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Nature's Medicine Chest

Updated on August 25, 2015
Natural medicine has many health benefits
Natural medicine has many health benefits | Source

If people feel unwell they usually go to the doctor who will give them a prescription. After getting medicine or tablets with the prescription, you hope to feel better after taking them. This is the usual cycle of diagnosis and prescription which occurs in the health profession in modern times.

On the other hand, if somebody offered you a herbal remedy instead you might think that they don’t have much credibility but there is research has shown that there actually many benefits to using natural remedies.

By definition, natural medicine is the use of herbal remedies, natural approaches and traditional practices to cure diseases. The use of natural medicine is present in every culture but most especially in some cultures when the village medicine man is the equivalent of the modern doctor.Indeed,it is a known fact that some doctors have visited these medicine men to research their methods and learn from them.

Aromatherapy,acupuncture,homeopathy and reflexology are examples of natural medicine also known as alternative therapy.

These medical practices preceded the development of modern, traditional medical practices. The use of herbal remedies, otherwise known as phytotherapy was prevalent in Greek, Chinese and Indian medicine andhas evolved from these cultures.

Following the advent of modern medicine the use of herbal medicines was replaced by modern drugs even though some of these drugs were often based on the healing substances found in some herbs and other plants. Some drugs that have been developed from herbal medicine are aspirin, digitalis opium and quinine.

In some cases, natural remedies are more effective than modern medicine even though there are fewer practitioners of what is in some ways a lost art. Because of this, some doctors in modern medical practice have an interest in considering the value of these more traditional approaches. All the same, natural remedies are sometimes illegitimate and the ones that have been carefully researched and have no risks are the only ones to try using.

Herbal remedies are a good example of being useful in the treatment of minor ailments like rashes, fever and coughs. Sometimes they are of more benefit in these conditions than synthetic medicines because of the absence of side-effects when using them. Indeed some government agencies openly advocate the use of herbal remedies because they cost less and have very little risk for those using them. . It is true however, that some of these remedies are not safe so it is a challenge to decide which ones to approve.

Some alternative medicine specialties such as acupuncture and homeopathy come under the umbrella of natural medicines and the practitioners of these have more insight and information about their effectiveness.

The current philosophy is that natural medicine be considered as supplementary to modern medicine. In modern medicine, the patient presents when he is unwell and a prescription is offered in that context. The difference in natural medicine is that treatment can be given when the individual is well and focuses on living a healthy lifestyle for the prevention of disease.

The foundation of natural medicine is that it is good for our overall health and nature offers many effective remedies. Being open to consider these natural remedies and practices in the context of modern medicine is indeed the best way forward.Natural medicine can enhance modern medicine or can indeed in some circumstances be an alternative,


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    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Much safer as right Glenn and indeed more effective. It is a money racket in the case of the drug companies.In my experience, they have taken drugs off the market that were very effective and replaced them with more expensive,less effective ones. Your feedback is appreciated.

      Cheers, Kate.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I wish more doctors would consider natural remedies. The information you gave here is very useful.

      Herbal solutions for some ailments is much safer than some drugs that doctors prescribe. The problem is that the drug manufacturers persuade doctors to focus on their drugs instead of considering other remedies.

      I know a couple of friends who got very sick taking dangerous medications. But one of them took the advice of a naturopathic doctor and improved tremendously.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      6 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thank you Andy for you insightful comment and I agree that prevention is better than cure but some people don't have the mindset for that yet. Natural medicine is indeed less invasive as you say so it probably is the best way forward in tandem with conventional medicine as they can complement each other.


    • fiftyish profile image

      Andy Aitch 

      6 years ago from UK & South East Asian Region

      Hi Kate

      I think the culture of pills for this and pills for that is wearing a bit thin now with many folks, especially as so many conventional medicines have adverse side effects. Having said that, there are plenty of quacks out there posing as alternative medicine gurus, when in fact they're not.

      And although no real harm can be done by wrongly prescribing herbal remedies (under most circumstances), patients may see have their illness or conditions dragged out or worsened by trying the unorthodox route to cures as dished out by non-professionals, of which there are many, well in my country anyway.

      Personally, I still think that if able bodied folks in modern society took more care of themselves with diet and exercise, then there would be far less chat about health treatments in general.

      Alas, it appears that mankind isn't yet ready to replace cure with prevention any time soon, so let us hope that there will at least be more understanding and professional treatments in the less invasive world of natural medicine.

      Andy Aitch

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      6 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thanks for your feedback.I appreciate it :-)

    • teacherjoe52 profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Kate.

      Having been a natural practioner for over thirtu years I can attest to the benifits of natural medicine having used it with myself and coutless others.

      Two problems I have encountered is that people want instant cures which is why they shy away from natural medicine.

      The other problems is many herbal store owners know little to nothing about herbal medicine and suggest expensive medicine that has little to no effect and may be dangerous to certain people.

      You have written a very informative article. Good for you.


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