Natural Alternatives To Common Prescription Meds Without the Terrible Side Effects
With more than $300 billion spent on prescription medications in the United States in the last year alone, many are wondering whether these drugs are prescribed too often and if there are natural alternatives. While these drugs do save lives, in many cases simple lifestyle and diet changes can make a tremendous difference. In addition, a number of natural alternatives can improve health without any unwanted side effects.
What Are Natural Alternatives?
Natural alternatives can take many forms. Typically, natural alternatives to prescription medications include various herbs, whole foods, and other homeopathic remedies. Natural alternatives also can include alternative therapies, such as CBD, acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic care, and more.
Why Use Natural Alternatives: Benefits of Staying Natural
One of the main problems with traditional medications is they often only mask the symptoms, without addressing or treating the root cause. By using natural alternatives, you can work to actually cure your body and avoid the negative side effects that can result from prescription drugs.
With adverse reactions, overdoses, and even deaths more than doubling in the past few years due to medications, many people are seeking natural alternatives. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, the author of the book Real Cause, Real Cure, says “There are natural therapies available that are much safer, often more effective, and cost much less.”
Common Symptoms & Clinically Proven Natural Alternatives
Compiled below are five common symptoms and several clinically proven natural alternatives used to treat them.
Anti-anxiety medications are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs, with more than 280 million prescriptions written each year. Research has shown that these often dangerous medications are largely over-prescribed. In fact, research published in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found about 25 percent of people prescribed these anti-anxiety medications were not properly diagnosed.
Studies have shown that people who use anti-anxiety medications are roughly 40 percent more likely to die prematurely than people who do not use them. While anti-anxiety medications are appropriate in some situations, they largely are over-prescribed and, in most cases, a number of natural alternatives can help while the underlying cause of the anxiety is being discovered.
One of the most effective natural alternatives for anxiety is eating a diet rich in whole foods, and limiting processed and sugary foods as well as caffeine and alcohol. Numerous studies have shown an unhealthy diet can directly impact your mood and behavior. Unhealthy diets are linked to increased likelihood of anxiety symptoms, including, irritability, fatigue, and increased blood sugar levels.
Another popular natural alternative for anxiety symptoms is essential oil therapy. Essential oils, such as lavender and Roman chamomile, have been shown to greatly reduce anxiety symptoms, including nervousness, headaches, and pain. They work due to their relaxation-promoting and mild sedative properties.
Sleep medications, such as Ambien, are another popular and over-prescribed class of drugs. While they certainly do the trick, they can create dependence and people often are unable to fall asleep without them after regular use. In addition, many sleep medications are linked to adverse side effects, including depression, amnesia, daytime drowsiness, dizziness, and headaches.
Perhaps the most popular, and arguably most effective, natural alternative for sleep medications is melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone synthesized in the brain’s pineal gland, which regulates the body’s sleep patterns. Many studies have shown melatonin is very effective in treating insomnia. In fact, melatonin is the most studied natural remedy for insomnia. Plus, unlike traditional sleep medications, melatonin is not addictive or habit-forming.
In the last year alone, more than 131 million prescriptions were written for pain-related symptoms. One of the biggest risks associated with pain medications is they often are incredibly addictive and easily abused. Thankfully, there are several natural alternatives to these harmful drugs.
One of the best natural alternatives for pain is cannabidiol or CBD. CBD works with several systems in the body, primarily a widespread regulatory system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is comprised of a multitude of receptors located all throughout the body. CBD primarily works with two receptors: CB1 and CB2.
CBD works to stimulate the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids to activate these receptors, which allows its numerous medicinal properties to be activated. Among CBD’s multitude of health benefits are significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, both of which can help reduce pain-related symptoms.
CBD also can be used to help treat many of the other symptoms listed here, including anxiety, insomnia, and inflammation.
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Chronic inflammation is among the leading causes of a number of diseases, including arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, and fibromyalgia. Typically, people resort to a variety of NSAIDS to combat inflammation. However, over time NSAIDS can significantly deteriorate the lining of the stomach, as well as cause problems for the liver and kidneys. In addition, research has found that NSAIDS also can block the body’s injury repair process.
Instead, turn to a natural alternative, such as curcumin. Studies have shown that curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and effectively blocks the body’s most powerful inflammatory chemical: Nf-kappa beta. In addition, it blocks other enzymes affected by inflammation.
5. High blood pressure
Roughly 144 million prescriptions are written for high blood pressure medications each year. While the underlying cause of high blood pressure is unknown, a number of factors can play a role in the development and management of the condition. Factors including stress and poor lifestyle habits are thought to play a huge role in high blood pressure.
Thankfully, a number of natural alternatives can help maintain proper blood pressure levels. One popular supplement used to treat high blood pressure is rose hips. Rose hips can act as a natural diuretic, which can help rid the body of excess fluids and salt, a common contributing factor to high blood pressure.
In addition, rose hips contain bioflavonoids, which help protect blood vessels, have large amounts of vitamin C, and support healthy nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide is helpful in promoting relaxation in the blood vessels. Studies have shown rose hips are able to reduce blood pressure significantly. Plus, rose hips have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and help reduce arthritis symptoms as well.
While traditional medications sometimes are needed, in many cases natural alternatives are more appropriate and useful in treating the underlying cause. In addition, natural alternatives typically are void of adverse side effects and do not have the same habit-forming qualities found in many prescription drugs.
Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor or health professional before changing or replacing your prescription medications with any of the aforementioned natural alternatives. However, it’s also important to acknowledge that many doctors lean toward traditional medications rather than natural alternatives. If your doctor tends to recommend traditional medications over natural alternatives, consider talking with a homeopathic and/or holistic health professional to figure out what’s best for your body.