Alternative Medicine Guidelines - Alternative Medicine Guidelines Could Make Supplements Safer

Alternative or contemporary is a term to describe certain products and therapies that are not considered standard medication. Homoeopathy, Ayurveda, herbal medicine, dietary supplements, meditation and yoga, plant extracts and ointments fall under the category of alternative medicine. Alternative treatment can be done by persons with formal education and training in the subject (like homoeopathy or Ayurveda) or can be recommended by somebody who sells such products in a store or through the internet (like herbal medicine or dietary supplements). Alternative therapy can include anything, from enemas like colon therapy to needles like acupuncture to no-touch energy work like reiki.

Most forms of alternative therapies are cheap and easy to follow but some like certain diets or country-specific treatments can be expensive and time-consuming. Meditation and yoga can be done at one's home while message or reiki requires the help of another individual. It is always better to seek the opinion of a doctor before opting for any kind of alternative treatments. Nowadays, many doctors are combining standard medications with alternative therapies. Stopping standard medications altogether can prove to be fatal.

People usually opt for alternative therapies to avoid taking too many medications. But one has to have immense patience when opting for such a treatment. Any form of alternative treatment takes more time to act than standard medications. Certain forms of alternative treatments, like herbal medicine or Ayurveda, use various ingredients to prepare the medicine. One needs to be sure of these ingredients so that no allergic reaction takes place. Incorrect herbs can even lead to poisoning. The side effects of many alternative therapies take months to appear. By that time severe damage to the body can take place.

As governments do not regulate the alternative medicine industry, there is no quality control in this form of treatment. The standards of safety and effectiveness do not match those of standard medicines. It is vital to get hold of a renowned practitioner of any form of alternative therapy. Alternative therapies cannot cure sudden illness or injury. As there are no diagnostic tests or surgery in this form of treatment, it cannot treat a broken leg or heal a heart attack. Also, not knowing the exact reasons for certain symptoms can lead to a wrong diagnosis. Unlike standard medications, alternative therapies have no specific instructions regarding dosage or frequency of treatment. This confusion can lead to potential health risks.

Though standard medications have various side effects and difficult and painful forms of treatments, they are all scientifically proven. It is better to combine standard procedures with alternative therapies. Many alternative treatments like aromatherapy, massage therapy, Tai-Chi, meditation or yoga can be quite useful in controlling certain side effects and pain caused by standard treatment procedures. But these treatments may turn out to be ineffective in curing the disease. Standard forms of medications should never be skipped or delayed.

It is always safer to confide in one's doctor about the other forms of treatment that one is using. Sometimes, alternative medicines can interact with regular medications. If a doctor knows about the alternative medicine that is being used, he or she can prescribe a non-reacting standard medication.