Conventional medicine is mainstream medicine in the US. It involves regular medical doctors, pharmaceuticals and general medical practices such as cardiology, gastroenterology, psychiatry, etc.
Complementary and alternative medicine is a group of practices and therapies that are considered to be outside the realm of conventional medicine. As medicine evolves, some practices that were considered complementary and alternative may become a part of conventional medicine and will no longer be considered alternative.
Cardiologists and general physicians now regularly use fish oil (a supplement) to reduce triglycerides and improve heart health. Although fish oil is found over the counter it is also available by prescription. It is definitely moving more into the mainstream. Digitalis used as a leaf had been used for centuries to treat certain heart problems. Modern medicine has been using it as a regular, conventional medication (in the form of a pill of course). As medicine evolves more complementary therapies may become conventional and the two may merge into one.
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