Beyond the Pharmacy: The Search for Natural Medicines

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Western medicine has become synonymous with offering people a synthetic chemical mixture for any problem that ails them, but ever increasingly patients and physicians alike are recognizing the benefits that more natural remedies offer. Used in both preventative and curative manners, natural remedies are often showing themselves to be scientifically sound alternatives to running to the pharmacy.

For Disease Prevention

The antioxidants found in many plants have made them superstars in the world of better health and disease prevention. Blueberries, walnuts, and green tea have been linked to preventing a variety of potentially debilitating diseases.

Because the amount of food and drink people would need to consume in order to reap the benefits is sometimes extremely high, people often use nutritional supplements to increase the likelihood they are getting adequate amounts of the desired nutrients. Fish oil and green tea supplements are two of the most popular and recommended natural supplements.

For Helping to Minimize Health Problems

Health problems once believed to require complex pharmaceuticals are now being shown to be, at least to some degree, be improved by using natural alternatives. For example, evidence is increasingly piling up to demonstrate that individuals who regularly consume coffee are less likely to get some forms of diabetes, less likely to get some forms of dementia and more. The news on coffee drinking is sufficiently compelling that some people are supplementing with the extract from green coffee beans which have high levels of an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid.

For Quality of Life

Some problems that may not be life threatening still send people to the medicine cabinet for relief. But, some natural alternatives are proving to be successful helping with these problems as well. For instance, rather than relying on prescription sleep aids like Ambien, insomniacs are able to treat their sleep problems with valerian root capsules or certain teas.

Proceed with Care

Health care practitioners do caution patients that simply because something is natural does not mean that it can be taken with reckless abandon. The effects of many natural supplements can be quite potent. Additionally, some may have adverse interactions with other medications or supplements. For these reasons, it is always important for patients to consult with their physicians prior to taking any supplements.

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