The benefits of natural products, supplements and foods cannot be overstated. Literally millions of articles, studies, and all forms of advice have been published and circulated for millennia.
We don’t need to look far to discover that a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, fish, grains and limited meats (along with the elimination of processed and fast food, and limited alcohol consumption) are the best path to overall good health. Today there are also excellent apps available which can help track diets, recommend herbs and supplements with various health properties, and so on. And grandma certainly knew what she was doing when she gave her grand kids a cup of chamomile tea and chicken soup…
Unfortunately, too often people look for a “magic pill” to solve health issues, when in many cases using natural herbs and products go a long way to alleviating common ailments. A good example of this is the common headache. Personally I find that in most cases, a headache can be cured by drinking a large glass of water and inhaling some menthol — instead of reaching for the “band-aid” of an over-the-counter drug. [of course if headaches regularly persist, it could be the sign of a more serious condition]
Indeed we are inundated with advertising promoting the quick-fix, when often it is a simple matter of knowing the natural remedies that are widely available.
[Again, this is not to say that medications and pharmaceuticals do not have their place and are essential for many medical conditions, and it is NOT the opinion of the Nutra Foundation that natural products and supplements are cure-alls.]
What is the case is that natural remedies should be at least tried, instead of always reaching for medications. And it is worth discussing the reasons for this.
Natural products are preferable to pharmaceutical medications for a few simple reasons:
1. Since natural products are indeed found in nature they have limited side-effects — the most common being stomach upset or possibly allergic reaction (which is the case with any food). All one has to do is listen to the laundry-list of side-effects on pharmaceutical commercials to be reminded of the sometimes severe side-effects.
2. Pharmaceutical solutions to common problems often are simply covering up or alleviating a more systemic issue in your body.
3. Pharmaceutical solutions can in some cases lead to dependency and even addiction.
Of course it is always worth noting that even natural supplements and herbs can have negative effects on certain people. The reality is that the human body is very complex, and each of us is an individual. One person’s wonder-herb can be another’s placebo or allergy…