We have been hearing a lot these days about “Alternative Facts”, however, in this article I would like to focus on something that is both “Alternative” and “Factual” – Alternative Medicine.  Alternative Medicine (includes herbal (natural) medicine and other natural modalities) is an amazing and effective solution to addressing the growing number of health-related concerns we are experiencing today.

Natural medicine as the name suggests is derived from natural sources which are mainly plant based.  There are certain plants that contain chemicals and extracts that are highly beneficial to the human body and can be used to fight certain health conditions. They work by boosting the body’s immune system which allows it to fight off diseases. This is a far better solution than subjecting your body to synthetic chemicals that may prove even more harmful to your health. The benefits of synthetic drugs must always be considered very carefully given the long list of potential side effects that can be experienced because of the chemicals used to produce these products.

Like everything in this world, there are always advantages and disadvantages, so before you begin your natural health journey, let’s look at a list of advantages and disadvantages of using natural medicines.

Advantages of Using Natural Medicines

1. Natural Ingredients
Companies that produce natural medicines use only natural ingredients for their products. Due to technological advances today, these companies are able to scientifically extract and maintain the natural compounds found in the plants to ensure that each pill or tablet is carefully formulated and filled with the essential nutrients needed to address specific health concerns and assist your body in its natural recovery process.

If you read the labels on natural products which you should always do, you will find that the ingredients are mainly from the extracts of plants. There are never any synthetic chemicals and formulas used in the formulation of these products. You may however find other ingredients that are used to improve the efficacy of the products.  Rest assured that government regulations and health agencies will ensure that natural medicines meet the very stringent conditions set out by their organizations to ensure ethical practises and standards are met.

2. Cost-Effective Solution
Another big advantage of using natural medicines is the cost – natural medicines are a lot cheaper when compared to synthetic medicines commonly prescribed by doctors. Many consumers are opting for this solution to help with their health problems.  Natural medicine is cheaper because of the ingredients used create them. Expensive chemicals are never used in the formulation of the medicine and the ingredients can be grown almost anywhere under the right conditions.

3. No Allergic Reactions With Foods
With many people experiencing food allergies, natural medicine unlike synthetic drugs will most likely not have a negative reaction with the food you eat.  Since the ingredients are 100% natural, the likelihood of you experiencing an allergic reaction at meal time is extremely rare.  It allows you the luxury of enjoying your meal without the worry of the after-effect.

However, if you are not sure of an ingredient in a product or you are currently taking a variety of prescribed medications, always check with your doctor to determine if it your natural medicine will be compatible with your system and your other medication. Because a product has worked for others, there are no guarantees that it will have the same effect on you.

Disadvantage of Using Natural Medicines 

With the advantages of using natural medicine mentioned above, many people would think that there will be never be any complications and that they can use the products at any time. This unfortunately is a common misconception that often leads to more health-related issues. The problem is not with the ingredients that the products are made from, but in the actual use of the product where certain medical conditions may arise.

We can never deny the fact that natural medicine is actual medicine as nature intended and should be treated as such.  The products are scientifically formulated and the dosage specified for safe consumption. Consumers are urged to follow the dosage indicated on all labels of natural medicinal products.  If you are ever unsure of something, always consult a health expert or your family doctor to safely determine the proper usage of the product. It is also advisable to undergo a consultation with a health expert to ensure that the natural medicine you are taking is actually meant for and is the best option for treating your specific health concern.

One of the common problems attributed to the use of natural medicine is self-medication. There might be certain instances wherein the proper dosage indicated on the label is not the prescribed measurement for your use. In that case, it is essential that you consult with a health expert to determine the contents of the product and get a recommended safe dosage to help avoid any complications.

Consumers are also urged to avoid taking more than the recommended dosage of a product to avoid any health complications.  Although natural medicine is safe to use, many people are under the impression that doubling up or taking even more of a product will help it to work faster — this way of thinking is completely wrong and could be potentially dangerous.  Instead of being beneficial to the body, over-dosage will only result in creating additional health concerns.

Keep in mind however, that not all natural supplements sold today are safe to use. Due to the increased popularity of natural medicinal products, there may be scammers out there who would replicate a product with no significant health value.  Consumers should always read the labels carefully to ensure that the product was formulated by a credible company with100% natural ingredients.

TIP for a Great Anti-Oxidant:  Garlic, Onion, and Pepper

Kitchen spices like garlic, onions, and pepper seeds are great anti-oxidants. You can include them in your daily meals or you can concoct a health drink out of it. Clean your ingredients thoroughly and chop them up. Cook them in boiling water and let it stew for a few minutes. Drain it with a strainer and you have an anti-oxidant drink ready for you to use.