Medicine is the science of understanding functions of the human body, finding causes of illnesses, indicating remedies and preventive measures. Being a science, it basically has no divisions – Western and Eastern or indigenous and foreign. Therefore, strictly speaking, there cannot be alternatives to medicine. Nonetheless, apart from mainstream scientific medicine, which is sometimes wrongly referred to as Western medicine, there are so-called alternative practices claimed to be effective or even superior.
Alternative medicine means, curative or preventive methods whose efficacies are not proven scientifically and may include formulations or procedures which might turn out to be shown effective by rigorous scientific scrutiny. Ones that pass this test would no longer be purported alternatives but scientifically supported treatments.
In 1775, the Scottish physician and chemist William Withering was astonished to…