Little effectiveness in “natural medicine” alone

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Little effectiveness in “natural medicine” alone

Jacob Tutterow, Opinions Editor

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In recent years, a movement toward choosing natural alternatives to household products has gained traction. People now look for organic ingredients instead of genetically modified ones and seem to believe in strange healing properties in “alternative medicines.” Products such as essential oils, herbs, and even vitamins constitute the fringe medicine world, along with a whole host of other practices that holistically heal the body and soul.

The basis of medicine that supposedly channels healing energies and prayer belief inherently undermines the centuries of science meant to biologically heal people. The breakthrough discoveries of Penicillin, antibiotics, and vaccinations apparently mean nothing when chakras can align to fix all diseases. Even simple, near-mainstream treatments such as chiropractic or acupuncture, do essentially nothing to cure ailments, and in some cases, cause harm.

The roots of natural medicine did start innocently enough—old wives’ tales about how to use herbs such as rosemary and garlic helped provide homemade remedies for common illnesses, but the demand for both remedies and herbs started to increase, especially with the rise of the New Age Movement in the 1970s. Consumerism quickly took over this market, and now modern “gurus” and products cheaply cash in by telling customers that rocks increase positive energy or will protect them from negative energies.

This harmful practice preys on the scientifically distrustful public, charging insane amounts of money for products that cannot consistently prove their worth. The belief in healing the spirit before the body puts off legitimate medical practices, and can, in the long run, cause permanent, preventable damage to the body. No amount of praying, energy healing, or pseudoscientific alternatives should supersede the proven medical treatments for ailments.

With alternative medicine comes a distrust of scientific medicine, which quickly leads to a slippery slope. Forgoing an Advil in place of some essential oils can turn into not taking children to receive vaccines, or “praying cancer away.” While natural alternatives may seem tempting, using these methods as only a supplementary medicine makes for a healthier approach to keeping in good physical condition.

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