Holistic Natural Health Experts

What is the history of natural medicine?

Before talking about how it all started and the history of natural medicine, let’s first distinguish natural medicine from conventional medicine. 

Natural medicine

Natural medicine refers to a broad range of therapies and medicines that use, amongst other things, natural substances, such as herbs and minerals, to treat the body and support the body’s natural healing processes. 

They approach health and healing holistically, taking into account the whole person and the root causes of illness, rather than simply treating symptoms.

Natural medicine has no side effects, only desired effects. Therefore the only risk is not achieving the desired results. 

Natural medicine can be used in all scenarios, whether it is as an alternative solution, a supplement to support and help conventional care, or as an improvement of palliative care.

Conventional medicine

Conventional medicine refers to the healthcare system that is widely spread worldwide, especially in Western countries. 

It relies on the use of standardized treatment protocols and guidelines, considering diseases and symptoms over each individual unique health situation.

Conventional medicine focuses on suppressing the symptoms of a disease or condition, rather than treating the disease and addressing the underlying causes.

Conventional medicine inevitably generates risks and side effects, as it uses chemical drugs, surgery, and other invasive medical procedures.

History of medicines

The history of natural medicine is no different from the history of medicine. 

Nowadays, what we call medicine and what official doctors are practicing is, in reality, something very new and undeveloped compared to the medicine of olds.

We can say that medicine has always been natural for thousands of years as far as humanity can remember. It only became unnatural less than 2 centuries ago. 

This resembles the history of organic food. Food has always been organic for thousands of years as far as humanity can remember. It only became industrial less than 70 years ago.

How old is natural medicine?

The notion of medicine and places of care is as old as humanity. Each culture has organized its medicine according to its principles, means, beliefs, and limits.

Do not think that the old days’ medicine was crude, primitive, and ignorant: it was just different. 

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The history of medicine is fascinating and very complex. Widely documented in the books, many of us have spent our whole life on the subject. 

Without being a fan of history, some things are worth mentioning. 

Antiquity, which appears at different times from one continent to another, is definitely the most exciting period to understand the significant axes that built medicine, the history of natural medicine.

Formerly, medicine was not a defined, homogeneous and structured “science.” 

She was not separated from:

  • Art
  • Divination
  • Religion
  • War
  • Astronomy
  • Astrology
  • Surgery
  • Hunting
  • Gathering
  • Plants
  • Food
  • Magic
  • Superstitions
  • Power games

Challenges of medicine

Healing from an injury or illness has always been a significant issue for humans. Whether it’s the rich or the poor, the powerful or the layman, the king or a simple servant, everyone can be ill and die from sickness.  

If health concerns all of us, quality healthcare has always been accessible only to a few. Probably not for the better, like many valuable things, health became a business. 

A lot of eagerness and jealousy were created in the hearts of men. Many have fought to death throughout the ages to detain the power to cure anything and even reach immortality. 

Even though we did not reach immortality, the good side is that it created a lot of interest and many significant advancements.

It is in that state, little by little, that major axes of the medicines emerged: oriental, western, African, pre-Columbian, and Aboriginal medicine. 

Far from being unified, these medicines presented significant differences in their complexity, approach, and therapeutic means. However, they all incorporated into their understanding of the causes of disease: the impact of climate, diet, and emotions.

They also considered the strengths and weaknesses transmitted by the ascendants (parents, grandparents, and lineages) and the patient’s living conditions.

It can be said that at the beginning of the Middle Ages (around 450 AD), great medicines were in place.

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Among them, 2 medicine stood out.

Traditional Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a comprehensive system of medicine that has been used for thousands of years in China and other parts of Asia. It is based on the belief that the human body is a complex network of interconnected systems and that illness and disease are the results of imbalances in these systems.

TCM includes a range of practices, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, dietary therapy, massage, and exercise, which are designed to treat the body and improve the body’s natural healing processes. 

In TCM, the diagnosis and treatment of an illness are based on the observation of various signs and symptoms, as well as the patient’s overall constitution, lifestyle, and emotional state.

Chinese medicine is undoubtedly the most advanced and successful in terms of fundamental theory understanding. 

It offers a unique comprehension of the body’s mechanisms. The physiopathology of diseases is so advanced that even today, cutting-edge scientific research is only proving what we already know in Chinese medicine for centuries.

Chinese medicine is also on top in the therapeutic field, especially in herbal medicine, with advanced knowledge of the use of single herbs and formulas. 

Hippocratic medicine

Hippocratic medicine refers to the principles and practices of medicine that were developed by the ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, who is often referred to as the “Father of Medicine.”

One of the key principles of Hippocratic medicine is the belief that disease is caused by natural factors, rather than supernatural or divine causes. 

Hippocratic medicine is the medicine that will lay the foundations of all Western medicine. 

The Hippocratic Corpus, a collection of medical texts attributed to Hippocrates and his followers, outlines many important principles and practices:

  • Observing and documenting symptoms
  • Theory of moods
  • Notions of hygiene and movement
  • Diet and lifestyle changes to promote health
  • Avoidance of harmful medical practices
  • Treating the whole person rather than just the symptoms
  • Ethics rules for the good practice of medicine
  • Serving the patient’s best interests

Today, doctors are still taking the Hippocratic oath when graduating.  

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