My Natural Health Blog

How do Supplements and Traditional Plant Medicine differ?

 artemis plant medicine

Some products are comprised of extracts of plants, some are comprised of synthetic vitamins or minerals and others are food-based minerals etc. It can be confusing and overwhelming to choose the best product for you.

While all fall under the natural health banner there are some clear differences between Traditional Plant Medicine and Supplements, outlined in this simple table below:

Traditional Plant Medicine



Extensive historical use in many cultures.




New therapy. The idea was introduced during the industrial revolution to correct poor diets and nutritional deficiencies.



Can be singular plant extracts or a combination


Can be singular minerals, vitamins or in a complex.



Multiple formats; teas, tinctures, glycetracts and capsules.



Multiples formats: pills, capsules, powders, liquids


Supplies multiple active constituents that can help physiological function in a multitude of ways.


Corrects nutritional deficiencies (mineral and vitamin deficiencies).


Naturally occurring (from plants) helps to balance and strengthen effects on organs that help the body to function the best it can.


Can be synthetic or naturally occurring. Some are made with excipients or fillers and preservatives which can add an extra stress to the body.


When in a liquid form like a medicinal tea, imparts a high number of active constituents in an easily absorbable format


Can be harder for the digestive system to break down a tablet – especially if the person is under stress. Can take up to 3 hours to break down the tablet and do not absorb the full number of constituents. 


When someone is deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral a supplementation regime will allow them to correct this imbalance. Often nutritional supplementation's effect on the body is transient and will not have long lasting effects. For example, there are certain levels of Vitamin C that your body requires. Once that threshold has been reached, the body excretes any leftover.

Traditional plant medicine can have actual physiological effects on organ function and can help the body to adapt or adjust to a new situation, concern or ailment. This means it can actually help change how the body works in the future – which is amazing!

The important take home message is that both Traditional Plant Medicine and Supplementation work well together to support the body in reaching and maintaining optimal health.

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