complémentaire santé refers to medical practices or products that are used in addition to mainstream treatments. These may include things like herbal medicine, acupuncture and meditation. Some types of complementary medicine have been around for hundreds and even thousands of years, while others are quite new. It’s important to talk to your doctor before trying complementary medicines. They can help you find out whether they are safe, and if they’ll interfere with any other medications you’re taking.

Some complementary therapies are regulated and have specific training requirements, for example osteopathic and chiropractic practitioners must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). Other therapies are unregulated. In these cases, you should check that any practitioner is registered with an organisation that meets quality and safety standards.

We assess all complementary medicines before they can be sold in Australia, including those that are natural or unregulated. Any that we approve can be displayed with an ‘TGA assessed’ claim and make specific health claims. We also require all complementary medicines to be of high quality, have a good safety record and evidence of efficacy, such as data from human clinical trials.

It’s important to talk to your doctor about any complementary treatments you’re thinking of using, particularly if they are being used during pregnancy. Your doctor can check that any treatment won’t interfere with your planned pregnancy and birth, or have other unwanted side effects. They can also recommend a practitioner who has had the appropriate training and is able to work in conjunction with your other healthcare providers.