People across the world have used naturally sourced medicines for thousands of years. Natural medicine includes herbal medicine, acupuncture, exercise, massage, and nutritional counselling. Worldwide, an estimated 80% of people still use herbal medicine as their main source of healthcare.

Natural remedies have grown in popularity in recent years. People use dietary supplements to prevent illnesses and treat them. The argument for herbal remedies is that they are more compatible with the human body than conventional medicines.

Yoga has been popular for a while but the number of people practicing surged in the last decade. Interest in wellness practices is widespread: it’s estimated that 1 in 6 Australian adults meditate, while 1 in 10 practice yoga.

In an increasingly unpredictable world, a growing number of people are looking to boost their vitality and find some inner calm. Natural-based medicines use natural extracts and physical healing practices to help us cultivate wellbeing.


What is natural or herbal medicine?

Herbal medicine is made from plants and is used to prevent or treat illnesses and diseases. It’s a branch of natural medicine, which includes any natural therapy.

Types of natural medicine

As many as 61% of Australians use some form of natural medicine.

Natural medicine includes:

Traditional alternative medicine

This includes therapies that have been practiced for centuries, such as: 

  • Acupuncture
  • Ayurveda
  • Homeopathy
  • Chinese medicine

Body healing

Physical therapies that use movement and touch to promote healing have existed since early medicine. Treatments include:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Massage
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga

Nutritional healing

Dietary and herbal treatments aim to improve overall health with nutrition. Therapies include:

  • Supplements
  • Herbal medicine
  • Diets for nutrition

Examples of ingredients used in natural medicine

In this section, we’ll discuss the herbal remedies that potent healing benefits according to peer-reviewed scientific research.

1. Turmeric

Bright orange turmeric is a staple spice of Indian cooking. Inside turmeric is curcumin, a potent healing compound. Curcumin gives turmeric its bright orange colour. It's also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Southeast Asian traditional medicine has used turmeric for thousands of years . Modern science has investigated its benefits, and found that curcumin may:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Relieve joint pain and improve joint function 
  • Relieve the symptoms of arthritis.

Read more about curcumin here

2. Ashwagandha

Ayurveda, Indian traditional holistic medicine, has used ashwagandha for thousands of years.

Recent research has examined the traditional claims about ashwagandha, and found that it can:

  • Improve sleep quality and help insomnia management
  • Reduce the physical symptoms of stress , which improves the quality of sleep
  • Soothe the nervous system, reducing feelings of pain

3. Boswellia

Boswellia, also known as Indian Frankincense, is one of the natural remedies used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. The traditional belief was that Boswellia could effectively treat arthritis. Modern science has investigated those claims and found that Boswellia can:

  • Combat arthritis
  • Relieve pain
  • Improve joint function.

Do naturally-derived medicines work based on scientific evidence?

As discussed in the previous section, research suggests that some natural medicines may have benefits. A contemporary scientific study found that turmeric extract curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory that can relieve arthritis symptoms. Meanwhile, Boswellia helps to relieve joint pain and improve joint function.

Whenever you’re taking a natural medicine, always read the label and follow the directions for use.

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