Choosing the right natural health remedies can be difficult and confusing, because there’s so many opposing viewpoints to be found it’s hard to know what really works. One of the reasons that we see so much conflicting information is because not everyone responds in the same manner; different approaches work for different people. There are several key factors to keep in mind when choosing which remedies are right for you.
The first and most important point to note is that although natural health remedies are generally considered safe and and are preferred over prescription drugs in most cases, natural does not always means free of side-effects or complications. This is particularly true for anyone with a health condition, illness or disease.
There are many different factors that can impact how someone will respond to a particular remedy. Things like the overall level of health, any health conditions that may exist, how well the liver and detoxification pathways are functioning, genetics, stress load, exposure to environmental toxins, autonomic nervous system function, immune system status, and other remedies or prescriptions that may be used in conjunction, all need to be taken into consideration.
For example, if you take a remedy that is known for its ability to trigger detoxification, but your liver is not healthy enough to handle the toxins or you’re constipated, then your health may decline instead of improve. For some people who have deterioration in multiple organ systems, remedies that work great for the average folk can actually work backwards and intensify the symptoms they are trying to alleviate.
Unidentified genetic polymorphisms can have a profound impact on your response to a particular antidote. Depending on the situation, it could potentially cause a lack of response, an over-exaggerated response, an exacerbation of the current condition or a whole new set of undesirable symptoms.
Additionally, it is sometimes important to address deficiencies or conditions in a particular order, if more than one exists. Trying to fix problem C, when problem A and or B are not optimal, can lead to more deterioration in health. A particular nutrient that can help one issue, may cause issues for another condition.
Some remedies must be taken in conjunction with another to be effective. For example, calcium must be taken with Vitamin D and n-acetyl-cysteine should be taken with vitamin C. Additionally, if you take a supplement without its required co-factors you can cause other problems or not see any results. For example, tryptophan should be accompanied by B6. Minerals should be taken all together, because if you take only one or two, an imbalance or deficiency may occur which would result in new symptoms developing.
When exploring treatment options, it’s important to be aware that every person has a unique body chemistry and genetics. Although you may share a health condition with someone, each condition can be experienced differently from body to body and not all methods of healing work the same for each individual. Everyone can have a different reaction to the same substance. What works for one may not work for another. Just because something isn’t effective for you, does not mean it is not effective for others and it does not mean that another similar remedy will be ineffective for you. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find what’s compatible with your body.
The second most crucial factor to address when choosing the natural remedy that is right for you, and one that many people overlook, is research. Self-care is a vital component for improving or maintaining health, however, an important part of self-care is learning to be a responsible and thorough consumer.
People get into trouble by randomly taking this and that without fully understanding how a remedy works, what it addresses, possible side-effects, interactions, and contraindications, and what co-factors it may need. You must also be very in tune with your body and know how to listen to what it tells you. If every web page you’ve been to on the Internet tells you to expect one thing and you experience something completely different, you must trust your body. It always knows best.
So before taking any particular remedy it is very important that you do your homework and have a thorough understanding of the whole scope of what particular approach you may be exploring. Preferably you should work with a skilled health care practitioner and be sure to disclose any and all medications, herbs, or other nutritional supplements you may be taking and all health conditions you may be dealing with. You should practice the same precautions with natural remedies that you would with prescription drugs.
Another important point to be aware of is that not all manufacturers of natural health remedies are equal. Anyone can throw together a few herbs and vitamins and call it a treatment, but quality, safety and effectiveness can vary greatly in the industry. It’s important to do your homework in this area as well and only buy products from reputable companies, otherwise you’ll be throwing your money down the drain and possibly do more harm than good.
Additionally, all we have just discussed applies to all healing approaches, not just something you ingest. For example, the response one has to massage, chiropractic adjustments, aromatherapy, acupuncture, EFT or other forms of energy medicine are all subject to stress, genetics, autonomic nervous system function, the health of the detoxification, etc., and each of them can interact with and influence the effectiveness of one another or with remedies that are taken internally.