Did you know that you can replace some of the most prescribed drugs with natural alternatives? These alternatives are safe for most people, effective, backed by science, and can help ease chronic illness without side effects.
• For pain : Hydrocodone/Acetaminophen (Vicodin)
Doctors prescribe this drug to 131 million people every year for chronic pain.
Natural Alternative: Healing hands
Strategy: Pain medicine can make be addictive and damaging to the liver. Instead of popping pain pills, see a healing touch professional. “Drugs will never be the answer to solving pain because pills treat only the symptoms and not the underlying cause,” says Sungwon D. Yoo, D.C., M.S.A.O.M., L.Ac, a chiropractor and acupuncturist who uses traditional Chinese medicine in his private practice, Healing Point, in Fayetteville, N.Y. “Pain can be caused by an interference in our body’s nervous system, so manipulating the body’s main nervous system channel to the brain-the spine-can help remedy aches.”
Evidence: People with lower back pain felt a lot better and improvements in their pain by attending just two chiropractic treatment of healing touch, as per the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. (Editor’s note: if you have bone issues like degenerative disc disease, spinal or hip surgery, or any replacements of knees or shoulders most healing hands practitioners will not touch you, add pain relieving supplements to cut down on prescriptions as much as possible)
• For High Blood Pressure: Lisinopril (Zestril) or amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)
Doctors prescribe these to 144 million people every year for hypertension.
Natural Alternative: Alteration in diet
Strategy: Cut sugar consumption and eat more fresh healthy fruits and vegetables. Excess sugar increases blood sugar which in response increases blood pressure. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids that can dilate blood vessels thereby reducing blood pressure. “In my experience, the best approach is to use medications to bring your blood pressure under control initially, and then add natural therapies that can help you wean off your prescription,” says Dr. Teitelbaum.
Evidence: Eating more bananas, tomato juice, and coconut water is linked to lower blood pressure.
• For high cholesterol: Statins, such as simvastatin (Zocor) or atorvastatin (Lipitor)
Doctors prescribe these to 45 million people every year for cholesterol problems.
Natural Alternative: Change in diet
Strategy: Include oats, garlic, olive oil, and red wine in your diet. These ingredients will help reduce inflammation and have been shown to lower bad LDL cholesterol (caused in part by high cholesterol foods) and raise good HDL cholesterol naturally. Garlic contains the amino acid allicin which is released when you chew garlic. You can also eat a square of a dark chocolate 3-4 times a week, which works as well as statins to protect your heart.
Evidence: Per the Harvard School of Public Health, moderate consumption of red wine may reduce risk of heart disease by 40%. Red wine has also been proven to raise HDL, or good cholesterol, and thin blood to prevent artery-blocking clots from forming.
• For Acid Reflux: Omeprazole (Prilosec)
Doctors prescribe this to 53 million people every year for GERD, it’s also available OTC.
Natural Alternative: Herbal relief
Strategy: “When people take Prilosec, it blocks the protective hydrochloric acid (HCL) in their stomach, which can lead to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines and ultimately to mineral deficiencies by hindering their absorption,” says Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, author of Digestive Wellness. “It’s okay to take Prilosec in the short term, but you should try to find the underlying factors causing your indigestion or reflux rather than just covering them up with drugs.”
Doctors suggest trying an herbal fix like slippery-elm lozenges to see if it improves your symptoms before you start medications. Slippery elm covers the throat and stomach and has antioxidants that help get rid of inflammation in the intestines. It also boosts mucus production to protect your gastrointestinal tract from excess acid. Changes in your lifestyle and reduction of stress can make a big difference.
Evidence: This remedy has been linked to major improvements of acid reflux.
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