Naturopathic medicine is not a cookie-cutter approach. It’s about getting to know your family, their needs and desires, and then tailoring the healthcare they need to them as an individual. There are many factors that go into this process, but one of the most important things you should consider is: do you want medication or a natural remedy? Naturopathic doctors can offer both options for treatment. So how do you determine if naturopathic medicine is right for your family? Read on to find out!
What is the difference between medications and natural remedies?
Medications are chemicals that can be synthetically produced or made from a plant. The benefit to these chemical-based medicines is that they have been tested and proven to treat specific conditions very effectively. They work quickly and effectively, but there are side effects to watch out for. Systemically acting medications are often prescribed when symptoms of an illness are more severe (i.e. flu-like symptoms, arthritis). A significant downside to systemically acting medication is that it can cause side effects in healthy parts of the body where the chemical is not targeted. For example, many people who suffer from allergies take antihistamines without considering what the dosage is doing to their stomach, kidneys, liver, etc.
In contrast, natural remedy approaches treat the body as a whole and target symptoms so that healthy parts of the body are not negatively affected. The benefit of this holistic method of treatment is that it works with the body rather than against it. In fact, according to Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database , some natural remedies have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years! Some examples of naturally occurring chemicals that can be used as medicine include Tea Tree oil, garlic, and ginger.
Natural medicines are often taken orally rather than injected or inhaled like most pharmaceuticals. Additionally, many people find it more tolerable to take a natural remedy in order to cure an ailment rather than a medication due to the fact that medications are taken specifically to treat symptoms after they have appeared, while natural remedies can be taken preventatively.
Medication vs. Natural Remedy Benefits
Taking either approach has benefits depending on your personal preferences and unique family needs. When deciding between taking medication or taking a natural remedy, consider the following:
- Proven to effectively treat specific conditions
- Works quickly
- Can be used on children over 6 months of age (if given in liquid form)
Natural Remedy Benefits:
- No side effects
- Works with the body rather than against it
- Less expensive for long term treatment
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates the safety and efficacy of natural remedies
How can I decide what approach is right for my family?
There are a number of factors that determine if a medication or natural remedy is the best choice for your unique family. First, think about whether or not your child(ren) have been diagnosed with any pre-existing conditions such as asthma, allergies, diabetes, etc. If so, you will want to consider the interactions between your child’s diagnosed condition and any medication or natural remedy you are choosing to give them.
- If your children have a history of significant allergies , it may be better for you to go with a natural remedy rather than a medication since medications can often cause unwanted reactions in sensitive individuals. Additionally, if your child has a history of asthma , you will need to take into account the severity of their attack(s) before choosing a natural remedy or medication.
- If your child has been diagnosed with any pre-existing conditions it is important to consult with their doctor prior to considering either approach since medications and natural remedies can interact, causing unwanted interactions.
- If your child does not have any pre-existing conditions, it is an excellent idea to consult with their doctor regardless in order to determine the most suitable approach for your family.
- If you are unable to see your child’s doctor before making a decision, you may want to consider factors such as how long the symptoms have been present, how severe they are, and other health factors to determine which treatment will be the most effective for your child.
- In order to make an informed decision about taking a medication or natural remedy, it is important to take into consideration what benefits each choice has to offer you and your family. The more information you have, the better equipped you will be to make an educated decision.
What is the best approach for my family: medication or natural remedy?
The best approach will vary from family to family and can only be determined by consulting with your child’s doctor. However, there are a few things you can think about before making a decision that may help you along the way. As previously mentioned, there are benefits associated with each approach. It may be helpful for you to list out the specific reasons why one or the other would be beneficial in your particular situation.
When deciding between taking medication or taking a natural remedy, remember that either option is going to have benefits and downsides. It is important for you to determine what the main issues are in your child’s particular case and then proceed accordingly by consulting with their doctor.
The decision of whether a medication or a natural remedy is right for your family is an important one that should not be taken lightly. Consult with your doctor to receive guidance on which approach is right for your child.
About the Authors
Society’s Voice advocates for Naturopathic treatments for a variety of physical and mental disabilities. Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process through the use of natural therapies. We know that the efficacy of naturopathic medicine dates back to the 1890s, and are heartened to see naturopathic medicine undergo a rapid increase in public interest in recent years as a result of the growing consumer movement to solve the healthcare puzzle using prevention, wellness and respect for nature’s inherent healing ability.
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