Alternative Medicines: Pros and Cons

Alternative Medicines: Pros and Cons


Alternative medicine is the next option when people give up on doctor’s recommendations. Either people give up too early on prescribed medicines and treatments to follow alternative remedies or use them as supplement to speed recovery. Sometimes people go straight for alternative remedies owing to their belief in the miraculous healing properties. That’s how most of these alternative medicine fields prosper.

Sometimes there is nothing that western medicines and treatments could do to make you feel better. The tests and diagnosis shows no abnormality yet your symptoms persist. In such cases, people are left with no option but alternative medicines like homeopathy, ayurveda, naturopathy, physiotherapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, faith healing, etc.

However, we cannot ignore the kind of fraudulence that is prevailing in the name of alternative medicine which people blindly follow as ‘miracle cure.’ The suicide of three girls in Tamil Nadu also points at the systemic corruption prevailing in these fields of medicine with illegal medical colleges attracting students with promises of bright career in these fields of medicine.


1. No side-effects: Most of these alternative medicines are free of side-effects which cannot be said about majority of pharmaceutical drugs. Since alternative medicines mostly focus on increasing the immunity of the body rather than dealing with symptoms and cure of specific problems, there is rarely scope for the treatment going wrong for the patient. Even if some might not actually benefit from it, it is mostly assured that there would be no harmful effect of following them unlike allopathic medicines which could go wrong if not right.

2. The all-inclusive methodology: Alternative medicines focuses on maintaining the overall health of the patient. Immunity, stress level, mind-body balance, and tolerance level of the person is their prime concern. The therapeutic nature of these treatments are usually a win-win situation for most people for they are assured that the treatment would benefit them in one way or the other.

3. Bonding with the healer: Visit a specialist for your heart problem and you are likely to be treated as a subject more than a person in need of hope. You will undergo mechanism like processes of diagnosis and conclusions will be made based on that. The doctor will be trying to get you out of the chamber soon so that the next patient can fill in. You are basically treated like a machine in need of repair. The opposite is true when you visit a practitioner of alternative medicine. You will get ample time to talk with them and share you issues. They are most likely to make you feel better with words at the very beginning and this definitely helps.

4. Positivity: Alternative medicines give you hope for betterment. You are involved and believe in improving your health condition. There is no miracle cure but the mere hope and positive vibe that the patient gets from hearing that they could have a better life gives them strength to fight illness and make efforts towards getting better. This kind of positive approach helps in recovering. If you are a type 2 diabetic, your doctor will never tell you beyond insulin injections but an alternate practitioner will.

5. Less expensive: Sometimes modern treatments are so expensive that the patient is more likely to give up all hopes of getting better just by hearing the cost of the treatment. Believe it or not, the high cost of treatment have claimed more lives than diseases have. Alternate medicine offer treatment at far less expenses. For someone who cannot think of affording high end treatment, alternate medicine have proved to be of solace.

6. Miracles happen: Sometimes cases that have been written off by conventional medicine have been cured by alternative medicine. Owe it to faith and positive hope or to efficacy of these therapies, they have come to rescue in some of the most critical cases at times.


1. Lack of protocols: There is no guidelines to be followed for the practitioners of alternative medicines. They are allowed to propagate their business in any way they want. This had led to corruption and malicious practices in the cover of alternative medicines. The Tamil Nadu government is yet to say anything regarding the suicide of three girls who had fallen into the false trap of making a career in alternative medicine.

2. Blind faith: People are known to put in their blind faith in the practitioners of alternative medicines. Some of them are non-qualified to treat patients and usually rip people off with false hope. They prohibit you from following or taking help of conventional doctors which could lead to worsening of condition in case of serious illness. People trust them blindly and fall into the traps that could be fatal for their health. It is advised to follow only registered practitioners.

3. They are not tested: Alternative medicines do not undergo scientific researches or tests to prove its efficacy or dosage limits. They may not always be safe for everyone. People could be allergic to certain herbs and some might even create bigger health issues. The one-size-fits-all formula of alternative medicine is always under scrutiny.

4. No health insurance coverage: Most of these alternative medicines do not have government approval and hence your health insurance will not cover them at all. If you land yourself in bigger problems, there is no expecting help or hope from the health insurance that you invested in.

5. Slow recovery: Alternative medicines usually have slow curing property which means that the treatment could prove to be effective only after you have tried them for a few months or years altogether. Allopathic medicines, on the other hand, give fast relief to ailing patients. You might even be prescribed long term therapies to heal completely.


Alternative medicines and home remedies might be losing its importance in today’s times. If it has to be revived, owing to its pros, the cons have to be dealt away with. If only these medicines were recognized by the government, there would be stricter rules for the efficacy of alternative treatment.
People should opt for alternative medicine in cases that do not need immediate concern. For long term treatments, alternative medicine is the best bet but it should be ensured that in critical cases people actually listen to the doctor instead of blindly following unrecognized methods of treatments.
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  • RE: Alternative Medicines: Pros and Cons -prem (02/01/16)
  • There should be good number of practice on alternate medicine before giving to anybody. We just can't run the experiment with anyone life. People go for medicine because he is facing some disease And when he will know that is going to be part of experiment because no one even know that the results of alternate medicine because lack of evidence.
    I strongly suggest that without lot of practice it should not be used for human care