Herbal Medicine vs. Nutritional Medicine

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Herbal Medicine vs. Nutritional Medicine: How They Stack Up

Numerous studies have proven that there is a direct link between poor diet and disease. Because of this, people are taking a second look at what goes into their bodies, including the medicines they take. Many are opting for an herbal or nutritional medicine instead of synthetic drugs.  At first glance, herbal medicine and nutritional medicine may seem to be the same thing, but they differ in several ways.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine is one of the oldest systems of healing and is still widely used in many parts of the world. It is made exclusively from plant and plant extracts that may be ingested; either as teas or in capsule/syrup/tincture form or applied directly to the skin in the form of lotions etc…

There is a wide variety of different herbal medicines available today. You can go practically anywhere (even Walmart) and find herbs or herbal preparations.  Though each herbal product may contain medicinal plants, the type of plants used as well as how they are prepared and used differ from culture to culture and also from region to region.

Drying herbs for use in cooking and medicinals


The therapeutic activity of a medicinal plant comes from its complex chemical makeup. Many modern pharmaceuticals have been based on the chemicals found in medicinal plants.  And did you know…herbal medicines have fewer side effects than traditional drugs.Herbal medicines contain various properties that have been proven to treat several common health issues including, burns, inflammation, ulcers, colic, staph infection, nausea, colds and flu and much much more.  After all, before there was synthetic drugs there were herbal preparations.  

Nutritional Medicine

Nutritional medicine is built on the belief that nutrients are necessary for the body to function properly, which is true. This includes essential micronutrients. Practitioners of nutritional medicine believe that when treating diseases or symptoms they should look at the underlying causes that are tied to the nutritional or environmental influences.

Nutritional medicines reject the idea of using synthetic drugs. Instead it is based on the notion that nature’s natural pharmaceuticals are life-serving.  This form of medicine promotes the use of supplemental minerals and vitamins that have been found to be lacking in today’s diet. For example, it’s difficult to get enough Vitamin E in our diets to prevent things like heart disease without added supplements.

Natural nutritional supplements


Nutritional supplements focus on chronic illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, arthritis or fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular problems and neurological disorders.

Chronic Conditions

Colds, flu and gastrointestinal problems all respond quickly to nutritional and herbal medicines.  Herbal medicines have been used to treat asthma, eczema, migraines, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis and premenstrual syndrome.  The vitamins, minerals and chemicals in herbal and nutritional medicines contribute in the biochemical reactions of the body that includes our metabolism and how we convert food to energy. These essential minerals and vitamins found in natural herbs and whole nutritional foods are found to help promote the healthy cell and organ formation.

  • Chronic conditions may respond within weeks or months of starting a nutritional or herbal treatment. These might include menopause symptoms, PMS and other women’s health issues.
  • Conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart and arthritis conditions may or may not respond to herbal or nutritional medicine therapy. Talk to your doctor about using this type of therapy.

Types of herbal and nutritional medicines

Supplements include everything from minerals to herbs including Glucosamine, Fish oil, Echinacea, Cinnamon, and Flaxseed oil among others.  While herbal and nutritional medicines are effective, oftentimes people see the biggest benefits when they are used as part of an overall natural lifestyle.

  • The herbs or botanicals Chamomile and Peppermint are used in the form of teas to aid in digestion.
  • Valerian is often taken as a sleep aid, though it may take several doses to become effective.
  • Kava on the other hand can have immediate effects on muscle relaxation and reducing anxiety symptoms.

 A healthy diet, regular exercise, reduced stress and a positive mindset all work together for whole body wellness.

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Medical Disclaimer Notice: Nothing in this post is to be construed as medical advice, simply a sharing of things that have worked for me &my family. If you have any symptoms of serious illness, taking medication, pregnant or nursing, or have never worked with herbal materials or essential oils before, please consider consulting a medical professional before use. I am unable to offer advice for your particular medical situation; please ask your Doctor, Nurse Practitioner or Naturopath for further guidance. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food & Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. This notice is in accordance and required by the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.
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Simply Living Simply About Simply Living Simply

Howdy there, I'm Kat! I'm a southern gal who loves being a wife, mother, blogger, writer and a follower of Jesus Christ. I adore coffee, chocolate, sweet tea, essential oils, meows, guns, drag racing and TEXAS!
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  1. I really appreciate herbal medicine…. and have seen great help from it for many different issues in the family..

  2. Kat, I’m trying to do more and more w/ Eastern medicine vs Western medicine. I’m pretty good with the oils but have much to learn w/ the herbs. I’m trying to plant several of them around the farm though for good. health.

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