We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Connection between Natural and Alternative Medicine?

By Lee Johnson
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Natural and alternative medicine are linked because many alternative medical treatments make use of natural ingredients. Many different herbs and extracts are used as part of alternative medicine, and they are believed to be a better solution to many health problems than conventional Western medicine. One type of alternative medicine which includes natural ingredients is Chinese herbalism, which uses herbs to restore the natural balance within the body. General herbal medicine, homeopathy, and holistic medicine also make use of natural ingredients, and often state that the root causes of illnesses are not solely physical in nature. It is important to note that some natural medicines, such as white willow bark, have been tested by conventional medicine and adopted into treatments such as aspirin.

Many types of alternative medicine use natural ingredients as a full or partial method of treatment. This is the most basic connection between natural and alternative medicine. Alternative medicine can simply be defined as any medicine which is used as a sole treatment, which is not used in conventional medicine. This is important because this definition shows the difference between alternative medicine and complementary medicine, which is designed to work alongside other conventional medicine. Practitioners who practice alternative medicine are generally opposed to the synthetic nature of conventional medicine and prefer to use natural remedies to promote wellness.

Holistic medicine and herbal medicine are two fields in which natural and alternative medicine are heavily linked. People working in these fields of medicine often suggest natural remedies as alternatives to conventional Western medicine. Holistic healthcare is particularly interested in treatment of more than just the physical symptoms of illnesses, and frequently uses natural remedies. Likewise, herbal medicine focuses on naturally-occurring substances which can be used to treat a variety of conditions. Traditional Chinese medicine is a big inspiration for these two fields, as well as for many people who believe in the power of natural and alternative medicine.

Homeopathy is another type of natural and alternative medicine, which dilutes natural active ingredients in large quantities of water to release their healing power. One example of a natural homeopathic treatment is allium cepa, which is made from red onion. The extracted red onion is diluted in water, usually one part active ingredient to ten parts water. This mixture is then also diluted one part active ingredient to ten parts water. This process can be repeated up to thirty times, and some medicines are even more diluted.

Conventional medical doctors are generally opposed to the use of natural and alternative medicine which hasn’t been tested and found to be successful. Most alternative medicine goes through some unbiased, placebo-controlled scientific study, and if it is found to be effective it is taken up by conventional medicine. One good example of this is white willow bark, which is the natural form of aspirin. After testing showed that it was an effective treatment, conventional medicine took it and made aspirin, a conventional and natural medical treatment. This means that any medicine still classified as alternative has not yet been proven to be effective for the condition it purports to treat, and should be used with caution.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.