frequently provides insufficient coverage for those who have insurance has also contributed to the growing popularity of alternative medicine.