Herbal medicine dates back 60,000 years and holds many benefits, fewer side effects, strength in the immune system, not to mention it is much cheaper. Holistic medicine is a source of nature, focusing on the use of herbs and plants, making it easier to obtain than man-made prescription drugs. Yet in the race for first place, unconventional medicine takes second place when compared to modern drug therapy. Many people have attached a stigma to traditional treatments due to outdated beliefs they were curated on. But just because something is outdated, it does not mean it can’t be made current.
And why wouldn’t you want to adjust a form of medicine that holds so many health benefits? Just to reiterate, those are:
Easier to access than modern medicine
Stabilizes hormones and metabolism
A natural healing approach
Strength in the immune system
Fewer side effects
Cost-effective, and more affordable
Madagascar has set the perfect example of making use of the resources mother nature has made available to us. Andry Rajoelina, the President of Madagascar, has been the chief promoter of the new herbally infused drink derived from a bright green fern-like plant, Artemisia annua. The plant has a long history in China, where herbal medicine is still widely used and has previously been used to successfully combat malaria.
Natural or synthetic?
Although natural remedies can’t completely substitute some modern-day approaches, there are several instances where herbal alternatives have been just as popular and effective as prescription drugs, take CBD, or Ginseng for example.
Besides, modern medicine is not what it used to be. Over time it has been infected by the greed of big pharma companies, and corporate health organisations. Peter C. Gøtzsche, in his book, ‘Deadly medicines and organised crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare,’ stated that prescription medicine is the third leading cause of death amongst adults. Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antidepressants have a massive death toll associated with them, due to the various side effects they pose. The most absurd part is that in most cases where drugs were prescribed they could have been replaced by a herbal remedy or another holistic approach.
Unfortunately for us, the pharma market is a lucrative one, meaning that quite often profit is the primary focus of mainstream pharmaceutical companies, rather than our wellbeing. So, although, there are tons of worthwhile herbal medicines out there, there is no money in it.
Adopting natural remedies into our everyday medicine would also help to combat antimicrobial resistance, which is when our body’s microbes become accustomed to the antibiotics, making them ineffective.
In the UK alone over the last decade there has been a 47% increase in the number of adults on prescription drugs, now half of the adult population has at least one prescription, according to official data published by the NHS. As the number of prescriptions rises so does the number of antibiotic-resistant infections.
In the modern man-made world we live in today, it is very unlikely that everyone will be keen on switching from over the counter fabricated drugs to ones derived from nature. But we are seeing herbal medicine gain popularity across some Western nations. The correct move forward would be to reshape the way we look at unorthodox medicine and invest more of our research, money, and time to developing a modern approach to it, one that is based on compelling evidence. If you’re interested in herbal remedies and the work of herbalists, you can check out, The British Herbal Medicine Association (https://bhma.info/).