Medicine as practised by a non-registered medical practitioner. Strictly this also includes established medicine if practised by such a practitioner, but non registered practioners in many cultures do not have the knowledge base, investigational, prescribing and operating rights that allow them to practice safe established medicine for the conditions they offer treatment for. There is nothing to stop a registered medical practitioner practising alternative medicine, but if they wish to keep their registration or face a writ for negligence they should not practice it when there is evidence for net harm in the case too hand. Includes traditional medicine as practised in many cultures.
There is no a-priori reason why with alternative medicine health gain might not result, although a long history of ever increasing regulation around the practice of medicine has been because of safety concerns. Thus a traditional herbal medicine that contained digoxin at active concentrations is unlikely to be seen as a safe acceptable alternative to a standardised digoxin preparation with a manufacturing license. Traditionally the medical profession itself has been heavily involved in self regulation as part of its social contract and there is a distinct history of established therapy such as blood letting being rejected as the evidence base matures. The rejection of such an evidence based approach and therapeutic approaches without evidence of benefit beyond placebo is one characteristic of quacks and some alternative practitioners, that members of the public are well advised to be aware of.
Some have attempted classification with other belief systems
This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.