What are these therapies?
This therapy group includes several types of therapies, all found in nature:
- Medicinal herbs, mushrooms, and botanicals
- Components of foods, such as curcumin from turmeric and resveratrol from grapes
- Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients
What are the benefits of using these therapies?
Several are especially effective at optimizing your body terrainthe internal conditions of your body, including nutritional status, fitness, blood sugar balance, hormone balance, inflammation and more, managing symptoms, or reducing your risk of cancer or recurrence. Many of these therapies are readily available at relatively low cost. Specific information about the use, evidence, cost, and more is listed on each therapy review.
Can supplements replace food?
Natural supplements, also called nutraceuticals, are not meant to replace whole foods, which should be your primary source of nutrients. Because supplements often contain isolated nutrients, they do not provide all the benefits of the complex combinations of nutrients found naturally in whole foods.1Multivitamins, supplements are a ‘waste of money’ for most people, study says. Study Finds. June 21, 2022. Viewed June 21, 2022. The way your body recognizes, absorbs, and uses nutrients may depend on other nutrients and components of food that work together within your body. With that understanding, you may find that the wise use of some targeted supplements can help your body achieve better balance and wellness.
Are they safe?
Although these products are often seen as harmless, that may not be the case. Simply because a product is a nutrient or is sourced from nature doesn’t mean that it is completely safe to use. Natural products can affect absorption of other herbs and drugs, and some may reduce your liver’s ability to clear drugs like anesthetics from your body during surgery. Allergic reactions to natural products are possible, and some natural products may be toxic or cause side effects if taken over extended periods or even for short periods at high doses. Some should not be used during chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or when preparing for surgery.
We strongly encourage you to seek guidance from a licensed provider who can help you choose the natural products and supplements that are right for you and that are safe to use with your other therapies.
Also, use caution in choosing supplement brands, as the purity and potency of products can vary widely.