The term 'nutraceutical' was coined to represent compounds found in food and herbs that are not technically considered nutrients such as vitamins or minerals, but which may have a profoundly beneficial impact on the health of the body. Common examples of nutraceuticals include glucosamine, used in the treatment of arthritic conditions of dogs and cats, and antioxidant compounds that help in the prevention of cancer.
A supplement is a concentrated nutrient source that is added to a basic diet for either a nutritional or a therapeutic benefit. There is a great deal of confusion that surrounds the terminology of food additives, and sometimes terms are used interchangeably.
The underlying philosophy of all alternative medical therapies is the 'holistic' approach, in which the patient is treated as a whole being rather than as a collection of organs and parts. The patient is treated as an individual rather than as a diagnosis, and the treatment is determined by the way that he or she is responding to illness.