In many cases, they are in fact better than prescription medications, but not always. You have to know what you are doing, the products and techniques you are using etc. Many people hear "herbs" or "natural" and they assume that means they can't be harmful. Many herbs are very potent and can be toxic without proper knowledge of their use.
Holistic/Natural medicine has been around much, much longer than modern "medicine" and yes, it does work, but most people who use natural medicine understand there is no "magic pill" for health conditions.
Western medicine tends to chase symptoms without addressing the underlying cause. For example, you go to the doctor and say I get migraines, he writes you a prescription and maybe gives you generic advice about managing stress etc.
You go to a naturopath and they ask you about your diet, daily habits, your stress levels, and give you not only ideas for herbal remedies or alternative healing (accupuncture for example) but they also work with you to find the trigger and eliminate it from your life. In this way, natural medicine is and always will be superior. It is about treating the whole person and weeding out the root of the problem - not just chasing symptoms.