Prescription drugs come with a wide range of side effects, but are natural remedies safe as an alternative?
With so many pharmaceutical drugs on the market – and more being released every day – many people are beginning to worry about the effects that taking all these drugs may be having on their bodies. Many prescription drugs come with a long list of negative side effects, and some estimates have found that as many as 130,000 Americans per year will die from properly prescribed prescription drugs – making prescription drugs the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. (tied with strokes)!
But what is the alternative? Are natural remedies any safer? While experiences with natural remedies vary from person to person, they are generally much lower risk than many prescription drugs when used correctly – and many are quite effective for a wide range of health issues. However, here are a few things to consider to ensure you are taking any necessary precautions when using natural remedies:
1.) Be aware of your allergies
People with allergies need to be more careful about what’s going into their bodies. Many natural remedies are plant-based, so if you are allergic to any fruits, vegetables, herbs or spices, make sure that the substances you’re using as natural remedies don’t contain any of these foods. If you are trying a new remedy for the first time and you think you may have an allergy, either go for allergy testing with a professional beforehand or use a very small amount to start with to see whether you react to it before taking a full dose.
2.) Use in moderation
Natural remedies are generally safe, but you should be careful with the quantity you consume. This applies to all foods you eat, so it’s not much different when it comes to natural herbs and other remedies you are using. For example, lemon water is hailed as a great remedy for spurring on weight loss and getting your metabolism working faster. However, too much of it can lead to excess acid in your stomach or esophagus, which can start to cause problems.
3.) Test external remedies before using
While many natural remedies are consumed as foods, there are also products that you can use externally on your skin, hair, and nails, for example. One such example is coconut oil, which can be used as a moisturizer, a sun protection product, and a deep conditioner for your hair. Unless you have allergies to any products or foods as mentioned above, most natural remedies are safe and suitable for your skin. You can always try it out first by doing a patch test – use a little bit of the product on a small area of your skin and wait a few hours. If your skin doesn’t have a negative reaction, you can assume that the product is safe to use again and on larger areas of your skin.
While everyone is different, and different people may react differently to different remedies, in general, natural remedies can be a safe alternative to a number of prescription drugs when used correctly. Before using, it is best to consult with a qualified naturopath or other medical professional with experience treating patients with natural remedies.