In our home, we do our best to avoid conventional approaches to our health needs because the medical industry so often seems to treat symptoms, while not always focusing on the root cause. But, what are the pros and cons of natural medicine? It’s important to have a balanced view because rarely is anything black and white. Also, alternative or traditional medicine can often complement modern practices, so does not always need to stand alone.
But on that note, let’s talk about why you might want to lean towards natural medicine and why sometimes, it may be best to view it with caution. We all know that good science should be the basis of understanding what works and what doesn’t work, so always keep that in mind when making decisions about your health.
- Less potential for risky side effects
- Oftentimes gentler on your body
- Works with your natural functions
- Generally supports overall health
- Usually quite affordable
- Encourages you to know your body
- Uses nature’s sustainable resources
- Boosts internal immune system
- Less invasive
- Can be very effective at times
- Promotes healthy dietary practices
- Thinks outside the box
- Not dictated by government agencies
- Supports self-healing
- Dosing and potency are not regulated
- Not rigorously tested for effectiveness
- Has a negative stigma in some circles
- May interfere with conventional medicine
- Anecdotal success often not science-based
- Dangerous if not understood properly
- May not work for serious conditions
- Can be very time consuming or difficult
- May require extensive personal study
- Largely misunderstood or misused
- Natural does not necessarily equal safe
- Risk of misdiagnosis & wrong treatments
As you can see, there are many, many reasons why you may choose to use natural medicine for certain ailments or to promote general health. Done correctly, it can keep your body in tune with itself and nature. In fact, sometimes solutions are so simple that it makes perfect sense to allow Mother Earth to help your body heal or stay in tip-top shape.
Sometimes our bodies, however, have confusing symptoms or serious breakdowns in functions. It is important to be extra wise in your use of herbs, supplements, and alternative treatments. There is much room for error, which can translate to something as simple as “well, that didn’t work” to “this is dangerous and threatening my health.”
Don’t dabble in stuff that you are not well-trained or educated in. Contraindications and interactions between substances are all things you need to consider to avoid potentially life-threatening consequences. Safety and efficacy should always be at the forefront of your decisions.
Western modern medicine has definitely begun to cross a line, wherein “popping pills” is seen as the norm and oftentimes only one area of the body is treated to the exclusion of whole body health. Remember that even in the medical world, doctors are “practicing” medicine and may not always get everything right.
There is a lot of bias, skepticism, and varying opinions that abound. The important thing to remember is that you need to know the limitations of medicine, but also your own personal limitations. Don’t hesitate to seek alternative or second opinions.
Ask lots of questions. Know the difference between internet research and true scientific research. Don’t forget the correlation does not equal causation, so think critically and consider all possibilities.
And probably most important of all, remember that you are your own best advocate for your health. Seek answers that resonate with you. Consider the beauty of complementary medicine, wherein you can combine natural therapies with the science of modern medicine so that they work together to give you the safest, most effective solutions to your needs.
Whatever path you decide to explore, choose a healthcare provider that will truly hear you and understand your needs, then discuss all these things with them. Perhaps together you can find the perfect balance.
What other pros and cons can you think of when you think about natural therapies? Have you had any successes or failures that have helped to shape your health profile? What are your thoughts and ideas about alternative medicine? We would love to hear your stories! Please use the comment section below to engage in the conversation.
Melanie is mom to five energetic kids, including a sweet little toddler. She enjoys homeschooling her children from a peaceful parenting perspective and traveling with her family whenever she can.