Alternative Therapies and alternative medicine have been gaining ground along with conventional treatments. Alternative therapies have been practiced for thousands of years especially in the east commonly known as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Modern medicine has replaced such therapies due to its ability to quickly suppress the symptoms and treat the specific physical condition with pharmacological and surgical methods that evolved after much research.
However, modern medicine has severe side effects due to its toxicity and chemical interference in cellular functioning. This has resulted in alternative therapies and alternative medicines gaining ground. The inability of medical science to quickly tackle the outbreak of immunity-related disorders and disease like Aids and SARS have rekindled the interest in alternative therapies.
Alternative therapy and medicine have also gained respectability as more and more clinical trials and research is establishing the efficacy of its treatments.
Alternative therapies have very simple principles.
The body can heal itself. You only need to facilitate the self-healing process.
Prevention is the key to healthy living. The alternative medicinal system stresses on prevention of disease through a change in diet, the use of proven herbs, and lifestyle changes which while preventing the disease also helps in dealing with the basic cause of any disease.
Each system of alternative medicine has its own complex method of diagnosis and treatment; broadly they focus on balancing the energies in the body as well as the emotional aspects of the disease. Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as homeopathy, works on the principle of assisting the body to heal itself.
All treatments in alternative therapy use medicines that are directly derived from botanical sources — ingredients in plants. They are generally safe in moderate doses if they are prepared with the pure essence of such botanical and unadulterated with any form of chemicals.
Selecting the right herbal products
There are plenty of spurious products in the market with tall claims. Buy only from the best source after verifying the background and credibility of the company.
Don’t go by claims of miraculous cures. You need to understand how each product works and go by the research available on the herbs along with the traditional history of healing.
Buy the herbal or food supplements only after verifying whether the company is meeting the quality standards and test certifications. Check whether the ingredients on the label are as per the claims on the advertisements.
Plenty of information is available from the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the NCCAM website for complementary and Alternative medicine.
A final word of caution while using alternative medicines and therapies, whatever the claims made or facts about the medicinal and curative properties do not stop your regular treatment recommended by a doctor.
It is best to use these products as a preventive and for good health. Do not use the products for symptomatic relief but for therapeutic use.
Use the alternative medicine as complementary or as an adjuvant therapy to your regular medicine. Use of herbal remedies as a preventive or as food and health supplements is the best way to go as you do not run the risk of interference with your regular treatment of any disease or disorder.