For many minor ailments, visiting the pharmacy may not be necessary. Herbs or supplements may provide relief for headaches, soothe an upset stomach or even cure acne.
But not all treatments are created equal: some alternative therapies lack scientific backing and others may even interfere with conventional medicine treatments.
Homeopathy operates on the principle that “like cures like.” A highly diluted version of poison ivy or belladonna (deadly nightshade) may help treat allergies, asthma and even shingles symptoms. This same concept forms the basis of many traditional therapies, including administering small doses of trigger substances to desensitize allergy sufferers.
Homeopathic remedies utilize the lowest possible dose of any ingredient, typically in the form of sugar pellets placed under the tongue or other products such as gels, drops and ointments. Homeopathy practitioners frequently employ botanical ingredients – including red onion, nettle arnica and chamomilla — but may also include minerals or animal products such as crushed whole bees in their practice.
Homeopathy may provide relief for minor ailments like rashes, warts, bruises and colds; however for more complex complaints it’s wise to consult a professional homeopath. A comprehensive 2015 evaluation by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council concluded there is no reliable evidence supporting its efficacy.
Naturopathy (meaning “natural healing”) is a system of medicine centered on supporting and stimulating the body’s natural ability to heal itself, while also teaching people to take control of their health by changing diet, lifestyle choices and stress management practices.
Naturopathy traces its roots back to 18th and 19th-century natural healing systems, including hydrotherapy pioneered by Sebastian Kneipp and nature cure developed in Austria using food, air, water, light and herbs as healing agents. Benjamin Lust was responsible for introducing Naturopathy into America when he founded the American School of Naturopathy in 1902.
Naturopaths are licensed professionals who offer nutrition counselling, herbal medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, vitamin and mineral supplements, diet advice and lifestyle recommendations as well as physical manipulation, fasting and environmental assessments and modifications. Unfortunately however, due to a lack of scientific medical training they cannot perform surgery or prescribe drugs – thus any claims regarding efficacy should be treated with caution and evidence supporting effectiveness may not always exist for such treatments.
Ayurveda is an ancient healing tradition from India, employing an integrative and holistic approach to wellness. It takes its name from Sanskrit words ayus (life) and veda (science or knowledge).
Ayurved medicine follows two main principles, preventive and curative. Preventative measures in this holistic system emphasize personal hygiene practices as well as diet tailored specifically for each person’s needs.
Curative Ayurved treatments focus on identifying the source of disease, then treating it using herbal decoctions to address it. For instance, cancer treatments using Ayurved may include using turmeric to reduce inflammation and using neti pots to remove bacteria in the mouth (known as “swishing oil”). Ayurved treatments also address emotional and spiritual aspects which contribute to illness; their aim is to restore balance among mind, body, and soul and restore health through wellbeing practices like Ayurved. These practices offer invaluable help combating chronic illness while supporting sustainable lifestyles which threaten our planet’s ability to support human life on earth. Ayurved practices offer powerful tools against chronic illness while helping combat unsustainable lifestyles which threaten our planet’s capacity to support life on earth – valuable tools which ayurved practices are a key tool against chronic illness as well as unsustainable lifestyles which threaten our planet’s ability to support human life on our planet earth – with many detrimental health impacts caused by unsustainable lifestyles which threaten human life on planet earth! Ayurved practices offer valuable weapons against chronic illness while fighting climate change caused by unsustainable lifestyle choices which threaten its capacity to support life on Earth by protecting both mind, body and spirit restoring balance among mind body and soul! Ayurved practices are valuable weapons against this rising tide of chronic illness while simultaneously strengthening human life on planet earth itself! Ayurved practices are an invaluable weapon against environmental degradation which threaten Earth! A valuable weapon.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), dating back at least 23 centuries, includes acupuncture, herbal remedies, and exercises such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong as forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM’s core belief is that our bodies contain an equilibrium between “yin” and “yang”, similar to the universe at large; when this energy imbalances lead to illness.
Practitioners utilize various traditional treatments, such as acupuncture (insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body), acupressure and cupping (which uses hot, oiled glass cups to create suction) in order to restore yin-yang balance. They also utilise numerous herbs that have not undergone modern tests for safety.
Some herbs used in traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can be highly toxic, including Aristolochic acid which has been linked to liver damage and urinary tract cancers. Two European scientific bodies have warned that WHO’s inclusion of TCM into its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) unfairly aligns unproven claims with medicines which have undergone rigorous clinical tests.