Natural Medicine in the 21st Century

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Natural medicine is sometimes referred to as alternative medicine. Whatever one may choose to call it, natural medicine operates under a totally different philosophy from conventional forms of medicine. (Shui, 2008) While conventional treatments usually focus on treating an individual by checking on their respective symptoms, natural medicine takes a more holistic approach to the issue. The essay shall examine natural medicine in relation to evidence based practice.
How natural medicine draws on research from all levels of evidence to understand its place in 21st Century evidence based practice
In the United Kingdom, natural medicine has accounted for a large proportion of treatments. Some patients opt for acupuncture; others resort to botanical treatments while others choose to pursue other forms of treatment. Many people are in fact catching up with the trend rather than pushing it to the periphery. For purposes of this essay, more emphasis will be given to botanical treatment in Native American Indian Medicine as an example of a modality used in natural medicine.

There are a number of social, economical and environmental reasons that could be causing this paradigm shift. The first reason is that conventional medicine does not have a cure for everything. There are plenty of diseases that can be treated effectively using natural medicine yet the same may not be said of conventional medicine. ( Gregor, 2002)
The other reason why natural medicine is slowly becoming a viable alternative is linked to the economic situation. In the United Kingdom, the health care system is managed by the NHS. The latter group has concentrated a lot of effort in ensuring that the population's heath care needs are adequately catered for. Nonetheless, certain challenges inherent in a centrally managed health care system exist. First of all, not all patients can access the health care that they need. For instance, surgical procedures involving organ transplants are limited to certain demographic groups i.e. the young due to shortage of resources.

Additionally, some conditions may be given preference over others. Furthermore, health policies do not cover immigrants. In the end, it is the populace that suffers because the cost of heath care is too high especially for the latter mentioned group. In response to the problems inherent in conventional medicine, people are looking for alternatives that can allow them to seek medical care at affordable price and also in sobering environments. This has caused them to consider herbal solutions. (Ahten, 2007)
Natural medicine has secured a place in twenty first evidence based practice because a large amount of mainstream medicines are actually derived from conventional medicines.

This is a fact that people within the European continent have discovered thus drawing them to that area. Statistics released by the World Health Organisation indicated that seventy percent of mainstream medicines emanate from plants that were used in the same manner in the traditional setting such as the in the Native American Indian culture or the African culture. As if this is not enough, a substantial number of pharmaceuticals are dedicating their time and resources towards creation of drugs obtained from plant derivatives in rainforests that were initially used by traditional medicine healers. If mainstream companies are looking for botanical solutions, then patients have asked themselves why they should wait for the product to be extracted. People have decided to go to the source directly and have thus found out that they can benefit from those respective modalities.