It is inevitable for humans to get sick. We aren’t born superhumans after all, so we are susceptible to the myriad of diseases that plagues mankind for as long as we can remember. But because of our resiliency and creativity, we have managed to survive through the years. It is because we have developed what we now know as modern medicine and these medicinal concoctions have spared human life from morbidity and mortality over the ages.
Yet despite the many medicinal wonders that are now at our disposal, many still succumb to sickness and death. And as the number of chemical-based medicines abounds the market, people are looking for healthier and safer alternatives that can also deliver positive results. The resurgence of alternative medicine is growing in followers today and it is not entirely a bad thing as it gives people an option as to how they want to be treated. Some of these natural supplements, medications, and treatments are also effective, so it gives people even more reason to explore this aspect of medicine.
In many parts of the world, policymakers, health professionals and the public are wrestling with questions about culture and mental health services. Some have argued that African traditional medicine might be a more appropriate way to meet mental health needs in Africa. In some Asian countries like Pakistan, traditional healers are widely consulted for the treatment of depression.
One argument is that traditional medicine is more accessible and affordable than contemporary medicine. Patients find it easier to accept and this can be seen as an easy way out for governments in low and middle income countries that can’t provide other types of care.
But many Western medical professionals, even those in countries with a strong history of traditional medicine, have strong reservations. They don’t believe that such treatment has benefits.
People are also more inclined to try a more traditional approach to medicine especially when these practices are supported by their culture or religion. This is especially risky when dealing with mental health conditions as they aren’t easily treated by natural healing herbs or such. Others who are into holistic treatment also prefer alternative medicine since it encompasses the management of the mind, body, and spirit. It’s especially prevalent in nations or communities riddled with poverty, corruption, and violence where the majority are uneducated and don’t know any better.
Herbal medicines can cause kidney failure and liver damage in some consumers because they contain toxic chemicals or heavy metals, or react harmfully with other drugs, a study has found.
The finding comes from a paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday. Researchers led by the University of Adelaide reviewed the findings from 52 studies of herbal medicines and toxicology.
The lead author of the review, pathology professor Roger Byard, said the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) should require independent testing of herbal medicines before placing them on the market, and that legal action should be considered when products did not comply with regulations. The products should also be closely monitored once on the market, he said.
The very nature of it being unregulated is already a big red flag for would-be buyers as nobody can really tell the components of these herbal medicines or the extent of its effects. It isn’t supported by sufficient clinical trials and studies that can ease our worries over potential side effects or adverse reactions. Those are just some of the valid reasons raised by medical experts regarding the pros and cons of supporting traditional medicine.
It does not ignore the fact, though, that there are many herbs and herbal treatments that have proven to be effective in nurturing and supporting human health but many have been just as bad. It’s the same with modern-day treatments. It is really hard to choose between the two. It all boils down to how you understand both treatment options and their impact on your health or condition. And of course, as much as possible try to consult with a medical provider that can assess your current condition and give his/her recommendations on the best course of treatment for you and you take it from there.