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Getting to know natural alternatives

Learn about what natural alternatives are and how they can support your healing journey.


Emily Osborne – Polln

medically reviewed by


table of contents


min read

What are natural alternatives?

When it comes to supporting our body’s innate ability to heal itself, natural alternatives such as products, treatments and lifestyle changes can be used in place of conventional medicines and treatments for a more holistic healing process. When these therapies are used in conjunction with conventional medicine, they are typically referred to as complementary therapies.

Natural alternatives are regarded by many as cleaner, more balanced versions of their synthetic counterparts – meaning they can work in unison with our body’s natural healing process. Natural alternatives go hand-in-hand with holistic medicine, in that they support healing of the whole person and help to balance every aspect of a person’s health, rather than just treat individual symptoms.

What are some examples of natural alternatives?

Natural alternatives can include, but are not limited to:

  • Herbal and plant-based medicines
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Diet and nutrition changes
  • Organic products
  • Traditional or holistic remedies
  • Naturopathy
  • Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine
  • Ayurvedic medicine
  • Aromatherapy

Many of these therapies have been developed slowly over time to work alongside more conventional modern treatments and have been used by various cultures throughout human history.

When might I use a natural alternative?

Everyone is different, and has different preferences when it comes to what works for them and their health. Many people turn to natural alternatives out of dissatisfaction with more conventional or synthetic treatments they’ve tried, others are simply looking for a more natural way to support their health alongside their existing treatment plan. Here are some of the most common reasons you might want to try a natural alternative:

  • You want to feel more in control of your health and wellbeing
  • You’re dissatisfied with conventional treatments you’ve tried or you want to explore natural therapies to use alongside your existing treatments for added health benefits
  • You’ve read or heard evidence about the effectiveness of a natural alternative
  • You’re concerned about the potential adverse side-effects of conventional prescription medicines (Note: natural alternatives such as herbal medicines can also produce adverse side-effects and should always be prescribed by a qualified practitioner)
  • You’re concerned that your existing treatment plan is only addressing your symptoms, rather than looking at your health holistically
  • You’re looking for a more holistic or natural way to treat symptoms like fatigue, gastrointestinal diseases or other minor conditions  
  • You belong to a culture with traditions, practises and/or beliefs that incorporate natural medicines and therapies

As with any treatment or medication, conducting proper research and speaking with your doctor before commencing an alternative treatment is advised.

Getting started with natural alternatives

Exploring the world of natural alternatives can be an exciting and empowering part of your journey towards better health. But before you commence a natural alternative or treatment plan, it’s important to do your research. Ensure you’re only working with qualified, registered practitioners and seek a referral from your doctor if necessary. Your practitioner should take all of your medical history, health, allergies and any conditions into consideration before prescribing any products and you should always consult with your doctor before abandoning any of your existing conventional treatments. Most reputable and licensed natural healthcare practitioners will be constantly updating their knowledge of health and medical advancements to be able to provide you with the best care possible.

Learn more about how natural alternatives can support your holistic wellbeing by exploring our Medicinal Cannabis Library.


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