Comparison Between Traditional and Modern Medicinal Practices

By Harshitha R Hegde

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Traditional medicine is an approach used since ancient times. This was in existence even before the introduction of the modern medicinal method. The traditional medicinal practice has been highly popular in the mid-ages in many countries.

It is based on the beliefs and from generation-to-generation learnings by several testing of plants, roots, leaves, etc. Herbs are mainly used to treat diseases whereas some roots too acted as an effective medicine for some severe diseases. The traditional medicinal practice upheld the culture and heritage of a nation. Even India is well known for its history in traditional medicine. There are a lot of ancient saints who can be called doctors. But in olden times they were called by the name “Vaidya”.

The traditional method of medicine is given by considering the patient’s body and its nature along with the weather he lives in and food he consumes. Sometimes the medicines would be different based on considering the above factors.

Modern medicinal approach is a practice evolved based on scientific theory and experiments. Here also there is the usage of herbs but it introduced technological methods of diagnosis and modern clinical equipment became popular. Many diseases which couldn’t be identifiable by traditional approaches were analyzed through modern methods. So, we can address that there are some strengths and weaknesses in each of the approaches.


Traditional medicinal methods have a very broad historical background where this was developed by some ancient medical practitioners. Many of them were unknown and had died with them. But many of such good therapies have been verbally taught by the practitioners to their next generation.

Modern method and traditional method as we see, both have their own benefits and the weakness of one can be replaced by the other. As we know that many improvements and automation in the healthcare sector contributed to the modern method of medicinal practice in an effective manner. Many lives have been saved whereas in the traditional, they had only the treatment for various diseases but proper diagnosis and evidence of the disease couldn’t be determined precisely. When we see the traditional approach of medicinal practice, there are highly effective medicines that cure chronic diseases and with some kind of treatment, the disease would be cured completely. Especially for snake bites or any poisonous bites, people even today approach their traditional medicines rather than modern medicinal practice.

So, we can’t throw back any of the methods as we mentioned above so that it is noticed how one will replace the weak point of the other. Harmonizing both approaches will provide the best result. Now in this modern era, it has become inevitable for the practitioners to integrate traditional medicinal approaches in their modern medicinal method, the reason behind this is that for some unknown or new diseases it has become very tough for the researchers to invent new drugs as it takes a long time. But in this scenario, the practitioners went behind the traditional method as this helps in effective curing of a disease as a source of lucrative drugs. Because it is believed that doing something is better than doing nothing. So, since the drugs are invented and processed through clinical tests, the pharmaceutical company and medical practitioners are dependent upon the traditional approach. 

Thinking from another perspective on the traditional approach side, it is always a convenient means for the practitioners to adopt the modern approaches in their method which makes them easier to identify or diagnose a problem, and treatment can be given accordingly. So, technology is now highly updated and any of the health imbalances can be automatically determined. Once the problem or the issue of health is noticed, one can go with an effective medicine by traditional means.

Therefore, it can be seen in the current world that when both approaches are integrally used, the maximum improvement in the health sector can be achieved. The traditional approach which is a gift from the ancestors is also not just a belief but has some theoretical and practical theory whereas the modern approach is based on science and experiments along with a strong technical base. Traditional practices of medicine shouldn’t be left to approaches that have proven effective with historic evidence. It should be preserved and used along with the modern practices for an effective result because some of the practices are rarely known by the outer world but they do lie only with the community which practices them.

There is a huge change in the technical world as well as the lifestyle of people which is leading to an open way for many diseases. So, as per the comparison made between the traditional and modern approaches to medicines, we can conclude that both approaches are necessary and should be used integrally. Health is the main concern of both of the approaches. Technical improvement is an adding point of advantage for the health sector which eased the way for medical practitioners. And for the modern approach, it is helpful to make use of some of the traditional treatments such as using medicinal herbs, plants in preparing drugs.

Whatever may be the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, the contribution by both of the methods is remarkable. So, when both put in use will lead to the preservation of our rich heritage as well as to enhance the usage of technology along with taking forward the modern method of medicinal practice. Let us all join hands together to encourage both approaches in the medical world.

By Harshitha R Hegde

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