Almost half of the entire US population (48.7%) has used at least one of the most common prescription drugs in the past 30 days (1). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 10% of the population has used 5 or more of these drugs in the last month -that’s quite a lot.
Statistics show that “between 2013 and 2015, the average annual drug spending for patients who stay in community hospitals increased by 23.4%, from $5.2 million to $6.5 million. And on a per admission basis, hospital spending on drugs jumped nearly 39%, to $990 (2).” When your health is at risk and you don’t have a lot to spend, these numbers aren’t comforting.
Drugs can undoubtedly save lives, but sometimes prescription medications can mean treating or masking symptoms, without fixing the root cause of the health issue.
“There are natural therapies available that are much safer, often more effective, and cost much less,” says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of the book Real Cause, Real Cure. “Of course, you should never start, change, or stop taking medications without first talking to your doctor.”
Big Pharma Keeping You Drugged
The medical community trains us to believe that prescription medications are not only necessary, but safe. Your doctor will probably tell you that although the drug you’re going to take comes with side effects, the benefits of these toxic medications far outweigh the negative.
The problem here, though, is that we’re blindly taking these medications without ever questioning what might be causing the issues. That is, what is the root cause, and how can I fix it? Medications are more often than not, a bandaid for something that’s brewing underneath. These fixed mindsets have also been passed onto our children.
A recent survey showed that over half of all teens believe that prescription drugs are much safer than illegal street drugs. An amazing 60-70% even say that home medicine cabinets are their source of drugs (3).
However, what we’re not being told is how much money Big Pharma is making behind the scenes – that is, billions of dollars are made every year at the expense of our health. Every medication you are prescribed for an illness comes with a slew of side effects that eventually result in more illnesses, for which your doctor will prescribe more medications. This becomes an endless circle of sickness most people are stuck in today.
Top 7 Most Common Prescription Drugs
For every prescription medication, there are a number of natural alternatives.
Whenever possible, it is best to try and heal your body the way nature intended – that is, without prescription medications. Proper nutrition is the foundation of health. Therefore, eating properly and exercising regularly are the only ways to assure you stay strong and healthy.
1. Ritalin, Cylert, Dexedrine and Adderall
Prescribed For: Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
These are the most commonly prescribed drugs for children, and are one of the most highly abused and misused medications. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) says that only 5% of kids actually suffer from ADD/ADHD, even though over 15% of kids are diagnosed with the condition (4).
Side Effects: These drugs can cause some severe side effects, like “zombie-like” behaviour and drooling. The FDA has even warned that these drugs can caused worsening of depression or suicidal thoughts.
Other side effects include (5):
– Abdominal Pain
– Alopecia (loss of hair)
– Angina (chest pain)
– Appetite loss
– Anxiety / Nervousness
– Blood pressure and pulse changes
– Cardiac arrhythmia
– Diaphoresis (sweating)
– Psychosis and psychiatric disorders
– Stunted growth
– With children aged 5-10 years old, 1 OPC 165 (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins) per day (contains Pine bark extract, 75 mg., grape seed extract, 75 mg., and quercetin, 15mg), 500 mg of Essential Fatty Acids. 20 mg of Zinc.
– For children aged 11-15 years old, 1 OPC 165 2x daily. 1000 mg of Essential Fatty Acids. 40 mg of Zinc.
– Over 15 years old: 1 OPC 165 2x daily. 1200 mg of Essential Fatty Acids. 50-75 mg of Zinc (6).
2. Prednisone or Cortisone
Prescribed For: Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma, allergies and other conditions where the body is in an inflammatory state.
Side Effects: These drugs can cause high blood pressure, increase the risk of infections and osteoporosis, suppress adrenal gland hormone production, cause cataracts and “moon face” (swollen face), as well as thin the skin (easy bruising and slower wound healing).
Natural Alternatives: Turmeric is one of the best natural alternatives for dealing with conditions that are based around an excessive level of inflammation in the body. Studies show that it can treat inflammation caused by arthritis, swelling, pain, allergic skin reactions, eczema, and other conditions normally treated by steroids (7).
