In order to understand the general attitude and categorization of kratom as a potential alternative medicine, we thought it might be helpful to broaden the spectrum a little bit in hopes that you could see the variety of plants and practices used to address health concerns, manage pain, and generally be well, body, mind and soul.
Alternative Medicine: What is it?
Alternative medicine refers to medical practices that are not considered part of conventional Western medicine. It encompasses a wide range of healing practices and therapies, including but not limited to:
- Herbal medicine: Using plants or plant-based substances to treat illnesses and promote health.
- Acupuncture: A form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to balance the flow of energy.
- Homeopathy: A practice that uses highly diluted substances to stimulate the body's ability to heal itself.
- Chiropractic: A form of alternative medicine that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on manual adjustments to the spine.
- Naturopathy: A holistic approach to healthcare that emphasizes the use of natural remedies and self-healing.
- Yoga and meditation: Mind-body practices that are used to promote physical and mental well-being.
- Ayurveda: A form of traditional Indian medicine that focuses on the balance of body, mind, and spirit.
- Massage therapy: The use of touch to manipulate the soft-tissues of the body to enhance health and well-being.
- Energy healing: The use of various techniques to balance the body's energy and promote healing.
For our purposes, we’ll focus on alternative medicine in the form of Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine. Let’s dive a little deeper into naturopathy as an alternative medicine.
Alternative Medicine: Naturopathy
Naturopathy is a holistic approach to healthcare that emphasizes the use of natural remedies and self-healing. Naturopathic practitioners may use a variety of therapies and techniques to help patients achieve optimal health and well-being. First let’s cover what is included in Naturopathy before considering kratom as a potential naturopath alternative medicine.
Some commonly used therapies and techniques in naturopathy include:
- Herbal medicine: Naturopathic practitioners may use a variety of herbal remedies to treat a wide range of conditions, such as colds, flu, and other infections, as well as chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
- Nutritional therapy: Naturopathic practitioners may use dietary changes and supplements to support optimal health and well-being. This may include recommendations for a balanced diet, as well as supplements such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Homeopathy: Naturopathic practitioners may use highly diluted substances to stimulate the body's ability to heal itself, homeopathy is based on the principle of "like cures like" and the remedies are chosen based on the symptoms of the patient.
- Hydrotherapy: Naturopathic practitioners may use water as a therapy to help with various conditions, such as using hot and cold compresses, or taking a hot and cold shower, to help with pain and inflammation.
- Acupuncture: Naturopathic practitioners may use acupuncture, a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to balance the flow of energy and promote healing.
- Mind-body therapies: Naturopathic practitioners may use various mind-body therapies, such as yoga, meditation, and stress management techniques, to help patients achieve optimal health and well-being.
- Manipulative and Body-based therapies: Naturopathic practitioners may use manipulative therapies such as Chiropractic and massage to help with pain and inflammation.
Kratom fits particularly well in the category of herbal medicine, but it is our personal belief that it should be combined with many other types of naturopathic, alternative medicine and practices. Hydrotherapy is a particular favorite, in addition to having a consistently good nutrition and healthy eating habits and vitamin intake. We also go to the chiropractor.
Let’s go a little deeper into herbal remedies as alternative medicines. Keeping in mind that this approach takes on the opinion that it is of great importance to seek out remedies to life’s ailments in the earth itself rather than relying on lab-created, addictive medicines.
Alternative Medicine: What are commonly used herbal remedies?
Herbal medicine is the use of plants or plant-based substances to treat illnesses and promote health. There are many herbs that are commonly used in herbal medicine, and the popularity of different herbs can vary depending on the region and culture. I thought it would be interesting to check out what the earth has to offer us through herbal remedies as alternative medicine.
Some of the most popularly used herbs in herbal alternative medicine include:
- Echinacea: Echinacea is an herb that is commonly used to boost the immune system and prevent colds and other infections.
- Garlic: Garlic is an herb that has been used for centuries to prevent and treat a wide range of illnesses, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and infections.
- Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo Biloba is an herb that is commonly used to improve memory, concentration and to treat symptoms of age-related disorders such as tinnitus and vertigo.
- Ginger: Ginger is an herb that has anti-inflammatory properties, and is commonly used to treat nausea, vomiting, and pain.
- Saw palmetto: Saw palmetto is an herb that is commonly used for the treatment of symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is used for a wide range of conditions such as pain, arthritis, digestive disorders, and skin conditions.
- Valerian: Valerian is an herb that is commonly used as a sedative and to promote sleep and relieve anxiety and stress.
- Milk thistle: Milk thistle is an herb that is commonly used to protect and improve liver function.
- Black cohosh: Black cohosh is an herb that is commonly used to treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and mood swings.
- St. John's Wort: St. John's Wort is an herb that is commonly used to treat mild to moderate depression.
It's important to keep in mind that some of these therapies and techniques may not have been scientifically proven to be effective or safe, and it's important to consult with a medical professional before trying any alternative medicine practices. Additionally, it's good to keep in mind that some alternative medicine practices may interact with conventional medications, so it's important to inform your healthcare provider of any alternative medicine practices you are using or considering.
Medicines that Used to be Alternative Medicines:
Other Alternative Medicines or Alternative Solutions: Such as kratom, kava, and CBD have had encountered a lot of controversy, but cultures around the world used to have to rely on plant solutions. In fact, many common medicines we use in our prescription medicine COME from plants!
Here’s a list of once ‘alternative medicines’ that have become a part of life:
Many common medicines are derived from plants, including:
- Digitalis, a heart medication, which is derived from the foxglove plant.
- Aspirin, which is derived from the bark of willow trees.
- Taxol, a chemotherapy drug, which is derived from the bark and needles of the Pacific yew tree.
- Vinca alkaloids, another chemotherapy drug, which is derived from the periwinkle plant.
- Morphine, a powerful pain medication, which is derived from the opium poppy.
- Quinine, a medication used to treat malaria, which is derived from the bark of the cinchona tree.
- Ephedrine, a decongestant and stimulant, which is derived from the ephedra plant.
Alternative Medicine: Research for potential plant-based medicine? Worth it?
It’s difficult to say where we’ll end up in the next few years as far as the general and legal acceptance of kratom as an alternative route. But if you just look in places like Reddit, like the American Kratom Association, Youtube videos chronicling anecdotal experiences of kratom use, I believe might feel similarly to me: even if there is addiction potential, isn’t this plant, this potential alternative, worth more study?
Here are a few links to folks/places who have shared their experiences with kratom:
Does Kratom Show up on a Drug Test? https://legendskratomco.com/blogs/the-kratom-life-living-legendary/does-kratom-show-up-on-a-drug-test
The Importance of Quality Kratom for Kratom Users: https://legendskratomco.com/blogs/the-kratom-life-living-legendary/the-importance-of-quality-kratom-for-kratom-users
Alternative Medicines & Herbal Remedies: https://legendskratomco.com/blogs/the-kratom-life-living-legendary/alternative-medicines-naturopathy-and-herbal-remedies
Traditional Medicine in Southeast Asia: https://legendskratomco.com/blogs/the-kratom-life-living-legendary/traditional-medicine-in-southeast-asia
Buying Kratom for Beginners: https://legendskratomco.com/blogs/the-kratom-life-living-legendary/buying-kratom-for-beginners
Living Legendary: A Kratom Story https://legendskratomco.com/blogs/the-kratom-life-living-legendary/a-kratom-story
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