Another term that causes confusion is “complementary”, which often appears as “complimentary”. Complementary has its roots in the Latin word complere, meaning “to complete”. Complementary medicines are those which have not been proven to be therapeutic through clinical trials, but are used as adjuncts to conventional medical therapies.

The TGA defines complementary medicines to include those particular ingredients which traditional health care practitioners have established through time and experience, including herbs, vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements, homoeopathic and aromatherapy preparations.

A final word on spelling; these products are only ever complimentary if they are given free, they certainly can’t express praise.