3. Coumadin or Warfarin
Prescribed For: Blood clots (an anticoagulant that prevents the formation and migration of blood clots).
Side effects include (8):
– Haemorrhage (bleeding)
– Bleeding from the gums after brushing the teeth
– Swelling or pain at an injection site
– Black or bloody stool
– Severe headaches or stomach pain
– Joint pain, discomfort or swelling (especially after injury)
– Vomiting of blood
– Easily bruised
– Dizziness or weakness
– Diarrhea, vomiting, or inability to eat for more than 24 hours
– Heavier than normal menstrual bleeding or bleeding between menstrual periods
– Vitamin C – 1,000 mg daily (coats red blood cell walls and prevents them from breaking and bleeding).
– Vitamin E – 400 IU daily (coats red blood cells and binds collagen in blood vessels to prevent bleeding and strokes).
– Turmeric, bromelain and garlic are also great blood thinners, and strengthen blood vessel walls (9).
4. Cholesterol Lowering Drugs (Lipitor, Lescol, Crestor, Zocor, etc.)
Prescribed For: Lowering cholesterol.
Some of these drugs work by absorbing bile acids that are produced from cholesterol in the intestinal tract, while others work by reducing the production of cholesterol in your liver and altering the way LDL cholesterol enters your cells.
– Myositis – inflammation of the muscles.
– Rhabdomyolysis – a rare condition where the muscles all over the body become painful and weak. This can result in severely damaged muscles that release proteins into your blood and collect in your kidneys (thereby weakening the kidneys, and eventually leading to kidney failure).
Natural Alternatives: whole foods like oats, soaked and sprouted nuts, seeds and beans, spinach and avocados. Supplements like Chinese red yeast rice, green tea, niacin, artichoke leaf extract, soluble fibre and policonsanol (made from Cuban sugarcane wax) can also help (10).
5. Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lovan and Luvox
Prescribed For: Depression – they alter the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain and thereby alter your mood and behaviour.
Side Effects (11):
– Worsens depression and suicidal symptoms in some individuals
– Increased appetite and weight gain
– Loss of sex drive
– Fatigue and drowsiness
– Dry mouth
– Blurred vision
– Turmeric (curcumin) and cashews have both been found to be as effective as Prozac (500 mg standardized curcumin extract twice daily and a handful of cashews (12))
– Saffron extracts have also been proven to be just as effective as Prozac (15 mg morning and evening (13))
– St. John’s Wort – (450 mg 2x daily)
– Tryptophan (1,000 mg per day best taken before bedtime as it also aids in sleep)
– Vitamin B6 (50-100 mg of B6 with tryptophan)
6. Beta Blockers and Calcium Channel Blockers
Prescribed For: Hypertension.
Side Effects (14):
– Shortness of breath
– Cold extremities
– Congestive heart failure
– Low blood pressure
– Slower heart rate
– Swelling of feet, ankles and legs
– Increased appetite
– Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
– Tenderness or bleeding of the gums
– Sexual dysfunction
– Reduce process sodium intake as well as alcohol consumption
– Exercise regularly
– Eat a whole-food, plant-based diet
– Hawthorn has natural calcium-channel-blocker properties and can help to lower mild to moderate hypertension (150-300 mg per day of hawthorn extract (standardized to contain 3-5% flavonoid content) are recommended (15))
7. Cold/Flu and Pain Medications (aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and decongestants)
Prescribed For: Cold or flu symptoms such as fever, aches, pains and congestion.
Side Effects: Since over-the-counter (OTC) seem harmless, people tend to over-abuse them. This leads to severe repercussions such as liver failure and stomach ulcers (yes, these drugs literally make your stomach bleed) (16). OTC medications also suppress your immune system’s response to whatever virus you may be fighting, resulting in increased healing time (and greater discomfort).
– Herbal Teas like echinacea and goldenseal are incredibly anti-viral and antibacterial and can get rid of cold and flu symptoms faster than OTC drugs
– Supplements like ginseng, vitamin D, manuka honey, black elderberry, lemon, garlic, ginger, and white willow all promote a hasty recovery and ease inflammation for pain and fever