If you haven’t already heard, natural pharmaceutical counterparts are blowing prescription drugs out of the water! Did you know that over 50% of the drugs in clinical use today contain natural products (and their derivatives and analogs)? These natural products are synthesized from plant compounds and bring up the question of why individuals suffering from illnesses are simply not provided with a prescription to eat these foods instead of given a chemical concoction of chemical pills with a component of said plant compounds.
Over 4 billion prescriptions in the United States and Canada make up more than 80% of the world’s prescription opioids. Even worse, between 1997 and 2012 these prescription opioids have increased in dosage by almost 500%!
Drug overdose death rates in the US have more than tripled since 1990. In 2008, drug overdoses were the leading cause of death of more than 36,000 people, most of these caused by prescription drugs. Nearly 15,000 people die every year of overdoses involving prescription painkillers – but doctors continue to prescribe, leaving this problem largely unfixed.
It is hard for some individuals to believe that plants have the power to heal and cure. Usually it is the case that people want a quick fix so that they do not have to give up their poor lifestyle and dietary habits. It is up to us to take responsibility for our own bodies and heal underlying health problems properly instead of bandaging them up with bandaids that keep falling off (and with wounds that fail to heal).
Most of the drugs prescribed today are those for pain, high blood pressure, cholesterol reduction, antacids, antipsychotics, hypothyroidism, diabetes and antibiotics. If you knew that you could simply increase the consumption of the proper foods (with no side effects) in your diet to help heal your body naturally – would you? Make the commitment and get off prescription drugs for good! Ask your doctor or take responsibility for your own health and wellness and start to eat proper, while phasing out prescription medications that are quite possibly doing your body no good.
7 Natural Pharmaceutical Counterparts
1. Hydrocodone (Acetaminophen/Vicodin/Oxycontin)
Used for pain. Works as a narcotic & analgesic.
• Side effects/consequences: cardiac arrest, liver damage, bradycardia, coma, seizures, respiratory depression and death.
• Natural Alternatives: ginger, turmeric, berries, cherries, celery, cayenne pepper, dark leafy greens, nuts (especially walnuts)
2. Statins (Lipitor/Zocor/Crestor)
Used to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Works by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme critical to cholesterol production in the liver.
• Side effects/consequences: acute kidney failure, cancer, inflammation & muscle breakdown, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, death, interference with hormones.
• Natural Alternatives: Nuts, spinach, apples, turmeric, cranberries, tomatoes, green tea, alfalfa sprouts, bell peppers, garlic, fenugreek seeds, licorice root, hawthorn berry
3. Lisinopril (Prinivil/Zestril) and Norvasc (Amlodipine)
Used to reduce high blood pressure. Works by interfering with the metabolism of calcium.
• Side effects/consequences: impotence, cancer, depression, blood disorders, tachycardia, gum enlargement, liver inflammation, hepatitis, elevated blood glucose, harsh skin conditions.
• Natural Alternatives: citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple), high vitamin C vegetables (chili peppers, bell peppers, thyme, parsley, leafy greens, broccoli), magnesium rich foods (green leafy vegetables, cacao, brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, black walnuts), potassium rich foods (bananas, mushrooms, oranges, dates, sweet potatoes), coconut oil, and coconut water
4. Synthroid (levothyroxine sodium)
Used for hypothyroidism. Works by replacing thyroid hormone, and thus stops natural thyroid hormone production altogether.
• Side effects/consequences: reduction in bone mineral density (caused by long-term suppression of TSH), elevated blood glucose levels, coma, adrenal insufficiency, heart failure, interferes with proper metabolization of iodine.
• Natural Alternatives: seaweed, kelp, radish, bananas, parsley, cranberries, strawberries, and leafy greens rich in copper, iron, selenium and zinc (such as kale, collards and swiss chard)
*Exercise is essential to the healing of a malfunctioning thyroid – aim for 20-30 minutes a day!
5. Prilosec (omeprazole/generic versions of nexium)
Used as an antacid. Works by preventing the stomach from secreting gastric acid which also halts proper digestion of food in the small intestine.
• Side effects/consequences: ulcers, tachycardia, bradycardia, angina, palpitations, elevated blood pressure, pancreatic inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, liver failure, liver disease, muscle weakness, skin conditions, tinnitus, inflammation of the eyes, increased urination, anemia, blood cell disorders.
• Natural Alternatives: grapefruits, broccoli sprouts, raw honey (local is the best), marshmallow tea, glutamine, slippery elm, aloe vera juice, baking soda, probiotics
6. Azithromycin and Amoxicillin
Used as an antibiotic. Works by inhibiting the bacterium’s cell-wall-building mechanism so it can no longer replicate. These drugs also inhibit protein synthesis of the good bacteria needed by our bodies for proper immunity and digestion.
• Side effects/consequences: destruction of healthy bacterial populations (even if you have had just one round of antibiotics in your entire life), inflammation of the liver and colon, allergic reactions, obesity, antibiotic resistance in humans, and destruction of stomach lining and thus inflammation of the stomach.
• Natural Alternatives: vitamin D (sunlight preferably), garlic, coconut oil, turmeric, nuts, raw honey (local is best), green tea, paul D’Arco, burdock root, grapeseed extract, golden seal, and oregano oil
*Drinking plenty of water (4-6L) when you are sick is essential to flush the bacteria out of your system.
7. Glucophage (metformin)
Used as an oral anti-diabetic drug. Works by suppressing natural glucose production in the liver.
• Side effects/consequences: malabsorption of vitamin B12 (and thus B12 deficiency), bladder cancer, impaired liver and kidney functioning, lactic acidosis, increased homocysteine levels, heart failure, interferes with proper pancreatic functioning
• Natural Alternatives: black tea, green tea, vitamin D (especially in the form of sunlight), turmeric, nuts, chia seeds, green leafy vegetables, cinnamon, red grapes, broccoli, spinach, green beans, berries