Many conventional drugs used today to treat various illnesses originated from the natural healing properties found in herbs. A good example is aspirin, which was originally derived from willow bark for its salicylic content. Through the years, scientists found ways to isolate beneficial compounds found in medicinal plants and create them synthetically in a lab. This was done for multiple reasons. It was more cost effective, as plants vary in potency depending on where they are grown, as well as the growing conditions, which, when these compounds are simplified and copied, can be controlled. With synthetic production, risk of contamination from wrongly identified plant specimen or even contamination from pesticides and other conditions can also be eliminated. And most important, it was economically advantageous to isolate and patent individual components of the medicinal herbs seen as beneficial to combating illness.
However, with the introduction and predominant use of synthetic drugs on the market, other unforeseen issues cropped up. The main drawback to these synthetics is its very unpleasant and frequently dangerous side effects that range from mild allergic reactions to poisoning the bodys systems to the point of shutdown. The culprit is usually the result of synthetic medicines using potent compounds that were initially isolated from plants, but were not copied over in entirety. (Remember the patent approach). A simplified example is vitamin C, which has only recently been found to work incompletely within the body because, among other things, was missing flavonoids. Scientists still are far from having a complete understanding of the human body, and as a result, synthetic medicine can have unforeseen and long-lasting destruction on the body. The best that medicine can be expected to do at this time is manage the effects of disease and illness, with the hope that enough of the negative cells and bacteria are eliminated before the whole body system collapses.
The holistic approach centers on prevention and identifying at-risk areas of health before it becomes a problem. Conventional medicine has become little more than disease management. Conventional medicine may be beneficial for acute injuries, such as a car accident, broken bones, heat stroke, frostbite, and the like; however chronic conditions such as the flu, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer can all benefit from a more holistic approach that incorporates herbal remedies into a regimen of care.