It is difficult to bring this longstanding debate to an end. Before, when science has not yet come to the level of producing medicines after medicines, most people use what was readily available to cure their sicknesses. People before then discovered various properties (some of which are still being studied until now) that are present in the herbs they planted in their own backyards. They found out that aside from giving them food, plants also have medicinal value which were effective in treating their illnesses.
Then, science got the better of the world and gave it wonders using drugs that are made by man. These are also effective, even more effective than the traditional herbs they used before. More and more people trusted these medicines. However, it doesn’t mean that none of them continued to use the herbs. In fact, it is amazing to note that at present time, where almost everything has become modern and high-tech, there are still many people who use herbal remedies.
The purpose of this article is to weigh which among the two – herbal remedies and chemical drugs – are more effective. Which do you think?
In terms of effectiveness
Herbal remedies: In terms of effectiveness, I think it must be safe to say that yes, herbal remedies are really effective. Why else would the society continue using them even after so many thousands of years? Even doctors recommend some herbal remedies for sicknesses. What is also amazing about herbal remedies is that a single plant can be used to treat so many different diseases, unlike synthetic drugs.
However, when you take an herbal remedy for your sickness, you have to be patient to see the results. Because most herbal remedies are consumed fresh, they are not incorporated with chemicals that hasten the results.
Synthetic drugs: None could also contest the effectiveness of synthetic drugs, which many pharmaceutical companies improve and improve over time. Some people would say that they are not as effective as herbs because they are made with plant extracts, but what makes them more effective is that the compounds needed to cure a certain ailment is already separated from the other components of the plant, which helps it target the disease faster.
Synthetic drugs, aside from plant extracts, are also made with chemicals that hasten the healing process of the body.
In terms of safety
Herbal remedies: Herbal remedies are made with all natural ingredients so you are assured that there is less risk of ever encountering something harmful to the body. Also, most herbal remedies do not have side effects to the body because they are not too strong. In fact, there is less restriction with the kind of herbal medicines safe for children as compared to synthetic drugs.
There is also very little chance that an herbal remedy would trigger allergic attacks on the patient. Then again, it is better to consult the doctor before taking anything to avoid herbs that are poisonous and potentially fatal.
Synthetic drugs: Most synthetic drugs come with warnings on their labels regarding over dosage. This is because some chemicals used in making these drugs are too strong for the body to take. Even the innocent cough syrup becomes fatal once taken without medical supervision. Synthetic drugs are also not very safe for pregnant women to take.
Over dosage of some synthetic drugs may likely cause drug addiction and even organ failure. Failing to stop taking these medicines may eventually lead to death.
In terms of availability
Herbal remedies: It is said that herbal remedies were used before because they were readily available in almost all areas. Most herbal remedies can be found just outside our houses and we only need our kitchen to prepare them for medication. However, in today’s age, not many houses have the privilege of growing their own medicinal plants. Then again, using these herbal remedies is made possible by companies who sell herbs in the form of pills and the like in health stores.
Synthetic drugs: Common synthetic drugs can be bought almost anywhere, in the pharmacy and in the drugstore. You can go to any clinic and you will surely find a medicine for your headache. However, some drugs especially those that are used to treat more serious diseases can be more difficult to find. Sometimes only one hospital in the area has them and sometimes you have to go straight to the pharmaceutical company that manufactures them.