Medicine’s future is plant-based.
STORY BY JULIE RAQUE
The evolution of medicine dates back thousands of years and spans many continents and belief systems. From ancient Ayurvedic medicine to the most modern developments in pharmaceuticals, medicine has changed and shifted drastically over the past 5,000 years. With the mass availability of information, humans have become educated in the world of medicine and empowered to choose the practices to which they wish to subscribe. We’ve relied primarily on Western medicine and pharmaceuticals, but we can expect plant-based remedies to play a role in health trends in the year to come as people incorporate holistic healing practices into their daily regimens as preventative and retroactive measures.
People will look to the root cause of disease, not just symptoms. Often when people fall ill, they look to treat what they consider the worst part of their illness—the symptoms they’re experiencing—as quickly as possible. People are starting to understand that they need to solve the root cause of a disease rather than superficial symptoms. With information readily accessible, people can understand why they may be feeling a certain way and what they can do to prevent an illness from moving forward. More than ever, people are looking toward how active they are, vitamins and minerals, nutrients, and diet to uncover what’s causing their symptoms. They will, in turn, be invest- ed in learning about how different plant-based remedies address both symptoms and root causes, and how these can lead them on a path to better health and wellness overall.
People will look to natural remedies before pharmaceuticals. Botanic remedies have been providing relief for thousands of years. While the pharmaceutical industry has focused on isolating, synthesizing, and patenting specific chemicals and molecular compounds, alternative remedies employ natural treatments stemming from the plant kingdom. People now understand the harm an antibiotic can do to your gut flora, digestive system, and kidneys, especially if it is interacting with another antibiotic in your system. Many will look to herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables to ease symptoms and issues such as anxiety, sleeplessness, mood swings, and adrenal fatigue before reaching for the medicine cabinet.
Consumers will experiment with different methods. There are less invasive ways to treat things like pain and sore muscles than popping Ibuprofen or acetaminophen, including cannabinoid-based topicals, lotions, tinctures, and inhalants. Over-the-counter pain relievers can interact adversely with your kidneys and liver, a difficult trade-off for someone looking to alleviate a headache. Topicals allow you to target a certain area and reapply as necessary, making them a more appropriate treatment for acute pain.
People will look toward other cultures.
More people are looking to ancient Eastern and Ayurvedic principles to figure out why they may be feeling the way they are and how to treat it. Both ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine practices utilize plants in their healing strategies and emphasize a balance between mind, body, and spirit.