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Complementary, Integrative and Alternative Medicine (CIAM)

How Milkmaids Saved the World From Smallpox

In 1796 Edward Jenner successfully experimented with cowpox vaccinations to prevent smallpox. He had noticed that milkmaids who developed the milder cowpox never caught smallpox, a debilitating and often deadly disease. Then, as now, people were scared of vaccinations. This 1802 cartoon illustrates that fear, showing cows growing out of their bodies after vaccination.

What is this?

National Library of Medicine classifies alternative medicine under the term complementary therapies.

This is defined as therapeutic practices which are not currently considered an integral part of conventional allopathic medical practice. They may lack biomedical explanations but as they become better researched some, such as physical therapy, diet, and acupuncture, become widely accepted whereas others, such as humors or radium therapy, quietly fade away, yet are important historical footnotes.

Therapies are termed as Complementary when used in addition to conventional treatments and as Alternative when used instead of conventional treatment.

Library & Research Help

Try these words:

  • conventional medicine
  • integrative medicine
  • traditional medicine

Or search for individual types of therapies:

  • homeopathy
  • aroma therapy
  • ayurvedic medicine
  • etc.

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