Herbal Remedies, Homeopathy and Nutrition
Healing the Natural Way with Herbal Remedies – They Work!
Nutrition is the provision of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, sugars and amino acids essential to normal health. They are obtained through diet and rely on normal digestion, absorption and assimilation. Natural medicine – homeopathy, naturopathy, herbal remedies- involves diagnosing illnesses that affect these processes, and treating them with herbal remedies, homeopathy, natural vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and other supplements.
Homeopathy is based on a form of energetic medicine in which a very dilute remedy is taken to influence the body’s subtle energy. The principles of homeopathy were first described by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann in 1810 (in his book, The Organon) and were the result of his observations of patient’s reactions to large doses of potentially toxic plant and vegetable materials.
There are over 4,000 homeopathic remedies available, and each remedy is carefully chosen to match the specific features of the patient’s symptoms. The most potent homeopathic remedies are those that are most dilute, and it is for this reason that conventional doctors continue to be sceptical about the use of homeopathy to cure illness.
Although plants and herbs have been widely used for centuries by indigenous peoples to cure illness, this is still not widely accepted as valid treatment by the prevailing medical community.
Herbal Remedies vs Drugs
This is in part due to the way in which modern drugs are accepted into the orthodox system. Each new drug is subjected to stringent analysis in the form of a Random Controlled Trial where a large number of subjects are split into two groups. One group receives the drug being studied and the other receives a placebo (inactive substance). The differences between the two groups on certain physiological functions are analyzed and tests of statistical significance are performed. If the drug is shown to have a significantly greater effect than the placebo then it will be accepted as a valid form of treatment for a particular medical condition.
Herbal Remedies Cannot Be Patented
The cost of doing an RCT is very high. Only a drug company can consider it as their costs are recouped when the patented drug is released to the market and sold for large profits. The benefits of having a patent is that the drug can be sold for up to 25 years before competitors can manufacture and sell the same product.
In the case of herbal remedies however, no such patent is possible and any company who funded an RCT would be unlikely to recover the cost, as competitors who had not funded an RCT could sell the same herbal remedies at a much reduced price.
Some examples of common herbal remedies are St. John’s Wort for depression, echinacea for infections and ginseng for fatigue.
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To your health!
Chris Dawkins, BM, MRCGP, LMCC