Holistic medication and chemical synthetic medication as effective means of therapeutic aids have achieved major roles in health system for maintaining health and treating disease. Holistic medication is majorly based on herbal remedies, traditional medication, diet therapy, spiritual belief, and recently conceived trends of healing for treatment of disease. While man-made chemical synthetic medication may be based on man-man synthetic medicine for treatment of disease. This paper aims at justifying the fact that holistic medication is safer than man-made chemical synthetic medication. This argument is based on the type of medicine employed for the treatment of disease. Holistic medication is generally considered safe owing to the long history of practice particularly under the conditions specified for use in old literatures and minimal adverse effects. Holistic medication addresses the origin and cause of the disease, and not just on the symptom of the disease. Most herbs and medicines used in holistic medication are known to be less toxic when compared to man-made chemical synthetic medicines. Herbs are also known to be easily absorbed by the body when compared to man-made chemical synthetic medicines. Hence, it can be concluded that holistic medication is safer than man-made chemical synthetic medication.
Holistic medication is a terminology that generally refers to treatment or therapy sessions that treats an individual as a whole and considers all aspects – body, spirit, and mind. Though variedly, alternative and complementary medication systems have several common features that include treating the whole individual (Wetzel, Eisenberg, & Kaptchuk, 1998). Hence, major alternative and complementary medication could be referred to as holistic medication (Wetzel et al., 1998). Alternative and complimentary medication, however, involves treatments or therapies that are generally not regarded under conventional medication (Acharya, Deepak, & Shrivastara, 2008). Man-made chemical synthetic medication generally involves treatments or therapies that employ the use of medicines made from chemical compounds by man. Holistic medication maybe based on herbal remedies, traditional medication, diet therapy, spiritual belief, and recently conceived trends of healing (Bratman & Steven, 1997). While man-made chemical synthetic medication is based on the use of synthetic drugs for treatment. The purpose of this paper is to justify that holistic medication is safer than man-made chemical synthetic medication. The paper will base its argument on the type of medicines used by holistic medication and chemical synthetic medication for treatment of diseases.
Holistic Medication is Safer than Man-made Chemical Synthetic Medication
Holistic medication mostly employs the use of herbal remedies obtained from natural components which are known to cause less harm to the body. In addition, major herbal remedies are known to have minimal side effects. As a matter of fact, there are lesser restrictions on types of holistic medication safe for infants as when compared to chemical synthetic medication (Cassileth & Deng, 2004). Approving a new synthetic drug requires clinical tests with several selected subjects for a number of years. Side effects of such drugs may not be verified until a larger number of people must have already used these synthetic drugs. The sales and use of several synthetic drugs have been stopped due to their harmfulness. However, alternative and complementary therapies have been used by many generations of large number of people for many years, and their side effects from several views have been substantially documented (Acharya, Deepak, & Shrivastava, 2008). Hence, speaking from a clinical point of view, more knowledge have been acquired about holistic medication than many of the recently approved man-made chemical synthetic drugs which makes holistic medication safer.
Chemical synthetic medication usually employs the use of drugs that comprise of one or more ingredients that maybe highly concentrated, while holistic medication usually employs the use of herbs which normally comprise of various natural ingredients that are active and chemically alike (Kopelman & Lorretta, 2004). These herbal remedies work together so that the resultant effect is great when compared to chemical synthetic drugs. Thus makes holistic medication more safe and effective when compared with man-made chemical synthetic medication.
Man-made chemical synthetic medication usually concentrates on the “symptoms” when treating a disease while holistic medication concentrates on the cause and origin of the disease. When man-made chemical synthetic medication is administered to a patient, it mostly focuses on the symptom of the disease, while holistic medication tends to address every possible cause of the disease. Also, this can be achieved by blending various herbs together for proper treatment of diseases. In addition, herbs work on many targets; while synthetic drugs work on one target which maybe a molecule and their results on other molecules are unknown in the system (Fenton & Morris, 2003). These unknown effects may lead to dangerous side effects. When compared with chemical synthetic medication, holistic medication is quite safe if administered correctly. For this reason, treatments of holistic medication usually give rise to fewer side effects than treatments from chemical synthetic medication, as herbs work in a more systemic way than chemical synthetic drugs.
According to Joyce (1994), herbs are natural and thus allow for easy absorption and ingestion by the body. Whereas, the body may not work properly to absorb man-made synthetic drugs as they are man-made and not natural. Hence, only small quantities of these man-made chemical synthetic drugs may be absorbed and ingested by the body. The unabsorbed chemical synthetic substance however may be harmful to the body. This easy absorption of herbs makes alternative and complementary medication safer than man-made chemical synthetic medication.
Herbs function with the natural operation of the body. Whereas, man-made chemical synthetic drugs may alter natural body functioning. Several studies have revealed that the action of herb may vary depending on the individual. A particular herb may perform differently on individuals with varied physical condition, irrespective of the fact that they may suffer from the same disease (Barberis et al., 2001). Furthermore, herbs easily act with other drugs and foods. Therefore, if herbs are used with the proper diagnosis and physical condition, they are safer than man-made chemical synthetic drugs.
Herbs also consist of various components that complement and balance each other to make it more safe and effective (Ernest, 2005). Like the Chinese herbal medication, where various herbs are commonly used jointly in a formula for the treatment of one disease. When herbs are combined in such manner, there is a collaboration of different components of various herbs for the purpose of a more balanced, more effective, and less harmful result, as the components of these herbs are natural and allow easy absorption and better functioning by the body.
In conclusion, it can thus be seen that holistic medication is safer than man-made chemical synthetic medication based on the types of medicines employed in the treatment of diseases. Holistic medication is safer as it employs the use of natural ingredients for the treatment of diseases, while man-made chemical synthetic medication employs the use of synthetic drugs which may not be safe for the body. Herbs are also easily absorbed by the body than man-made chemical synthetic drugs. Herbal remedies work with body functions unlike chemical synthetic drugs that are more likely to alter body functioning. Herbal remedies are also known to cause fewer side effects compared to man-made chemical synthetic medication.
Acharya, Deepak, & Shrivastava A. (2008). Indigenous Herbal Medicines: Tribal Formulations and Traditional Herbal Practices. Jaipur: Aavishkar Publishers Distributor.
Barberis, L., de Toni, E., Schiavone, M., Zicca, A. & Ghio, R. (2001). Unconventional medicine teaching at the Universities of the European Union. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 7 (4), 337–43.
Bratman, M. D. & Steven (1997). The Alternative Medicine Sourcebook. New York, NY: Lowell House.