When it comes to getting healthy, you’ve got more options than ever before. There is likely to be some confusion about which choice is better for you with too many options to choose from. But do you have other options like natural medicine?
Are you expected to use only one type of medication and completely avoid all the others? Are some types of medicine and their practitioners “quacks”? (Does anybody use the term anymore?)
It is a personal decision that you must make about your choice of health care. We will try to help you understand which choice could be right for you.
What Is Natural Medicine?
It’s safe to say that natural medicine is now the most popular of all various medicine types. Countless bloggers are spreading the news on how natural medicine is the way ahead.
Simple Google searches using the words ‘natural medicine’ yield more than a billion results. Whereas searches using the words ‘conventional medicine’ only yield about 256 million.
A search for ‘pharmaceuticals’ yields only about 443 million.
It is clear that natural medicine is making its mark on, and is also changing, society.
Natural medicine is gaining a lot of attention. There is a lot of opposition to it. This is the outcome of some educated in allopathic medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.
Why The Opposition?
Some allopathic physicians are extremely ignorant of the benefits of natural medicine. They feel threatened by it because of their lack of understanding and training. There is also a financial factor associated with this anger. The natural medicine market is booming. The industry is estimated to be worth nearly $197 billion by 2025. This is nothing compared to the estimated 1170 billion in the pharmaceutical sector.
There is a growing sense of repulsion among people (generally) when it comes to drugs.
There’s also a bleak view about taking drugs for the rest of your life. It sets certain people on the lookout for a different (or better) direction.
The variety of treatments available with natural medicine perplexes conventional physicians. After all, the most effective (and usually only) method of MDs therapy is pharmaceuticals. I like to joke that some MDs are supposed to be doctors of medications, not medicine. But this is just my opinion as to why certain conventional MDs so malign natural medicine.
If you ask one, he might say that something along the lines of natural medicine is ineffectual, not scientific proof, or harmful. Let’s look at these claims.
Natural Medicine Is Ineffective
For thousands of years, people used natural medicine worldwide. Some say it is ineffective. But is that true? Diet and exercise help reduce or even cure lifestyle disorders such as depression and high blood pressure. It’s a safe medicine (gasp). Herbal medicines have been tested and shown to be beneficial for disorders ranging from high cholesterol to insomnia.
Supplements such as CoQ10 and vitamin D boost people’s heart disease outcomes.
An extract of green tea, EGCG, has been shown to inhibit the development of DYRK1A protein that helps increase cognition in individuals with Down syndrome.
Infrared saunas increase the body’s growth of antioxidants in the blood.
There is a vast amount of evidence displaying that natural medicine effectively treats various conditions. These conditions range from lifestyle to genetics.
This Brings Me To The Next Point: No Evidence
There is also less accepted (among some doctors) but still valid anecdotal evidence that many natural medicine patients report. It’s not the doctor’s job to listen to her patient, after all?
Suppose your patient tells you that something they have taken has significantly relieved their symptoms. Then isn’t it up to you to listen to and get more info?
Unfortunately, those doctors who oppose natural medicine will easily ignore their patients’ complaints. They will say “all in your head” or as my favorite placebo impact. Patients may don’t even inform their conventional doctors when they take something natural. It is because they don’t want to be criticized for how “dangerous” and “unproven” natural drugs are. Oddly enough, it’s rare that you’ve ever heard of someone dying by taking natural medication.
I don’t mean it doesn’t happen, but it doesn’t happen too often.
This disproves the next argument on natural medicines: that natural medicines are dangerous.
In recent years, natural medicine caused 1 high-profile death. Unfortunately, this was attributed to a patient’s anaphylactic reaction. Essentially, the patient had an allergic reaction to a natural drug that was fatal.
Overall, natural medicines are often safe. Use them with precaution and advice from your naturopathic doctor.
So you have an idea of exactly what natural medicine is and the reasons against it. So how about pharmaceuticals?
You think you know exactly what pharmaceutical medicine is. But you shouldn’t be so sure about that.
What Is Pharmaceutical Medicine?
When you think about medicines, you’re probably thinking about pharmaceuticals.
Pharmaceuticals are classified as a compound manufactured for use as a prescription medication or as a pharmaceutical company.
According to the FDA, ‘It is the duty of the company seeking to market the medication to test it. They have to provide evidence that it is safe and successful.’ This essentially means that the drug company does its research. And then, it submits the ‘data’ to the FDA for approval.
According to the FDA, the new medicines submitted for approval undergo either a standard 10-month review or a priority 6-month review. It takes between 10-12 years for a drug to develop, starting from the laboratory to the market.
Interestingly, though, clinical trials typically don’t last that long. The longest clinical trials will be up to 4 years for medications that doctors want you to take for a lifetime. Phase IV, the longest clinical trial, can also impact the market approval of the drug by the FDA AFTER.
What company do you imagine will willingly scrap 10-12 years of hard work if their product is not up to standards when billions of dollars are at stake?
Those who prescribe them believe that pharmaceuticals are safe. Sadly, many doctors who give these medications to patients have no idea of their danger.
About 128,000 pharmaceutical deaths occur in a year. Worse, these deaths are the result of patients taking the drug as prescribed.
Did you know that doctors can prescribe medications that the FDA has not approved for use with you? Off-label use is quite common and perfectly legal. It is when your doctor prescribes a medicine that has not been studied for your specific condition or age group. Or the prescription may be at a dose different from that studied and approved by the FDA.
The Decision Is Ultimately Up To You. But Still, Consider This
Naturopathic medicine is not about those who want to take a drug for the rest of their lives. It is about those who recognize that the body is not a machine. It is a living organism that needs the right nutrition, treatment, affection, and support to thrive. Natural medicine is for those who choose to be active, empowered players with their health choices. It’s for people who want something more, something positive, something permanent.
Pharmaceuticals will impact those who would rather have less control over their long-term wellbeing. It is for those suffering from acute or serious situations that need rapid stabilization. And/or for those that are too critical of natural medication to try.