Tag Archives: Alternative Medicine


Are Alternative Medicines Effective?

Are Alternative Medicines Effective?

A growing number of people have become interested in alternative medicine to treat illnesses. Alternative medicine as a practice has created a significant amount of controversy both inside and outside the traditional medical field. Alternative medicine refers to a treatment or substance that is unproven under the application or accepted scientific standards. The most common types of alternative medicine include herbs, supplements, therapies and activities that are outside traditional medical practice. Some of these raise questions about their safety and effectiveness.

Acupuncture, massage, meditation, herbal tea, and plant extracts are popular among devotees of alternative medicine, but many traditional doctors believe these treatments are ineffective or even dangerous. Alternative medicine has become increasingly popular as more people face the aches, pains, and illnesses that accompany aging. In some cases, individuals have not obtained a cure with traditional medical approaches and turn to other options to treat their illness. In still other cases, people feel very strongly that natural methods of treatment are better than traditional medicine, so they look for answers from alternative practitioners instead of the family doctor.

There are risks associated with alternative medicine. Some of the risks arise through the use of untested, ineffective, and even unsafe substances. The manufacturers of these substances sometimes exaggerate the claims of their effectiveness. They may misrepresent the science related to the material to convince consumers to buy the product, even if its use can endanger a person’s health.

Some herbal remedies are advertised as being able to improve memory, raise metabolism, or cure cancer and heart disease. In reality, the remedies may cause harm if taken at high doses. Another risk is that someone with a serious disease like cancer will not receive traditional and proven treatments, preferring to use alternative methods that may not be effective. In these cases, people are risking their lives. Sometimes, patients may be using alternative treatments, but not telling their doctors about them. This can lead to dangerous drug interactions. If a traditional doctor is unaware of the substance a patient is taking, medications that produce harmful interactions may be unknowingly prescribed.

It is possible to recognize potentially risky alternative treatment. If a treatment sounds too good to be true, it probably is. While this is a cliché, it is often very true in situations involving alternative medicines. Be careful of products labeled ‘miraculous’ or ‘ancient remedy.’ If you are thinking about treatments such as acupuncture or reflexology, check the qualifications of the practitioner before being treated. Ask about the training received, and research the treatment to determine if it has been scientifically tested and found to be effective.

It’s a good idea to ask your doctor about an alternative treatment you are considering. Trained medical professionals have the experience and education to help you make safe decisions about your health.


Alternative herbal medicine

Alternative herbal medicine

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Alternative herbal medicine

Some people use alternative herbal medicine to treat a number of bodily disorders. This is so because alternative herbal medicine provides the same beneficial treatment without having to worry about fatal side effects. Most alternative herbal medicines are relatively safe to use if taken at recommended dosage.

To treat alcoholism, capsules of gamma linoleic acid (GLA) from evening primrose, borage or currant seed oils are the best alternative herbal medicine for controlling alcoholism. Valerian herb could also slow down brain cell damage due to excessive alcohol consumption. Skullcap is another alternative herbal medicine that could effectively lessen anxiety due to physical and emotional exhaustion.

To treat depression and anxiety, the alternative herbal medicines recommended are St. John’s wort, valerian and hops, ashwaganda, ginseng and Motherwort. To treat insomnia, the alternative herbal medicines you should use are ginger tea, chamomile, lemon balm and linden. Essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender can be used as a compress to relieve headache. To treat partial memory loss, alternative herbal medicines recommended for use are four Gs- gingko biloba, ginseng, Siberian ginseng and gotu kola. To relieve from pain and inflammation, use meadowsweet and willow bark. Both contain salicin which is converted by the stomach to salicylic acid, the key ingredient in aspirin. Ginger is another pain reliever which works by reducing prostaglandin. Stress is another ailment that can be effectively treated with alternative herbal medicine. Ginseng and Siberian ginseng are potent stress relievers. Angina and irregular heartbeat can be regulated by alternative herbal medicine such as hawthorn, ginseng, motherwort, valerian and even pineapple.

About 80 percent of the pharmaceutical drugs being sold today are based on herbs. These drugs are not derived from the entire herb, but based on its one major active ingredient. In turn, this extracted substance is used to treat a specific illness. While herbs can effectively relieve the body from various illnesses, still they could not replace the prescription drugs in treating life-threatening illnesses. Being an alternative herbal medicine, it could not be viewed as replacement but as complement to prescription drugs that could be a potent way to heal body conditions.

Herbs unlike prescription drugs do not need to be patented. You do not need to buy and spend huge sums of money for them. They can be readily found in your garden especially if you cultivate them. If bought, they cost lesser than conventional dugs. And the effects of alternative herbal medicines are quite potent too.