Holistic medicine is a unique, and often uniquely effective, approach to treating many types of ailments. It differs from traditional medicine in multiple ways. Supplements and remedies are but one component of holistic medicine.
What Is Holistic Medicine?
Per the American Holistic Health Association (AHHA), holistic medicine attempts to treat the “whole person- body mind and spirit,” using “conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease.” This school of thought says that all lifestyle factors should be taken into account when treating a patient. Holistic medicine also emphasizes patient education and participation as part of the treatment process.
Per webmd.com, holistic treatment emphasizes patient education so that the patient can engage in lifestyle changes and self-care (e.g., diet, relationship health, psychotherapy) that will bring about positive change. Additionally, clinical medication and surgical procedures also play a part when they are necessary, as well as other Western treatments, but establishing a healthy and balanced lifestyle is fundamental to holistic medicine practice.
What Role Do Supplements Play In Holistic Medicine?
Considering the holistic approach of holistic treatment, supplementation is one very small part of this school of treatment. However, if a patient is deficient in a given vitamin or mineral, then a supplement plays a natural role in making up this deficiency, per thechalkboardmag.com. To see if you are vitamin-deficient, it is recommended you a blood test done by a functional medicine doctor, and follow up by tracking the levels of deficient vitamins.
Per Laura Perry of the AHHA, herbal supplements in capsule form can be worthwhile in holistic practice. She explains that herbal ingredients are usually well-absorbed by the body, because it will recognize these ingredients as plant food and use them effectively.
Supplements Suitable to Holistic Treatment
Considering holistic medicine’s widespread applicability, the supplements and herbs mentioned here are potential effective for a variety of ailments, which we list.
Vitamin D: Per thechalkboardmag.com, Vitamin D deficiency is very common, so it is no wonder that it is included in the common repertoire of holistic medicine treatments. This crucial vitamin plays an important role in immune function, and in the absorption of other nutrients. Keeping adequate levels of Vitamin D might also help prevent diseases such as heart disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Turmeric: A variety of good effects on basic health and preventing disease have been attributed to turmeric. Per draxe.com, turmeric is helpful in reducing inflammation, relieving arthritis pain, and fighting depression, among other things. This herb can be found in supplement form, and on the spice rack at your local grocery store.
Magnesium: This nutrient plays a role in numerous bodily functions. Per thechalkboardmag.com, "Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood-glucose control and blood pressure regulation.” Unfortunately, various diseases like Crohn’s disease and gluten sensitivity can impair magnesium absorption, but supplementation might help.
Feverfew: This less-commonly-known herb, derived from a plant originating in eastern Europe, has historically made for an effective remedy against headaches and other ailments, per draxe.com. Scientific studies have shown that feverfew is indeed effective against headaches. Other potential remedying powers include relief from dizziness, allergies, arthritis pain, and blood clots.
Rhodiola: This is another lesser-known herbal remedy with some scientific evidence to back it. Per thechalkboardmag.com, rhodiola can be very effective in treating and/or preventing stress-related ailments. These include heart attacks and stress-induced depression. It has also been shown to restore the natural antioxidant production of the liver, which helps the body’s natural response against inflammation.
Ginseng: This herb has a history, as it was used by Native Americans to treat various ailments. Today, it has been shown to be helpful in boosting positive mood and cognitive function, per draxe.com. It has also been touted to help relieve stress, improve lung function, treat sexual dysfunction, and reduce inflammation, among other things. Ginseng is easy to attain in supplement form.