Alternative medicine is a wide range of methods and practices for diagnosing diseases or restoring health that operate outside the mainstream of treatment based on the medical model. Their common feature is that they have no scientific justification. Alternative medicine is an extremely broad term. In addition to the methods of folk medicine practiced with good effect for centuries, it includes services offered by ordinary frauds or charlatans – enthusiasts without thorough knowledge.
Since unconventional treatment is a very imprecise concept, it is difficult to say unequivocally about its effectiveness. Unconventional treatments are often collectively referred to as alternative medicine. All of them are in opposition to academic medicine, the effectiveness of which is verified on the basis of current knowledge in the field of biology, chemistry, physics and scientific research. The value of unconventional methods can be initially estimated on the basis of their relation to science. In the field of alternative medicine, there are treatments that:
- have been tested (or are being researched on them), and their elements are included in the mainstream of conventional medicine (e.g. herbal medicine),
- they show some effectiveness, but the mechanism of their action has not been scientifically proven,
- have been tested and their effectiveness was considered to be negligible,
- were considered worthless, inconsistent with natural and medical knowledge, and even harmful.
In the face of such large discrepancies, it is difficult to make a clear statement about the advantages and effectiveness of alternative medicine. It is sometimes a valuable supplement to conventional treatment. Sometimes it turns out to be a rescue where academic medicine is helpless. Often, however, the use of its methods does more harm than good to the sick person. Therefore, when deciding on unconventional treatment, you should first of all use common sense.