Pros and Cons of Alternative Medicine

There are numerous benefits of using alternative medicine, but as it goes for most things in life, there are also some key factors to take into serious consideration. Just like any other conventional treatment, alternative therapies may also have their side effects, drawbacks, as well as a few other significant aspects to keep in mind. Listed below are the most important pros and cons of alternative medicine that you should be aware of, before undertaking any new treatment.


Alternative medicine is based on the use of natural and herbal remedies and on the principle that health can be restored by bringing our body’s energy back into balance and harmony.

  • Body and mind
    Alternative therapists focus on treating the whole person, and not just the symptoms of a disease or illness. They believe that mind and body are closely connected and that patient’s emotional and spiritual health is of extreme importance when starting a physical cure. They encourage people to lead a healthy life and concentrate on what has actually caused the disease and led to imbalance.
  • Stress
    Stress in an important cause of many health problems and it considerably weakens the immune system. Conventional medicine doesn’t take it much into account when prescribing treatments, while most alternative therapies are instead based on reducing stress and emotional tension, in order to combat illnesses.
  • Prevention
    Another great pro of alternative medicine is that it considers prevention as one of the major prerequisites of good health. It teaches patients to focus on preventing illnesses before they occur and encourages them to take constant care of their body and mind.
    Contrary to conventional medicine that intervenes only when an illness has developed, alternative medicine uses a preventive and holistic approach and recommends a responsible lifestyle.
  • Medicines
    Over-the-counter medicines and antibiotics tend to mistake beneficial bacteria for harmful microorganisms and can therefore considerably damage our intestinal flora. Alternative medicine remedies do not have these harmful effects.
  • Chemicals and toxins
    Contrary to conventional medicine, alternative medicine treats patients without overloading them with chemical medications, which usually lead to a buildup of toxins in the human body.


alternative medicine oil

Before starting any alternative therapy, you should also take into consideration all of its pros. However, the purpose of this article, as well as of the concerns listed below, is not to exclude alternative medicine principles and methods, but just to keep you informed of all of their benefits and disadvantages.

  • Limited scientific research
    Many forms of alternative medicine have not yet been scientifically proved and there are many questions that have not yet been answered. However, there are several studies currently under way, examining the efficacy and safety of certain therapies.
  • Government approval
    Most alternative medicine methods are not approved by any governing body and there aren’t any health insurance companies that provide coverage for them.
  • Long-term treatments
    Conventional medicine treatments have relatively immediate effects, while alternative medicine therapies require a longer time to heal a problem.
    Alternative medicine is focused on treating the cause and eliminating the problem at its source, and thereby needs more time and cannot cure instantly. It also requires patient’s complete dedication, as well as considerable changes in lifestyle habits, which are all long-term commitments.
    Hence, alternative medicine cannot have immediate results in most cases.
  • Emergency cases
    Alternative medicine cannot intervene in emergency cases, such as car accidents or other circumstances that require immediate pain relief and instant action or surgery.
  • Effectiveness
    Some people do not react at all to certain alternative therapies. A healing method that can be useful for one person isn’t necessarily effective for another.
    It can, therefore, be very harmful for your health to insist following a therapy without understanding whether it really works for you. You would do yourself only more damage, because you would not cure illness at all.

About the author


Jessica is a translator who has lived for many years in Asia and South America. She now lives and works in Europe, while preparing her new journeys. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, exploring different cultures and foods, and being in love.

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