How long do natural supplements take to work?
Natural supplements have gained substantial attention in recent years as an alternative or adjunct to synthetic medications, but is it practical to expect a miracle?
These supplements, which often include herbs, minerals, and vitamins, are derived from natural sources and therefore, are considered safer and gentler on the body. However, the effectiveness of natural supplements doesn't usually manifest instantly. They generally require a longer duration, typically about 90 days, for their effects to be most noticeable.
Many people are conditioned to expect immediate results from natural supplements like they do from synthetic medications which stimulate a quick response, so it may take some education for people to unlearn this expectation and understand that results from nature take time and patience.
Here are some reasons to consider a 90-day trial for natural supplements, along with the importance of a holistic approach to natural medicine:
1. Absorption and Metabolic Rate:
Natural supplements are usually complex substances containing multiple active ingredients. These ingredients need to be broken down and absorbed into the body, which can be highly effective but also take time.
The body's metabolic rate, which varies from person to person, also influences the time taken to absorb and utilise these nutrients. Our metabolism slows down as we age too, so understanding our metabolic rate can help us understand the time frame we could expect results in.
It typically takes a little while before the body acclimatise to a new regimen and start showing results. While some people may notice some response in a short amount of time, the full and sustained improvement often takes longer.
2. Gradual Improvement:
Unlike synthetic drugs that often bring quick relief, natural supplements work gradually to restore balance and promote health, with results that can be sustained long term.
Natural supplements work by nourishing the body, promoting detoxification, and supporting the body's self-healing mechanisms.
The 90-day window is considered a reasonable time frame to observe noticeable changes or improvements in health. It is often recommended to keep a journal to note even the most subtle changes.
3. Reduction of Side Effects:
Natural supplements are generally associated with fewer side effects compared to synthetic medications.
The slow and steady approach of natural supplements allows the body to adjust without overwhelming it, reducing the risk of adverse reactions.
4. Cumulative Effects:
The benefits of natural supplements are often cumulative, meaning they build up over time.
Regular and consistent intake over 90 days allows these benefits to accumulate, leading to a significant impact on health and well-being with sustained improvements over time.
What is the 'holistic' approach in natural medicine?
The use of natural supplements should ideally be part of a broader, more holistic approach to health. This comprehensive strategy should encompass various lifestyle factors that contribute significantly to overall wellness.
1. Balanced Diet:
Natural supplements should complement, not replace, a balanced and nutrient-rich diet. You cannot pop a pill to ‘fix’ a poor diet.
Regular consumption of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats provides the body with the necessary nutrients for optimal function.
Research supports the elimination of processed foods, sugar, and seed oils. Shopping at farmers markets for fresh ingredients will enrich your diet with comprehensive nutrients and reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals and preservatives used in commercial food practices.
2. Regular Exercise:
Regular physical activity promotes better cardiovascular health, improves mood, helps manage weight, and enhances overall wellbeing.
Exercise also helps in the better absorption and utilization of natural supplements as well as improved intestinal motility to encourage better elimination.
3. Stress Management:
Chronic stress can negatively impact physical and mental health and may hinder the effectiveness of natural supplements. Stress promotes inflammation and this process takes precedence over the body trying to absorb supplements and even food.
Practices like yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness can help manage stress levels. Daily walks are an excellent way to build healthy habits of regular movement suitable for any age.
4. Quality Sleep:
Adequate, quality sleep should never be underestimated. It is essential for the body's repair and restoration processes. Our body heals while we sleep and that is why rest is so important when dealing with or recovering from illness too.
Lack of sleep can interfere with the body's ability to absorb and utilize nutrients from natural supplements, because digestive processes are not as effective. The stress from lack of sleep can literally ‘turn off’ your digestive function and impair the absorption of food as well as supplements.
5. Social Connections:
Healthy social connections contribute to emotional wellbeing, which is critical for overall health.
Positive relationships can bolster the immune system, speed up recovery from illness, and in turn enhance the effectiveness of natural supplements by better absorption processes.
The domino effect
What is interesting to note with natural supplements is that when you begin to take them for one health condition, you often find that a domino effect will follow and that other health issues are also improved.
It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure you are taking supplements specific to your ailment and hopefully the source of your concerns. This will ensure that what you take has that domino potential.
Giving natural supplements a 90-day response time is crucial for their effectiveness. Moreover, integrating them into a holistic lifestyle approach – involving a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, adequate sleep, and healthy social connections – is an opportunity for you to reclaim your health and look forward to a healthier future.