In an ideal world, a natural pharmacy would not be necessary. Instead, we would rely on eating an optimal diet, consuming untainted water and air, exercising appropriately, and having unlimited time to address life challenges in creative ways. Since we do not live in an ideal world or have unlimited time, natural medicines provide an alternative that can augment the other interventions we offer. That is, supplements, botanicals, homeopathic remedies, and other products we offer do not take the place of appropriate diet, exercise, sleep, and lifestyle habits. But they can assist in more rapidly addressing a problem or provide a cost-effective way to engage in prevention practices.
Not all natural medicine clinics have a dispensary, in part because it is a substantial responsibility. There are four main reasons we decided to create one for our center. The first is for the convenience of our patients. The second is because it helps to underwrite various medical and wellness activities that we feel are important for the care of our patients, but for which we do not receive reimbursement. Thirdly, by limiting ourselves to a select number of high-quality supplements that we study intently (out of the thousands in the marketplace), we can provide more effective products to our patients. Finally, having a dispensary allows us a voice in the continuing campaign to improve the quality of natural products.