All About Alternative Medicine

Herbal medicine is becoming extremely popular amongst those looking to use more natural substances to aid the relief of their long term or short term health issues. Herbal medicine can come in the form of tablets, liquid medicine or powder sachets and is always made from plants. Often there is an emphasis on the plants being organic, to ensure there are absolutely no harmful chemicals involved in the production of the medicine.

Most of the modern medicine, used today is or was once made from plant extracts, however many of the medicines prescribed to us today are made from synthetically made substances. The tablets made by pharmaceutical companies will usually use an active ingredient from a plant, whereas alternative medicine tends to use the entire plant. The reason alternative medicine exists is because herbalists believe that the entire plant works better to cure or relieve symptoms than just one plant extract ingredient.

Where Can I Buy Alternative Medicine?

Ready made alternative medicine can be purchased online, in shops and also in a pharmacy, although it is recommended you only ever purchase them from reputable retailers. Some people opt to consult private herbalists who will create a tailor made medicine, including plants that specifically work to help with the issues that a person has.

All About Alternative Medicine

Can I Make My Own Alternative Medicine?

Most of the herbs used in alternative medicine wouldn’t be palatable on their own. And generally it isn’t safe for you to create your own herbal medicines unless you are qualified to do so. If you are interested in taking alternative medicine, consult a qualified expert.

How Safe Is Alternative Medicine?

It is recommended you do not take any alternative medicine alongside your conventional medicine without consulting your doctor or consultant first. This is because the herbs or plants used may interact with your conventional medicine negatively. The majority of alternative medicine is safe to consume, but some may cause side effects like tummy ache, diarrhea, aching muscles and broken sleep. Since May 2014 there has been a system in place to regulate herbal medicines which means there are places for you to check if the remedy you wish to try is considered safe.

Why Do People Use Alternative Medicine?

There are lots of reasons people might choose to use alternative medicine. Reasons could be:

  • Moral or Dietary needs to choose completely natural medicine – IE the person is vegan or allergic to various ingredients in conventional medicine.
  • A continual struggle with conventional medicine where the person is desperate to try something else to relieve the pain.
  • A want to feel more in control of what they are consuming to manage their pain.
  • A worry about using long term conventional medicine and the risks that might hold.
  • A need to combat symptoms that cannot be dealt with using conventional medicine.

Is There Anything More To Alternative Medicine?

Yes. Alternative medicine can just be a herbal drink or tablet you consume, but often it involves a lot more. Most herbalists will recommend you take an active part in your own recovery by improving your fitness levels and diet. The treatment may often involve certain holistic therapies, exercises and activities.

Can Arthritis Be Helped With Alternative Medicine?

There are quite a few plants and herbs used as herbal remedies for arthritis. They include; devil’s claw, boswellia and rosehip.

Is Alternative Medicine Right For Me?

It’s completely individual as to whether or not alternative medicine is right for any one person. If you are interested in using herbal medicine the first step you need to take is doing research and lots of it. Have a chat to your GP about it, read forums, read articles about it and try having a consultation with a herbalist. The more knowledge you have, the more informed a decision you can make. Take care to access balanced knowledge where possible, and to get viewpoints from people who have had success and who haven’t when using alternative medicine. The most important thing to remember is not to buy alternative medicine from the internet (unless from a trusted supplier) and not to start taking alternative medicine without consulting your GP or consultant as some herbal remedies may interact negatively with conventional medicine.