It is safe to say that most people in the United States go to the doctor when they feel ill. The doctor will treat the illness by prescribing some type of medicine. We then take what he or she has given us and hopefully feel better. This is how modern medicine works, and what we, as a society, come to believe is the only way to receive treatment. If anyone were to suggest we think about alternative medicine, we would probably dismiss it as foolishness.
That was not always the case though. Before the introduction of man made medicines, people of all cultures had to rely on home remedies. Some cultures used herbal medicines, while others would have a village medicine man who local people would visit for treatment of whatever ailed them. He would then pass on his knowledge of the healing powers of herbs to his apprentices so that they could continue his work. Today this is what we call natural medicine.
Natural medicine is the use of traditional methods to treat sickness. With the birth of modern medicine, most doctors discarded the use of herbs and other home remedies and replaced them with man made drugs. What they failed to remember is that natural treatments are based on the healing properties of herbs. Even some of the drugs they continued to use, such as aspirin, quinine and digitalis had been once considered home remedies.
Strangely enough with all of our technological advancements and modern ways of thinking, we are going back to the old ways and once again embracing natural medicines. Quite a few organizations have dedicated themselves to the study of these old fashion methods. Even government and health agencies advocate the use of certain treatments.
Natural treatments also tend to focus on living a healthy lifestyle, not just treating a patient when they become ill. Practitioners of these treatments focus mainly on diet and living well. So, Mom was right when she said to eat our vegetables.
But before you run out and visit you local acupuncturist, it would be best to consult a physician to find out if this is the best possible treatment. With more and more studies being conducted, many treatments have been proven to be ineffective in treating serious conditions. It is believed that these remedies are more appropriate to be used for minor ailments, and might be best used in conjunction with modern medicines.
It is funny how things have come full circle. For many years natural medicines were believed to be a bunch of old wives tales. Now doctors are seriously considering the validity of some of these so called “out of date” treatments. Some have even gone so far as to combine natural medical practices with modern medicine. Hopefully this will open the door to finding out how much more nature has to offer to our society.