Natural Herbs vs. Pharmaceutical Drugs: What’s Best for You?

herbal vs pharmaceutical drugs, colorado natural medicine and acupuncture

Have you ever found yourself in a health food store,

overwhelmed by the amount of vitamins, minerals, and herbs available

Have you ever wondered if they really work or

if you should just stick with doctor prescribed synthetic pharmaceutical drugs?

If so, you’re not the only one! 

So let’s talk herbs, drugs, and what might be the best choice for YOU!

Natural herbs have been around for thousands of years and are used in many areas of our world.  It’s becoming more popular in our Western culture and now questions are arising about how they work, do they work, and what to take. 

Did you know that naturopathic herbs can support your adrenal function if you’re feeling exhausted?  They can help your insomnia and mood difficulties, reduce inflammation in your body and support your healthy hormone levels.  They can even assist with digestive, cardiovascular, and pain issues.

So where to start?  Here are prominent questions that may help provide clarity on your road to better health! 

What’s the difference between natural herbs and pharmaceutical drugs?

Simply put…drugs are a short term solution to a problem, while natural herbs restore function and are long lasting. 

Drugs help to stabilize a situation in a quick manor and are helpful for a short period of time.  They are typically not a cure or solution, but rather a way to manage symptoms. 

For example, proton-pump inhibitor drugs are used manage acid production in the stomach.  However, they are not a cure for the imbalance happening in the digestive system, they are there to control the uncomfortable symptoms.

Herbs may be slower acting, but are longer lasting.  Many can be taken over a lifetime!  Herbs assist the body in restoring its normal function with an ultimate goal of healing the issue.

How do I know if I need drug therapies or if I could try herbal supplements instead?

It’s crucial to examine your state of physical and/or emotional health before deciding which is right for you.  It can be explained on the following spectrum of intervention:

herbal vs pharmaceutical, Colorado Natural Medicine and Acupuncture, Castle Rock

Depending on where your needs are at on the spectrum, you may be in need of low force intervention (which are gentler, function restoring options), high force intervention (powerful options that quickly assist the symptoms and issues and create stabilization), or a combination of both.

You may currently be on the high force intervention spectrum and want to work your way to more low force interventions.  A naturopathic doctor may be able work with you and your general practitioner to help you grow towards a more low force intervention if that’s what you desire. 

How do I go about trying herbs instead of drugs to see if they will work? 

If you are currently taking pharmaceutical drugs, it can be important to be conservative when switching to natural herbs.  Working with your naturopathic doctor and general practitioner to create a plan and can ensure a smoother and gentler transition in weaning off a drug and trying herbs.

In addition, it’s important to note that many supplements can have as many as 5-20 different herbs in one pill, so it’s crucial to work with a naturopathic doctor in finding the right ones for your health issues. 

Anything I should keep in mind when taking naturopathic herbs?

Yes!  Because they are different than pharma drugs, it’s important to be mindful that:

1. Follow up is a key to success with herbs!  Try not to get discouraged if one type of herbal supplement doesn’t work as well as you’d hoped.  The process of finding the right combination of herbs and the right dosage can be a work in progress for a bit.  Keep in touch with your naturopathic doctor for tweaking your supplements.

2. Be patient!  Remember that herbs are helping restore your body’s function.  It can take time to heal and return to normal functioning.  Always ask your naturopathic doctor what you can expect.

3. Be mindful!  While most herbs will support the body together harmoniously, be mindful that some herbs can have interactions with certain pharmaceutical drugs.  Specifically, St. John’s Wort can interact with some medications and affect the liver, and blood thinners such as Coumadin and Warfarin may have negative interactions with herbs. 

Do you think naturopathic herbs could be a healthy, long term solution for your health issues? 

If you live in Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Parker, Centennial, Larkspur, or Colorado Springs, please call us at 303.688.6698 or click here to schedule your free 15 minute consolation online where we can discuss how natural herbs may be able to help what you are suffering from.

Contact our offices now and take your first step towards healing.

Posted in blog, Functional Medicine, Herbal Supplements, Natural Medicine, Natural Remedies Tagged with: , , , ,

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