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Kirsty Wills

Wellpark College, New Zealand

Benefits of using alternative medicine compared to pharmaceutical drugs

Many therapies fall under the umbrella of alternative medicine, however they have many similarities that make them more beneficial than using pharmaceutical drugs. They are based on similar philosophies, enabling them to find and treat the cause of disease, often come with far less side effects than most pharmaceuticals, and work on mind, body and spirit to create a fully holistic treatment.

Alternative medicine takes many shapes and forms, but every modality has an underlying philosophy that connects them. These philosophies share common themes of doing no harm, treating the patient as a person instead of a list of symptoms, and getting to the root cause of a problem. This is part of what makes using alternative medicine not only more beneficial, but also provides a more personal and special experience.

By searching for and addressing the root cause of a patients’ problem, and treating it along with the presenting symptoms, alternative medicine seeks to not only provide relief to the current condition, but give the patient a long term recovery and often prevents conditions from recurring, rather than managing a condition. Pharmaceutical drugs are targeted at treating the patients presenting symptoms, and while this will provide symptomatic relief, this is only effectively only putting a Band-Aid on the situation, as the underlying cause has not been addressed.

Pharmaceutical drugs – many of which are derived from plants – often come with a long list of side effects, many of which can be far worse than the complaint for which they are being used to treat. While alternative medicines are not free from side effects, these are often less severe than pharmaceuticals and are often used on a therapeutic scale – employing the medicine that will do the least harm in order to treat the condition. It is also common for several alternative therapies to be used

together as part of a treatment to complement each other, often taking care of any potential side effects before they can occur.

Pharmaceutical drugs are only able to operate on a physical level, whereas alternative medicines acknowledge the part that mind and spirit play in health and wellness. By addressing the wellness of mind, body and spirit, alternative medicines are able to provide a complete treatment to increase and promote the patients’ wellness.

In conclusion, there are many benefits of using alternative therapies when compared to pharmaceutical drugs. The philosophies that underpin alternative medicines promote a holistic view of patients and their conditions, enabling them to address the root cause of problems, and provide long term healing rather than management of conditions. Alternative therapies come with less potential side effects than pharmaceutical drugs, and are used on a therapeutic scale, providing treatment likely to cause the least harm in order to treat a patients’ condition. Finally, these treatments employ a holistic view of the patient, treating mind, body and spirit, as opposed to just the physical body like pharmaceutical drugs.

Scott Paterson
Scott Paterson