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Medicines and Supplements – Know the difference

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medicines and supplements

Medicines and Supplements have become part of our daily routine. Ayurveda medicine and preparations were being used in our country for centuries. A parallel system of home remedies also exist. We also have formal medicine systems like allopathy and homeopathy. Supplements or dietary supplements are also in existence in our food routine. Our forefathers led a simple life closer to nature. It provided them with nourishment and nutrients as per season. But as we are drawn more towards technology we need to supplement our diet.

Medicines and Supplements – a definition

Medicines and Supplements are different. A medicine is a drug or a preparation to treat a disease. It is technically known as the process of diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. It includes research and other wide range of medical practices both formal and traditional. Today it also includes, surgery and sophisticated tools and machines which aid healing. Study and practice of medicine is an art of skill and knowledge.

A Supplement or dietary supplement as the name suggest, is a substance which we take to supplement our diet. It can be in the form of a pill or liquid or even powder form. Another obvious point is that a dietary supplement can be added to a medicine to bring out a desired result on the body or to aid treatment.

The crucial differences

Our diet in a modern lifestyle lacks a lot of nutrients. We never have the classic text book wholesome meal or balanced diet. It is difficult to cook and time is always short. Restaurant food and pre packed snacks complete the viscous circle. Meal timings are also the notorious evil. Lack of nutrients like vitamins and minerals mean that slowly it will harm your vital organs. Damaged skin, bad and unmanageable hair loss, tiredness are just the initial signs. If you are facing health issues, it is time to have an appointment with your dietitian and plan for supplements.

Because the supplement comes in the form of a pill, it is common to mistaken it for a medicine. And the thumb rule taught to us is, we should not take medicines regularly. A medicine is taken to take care of an existing condition. While a supplement is a pill which is meant to be taken regularly.


A dietary supplement when taken under proper supervision will ensure a healthy body and active mind. It will regulate your body weight and give you the right amount of energy to keep going for the day. It will also reduce your dependency on gym time and equipment to keep your fit and trim. For the fast paced world of today, a supplement is need of the hour.

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