Numerous studies have proven that there is a direct link between poor diet and disease. Because of this, people are taking a second look at what goes into their bodies, including the medicines they take. Many are opting for an herbal or nutritional medicine instead of synthetic drugs.
At first glance, herbal medicine and nutritional medicine may seem to be the same thing, but they differ in several ways.
Herbal medicine is one of the oldest systems of healing and is still widely used in many parts of the world. It is made exclusively from plant and plant extracts that may be ingested or applied directly to the skin.
There are a variety of different herbal medicines available today. Though each contain medicinal plants, the type of plants used as well as how they are prepared and used differ from culture to culture.
While herbal medicine is not a licensed profession in the United States, modern research supports the effectiveness of herbal supplements.
Herbal medicines contain various chemical properties that have been proven to treat several common health issues including, burns, inflammation, ulcers, colic, staph infection, nausea, colds and flu.
The therapeutic activity of a medicinal plant comes from its complex chemical makeup. Many modern pharmaceuticals have been based on the chemicals found in medicinal plants.
Herbal medicines have fewer side effects than traditional drugs.
Nutritional medicine is built on the belief that nutrients are necessary for the body to function properly. This included essential micronutrients. Practitioners of nutritional medicine believe that when treating diseases or symptoms they should look at the underlying causes that are tied to the nutritional or environmental influences.
Nutritional medicines reject the idea of using synthetic drugs. Instead it is based on the notion that nature’s natural pharmaceuticals are life-serving.
This form of medicine promotes the use of supplemental minerals and vitamins that have been found to be lacking in today’s diet. For example, it’s difficult to get enough Vitamin E in our diets to prevent things like heart disease without added supplements.
Nutritional supplements focus on chronic illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, arthritis or fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular problems and neurological disorders.
Colds, flu and gastrointestinal problems all respond quickly to nutritional and herbal medicines.
Herbal medicines have been used to treat asthma, eczema, migraines, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis and premenstrual syndrome.
Chronic conditions may respond within weeks or months of starting a nutritional or herbal treatment. These might include menopause symptoms, PMS and other women’s health issues.
Conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart and arthritis conditions may or may not respond to herbal or nutritional medicine therapy. Talk to your doctor about using this type of therapy.
The vitamins, minerals and chemicals in herbal and nutritional medicines contribute in the biochemical reactions of the body that includes our metabolism and how we convert food to energy.
These essential minerals and vitamins found in natural herbs and whole nutritional foods are found to help promote the healthy cell and organ formation.
Types of herbal and nutritional medicines
Supplements include everything from minerals to herbs including glucosamine, Fish oil, Echinacea, cinnamon, and flaxseed oil among others.
The herbs or botanicals Chamomile and peppermint are used in the form of teas to aid in digestion.
Valerian is often taken as a sleep aid, though it may take several doses to become effective. Kava on the other hand can have immediate effects on muscle relaxation and reducing anxiety symptoms.
While herbal and nutritional medicines are effective, oftentimes people see the biggest benefits when they are used as part of an overall natural lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise, reduced stress and a positive mindset all work together for whole body wellness.