Holistic Approach In Medicine
Some people are resistent to a holistic approach in medicine. Many times when a patient comes to our office they do not want to try something new, believing that just one pill will take their problems away.
Medicine has made great advances in treatment over the last century, but in the last few years an amazing resurgence into holistic medicine began.
Herbs, which had always been popular throughout the world, has exploded in popularity in the Western world and in developed countries. While trying to stay healthy in the face of a faster paced society, more stress, pollution and the re-emergence of infectious disease, more and more people are turning to holistic options to take charge of their health.
The result has been an "epidemic" of herbal use in the Americas, Europe, China, Japan and Korea. Health care providers world wide are now using herbs and other natural therapies alongside modern forms of treatment.
Part of this new holistic approach in medicine is due to the fact that medicine was an outcome of the science of chemistry and biological studies. Basic physiologic processes are thought to be the same in the majority of people, so any chemical or pharmaceutical applications should have pretty much the same result for these people. This premise has now been applied to understanding and utilizing herbs in medical treatment.
As a result of the renewal of interest in herbal medicine, they are now subjected to clinical testing in double-blind tests. Clinical trials make sure that the herb's effects lie in the herb itself rather than in the wishful thinking (good or bad) of the researchers.
Herbal Standardization Today
Reputable herbal companies now test thousands of plants to identify compounds and keep levels of compounds in herbs within certain guidelines. This is called "standardization" of herbs. Several companies now make only standardized, organic herbal products. This approach has helped raise the opinion of a holistic approach in medicine by showing that a chemical and biological approach linkd herbal treatment to mainstream medicine.
Thanks to the efforts of these companies, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires that the ingredients on a label are to be foundin the product and that no medical claims be made for that product that have not been scientifically substantiated.
Herbal Side Effects
While modern drugs have gone a long way in treating and even preventing disease states, unfortunately for many this comes at a price: drug induced side effects. While some herbs have side effects, these tend to be rare. The main concern when blending herbal and traditional medicine is the possible drug interactions that may occur.
Let's be clear! Although herbs cannot replace essential medications such as chemotherapy or HIV drugs, in most cases they can help with the known side effects of the drugs and lessen them.
Just about every medical school, physician assistant program and nurse practitioner program in the US now teaches classes in the holistic approach to medicine. The key is a blending of all resources for the most effective treatment of a condition.