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|June 8, 2000|
Alternative medicine site gets top recommendation
Nitish S Rele
Psychology Today magazine has named holistic-online.com as the best web site to learn about ayurveda and other alternative therapies. The magazine is produced by the American Psychological Association.
"We were extremely surprised and pleased that our web site got a mention in the March-April issue of the magazine," said Jacob Mathew, who co-founded Holistic-online.com with wife Shila, a psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente Health Plan in Ohio.
Holistic-online.com provides information on mind-body and alternative therapies, herbs, nutrition and stress management. Also covered are homeopathy, acupuncture, nutrition, vitamins, yoga and common remedies for ailments. The herbal section includes descriptions of herbs' possible interactions with prescription drugs.
"We estimate that we attract 3,500 visitors a day to the site," said Mathew. "We have a not-for-profit operation going on here. It all in the name of community service."
Holistic-online.com came about because of questions put across to Mathew's wife by her patients. "They were asking Shila if it's OK to take St John's Wort with certain prescription drugs," said Mathew. "This could be a dangerous combination."
The couple decided to set up a web site that would offer free information on herbs, ayurveda and other alternative therapies. That job fell to Jacob Mathew, who owns a company, International Cyber Business Services which develops interactive web sites, e-commerce solutions and enterprise solutions for businesses.
"We wanted to provide information on safety of all herbs," said Mathew.
"The reaction to the web site has been tremendous. We probably have the largest database of herbs online (2,000). I get e-mails from all over the world on so many topics. Recently, someone pointed out that St John's Wort can affect kidney transplants too," he says.
Holistic-online.com offers about 3,000 pages. But pages 1-12 are the most read.
Mathew is currently working on information about and alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy and menopausal issues.
"We are also wrapping up our cancer section," he said, adding that this is one area that visitors would like most information on since there is little objective information available about alternative therapy.
The web site has received rave reviews from not just Psychology Today magazine but also other experts in the field. Karen Olness, founder of the mind-body medicine group at Case Western Reserve University and an expert in biofeedback and hypnotism at University Hospitals of Cleveland, recently said that holistic-online.com is "a truly world-class web site for those interested in mind-body medicine."
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