Bridging Traditional and Natural Medicine - Can prescription drugs and natural remedies be safely used together?
by N J Howell
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Is it either / or when it comes to natural medicines and prescription drugs? Must a person choose between utilizing the gifts of nature and the drugs of science? It's a tough question. Even though most prescription drugs have their origins in plant medicines, there is a world of difference between the two .... so big a difference that many wonder if the two approaches to wellness can ever work together.
Natural plant medicines is just that .... naturally in balance. The finest chemist in the world cannot create a plant and no laboratory can ever hope to match the delicate synergy of a whole-plant preparation. On the other hand, prescription drugs often alleviate symptoms and pain much more quickly than herbs. Also, in cases of medical crisis, herbs and other natural remedies may not have time to work.
Both prescription drugs and alternative health care remedies have their place in the world of wellness but can these two worlds ever meet? Can a person safely use natural remedies and prescription drugs?
Question on alternative health care / spiritual healing: I take a lot of herbs and vitamins and I often use homeopathics but I have been concerned as to whether or not to suggest them for my mom, who is on a lot of medicines for her heart. Would it be safe?
Healing facilitation response: I used to try to suggest natural alternatives for my family, for heartburn, gas, insomnia, etc. but I have just about stopped now because there are just too many interactions possible with drugs. Homeopathics are the safest bet if I can get folks to try them in spite of not understanding how something so dilute as to have no active ingredient can still work.
Liquid nutritionals are a form of concentrated nutrition, or food. Other foods are known to interact with interact with prescription drugs as well (grapefruit is a big one). Unless you are a pharmacist, you can't know if an herb or other natural formula would cause a reaction or not. Something as simple as a few doses of concentrated pomegranate juice could affect folks prone to kidney stones, for example.
The main reason it's difficult to suggest natural supplements alongside prescription drugs is that the natural supplements perform the same function as the drugs and can do it a bit too well or too quickly. The best option is to find a doctor willing to wean you off the drugs as the natural supplements begin to normalize the situation. This requires more monitoring than many of today's doctors want to give and also, some risk for the doctor. Malpractice fears are one reason I believe doctors are so hesitant to attempt integrating adjunctive therapies, nutritionals, homeopathics and other natural supplements despite the good that could come of such a partnership with nature, for the patient.
There are herbs that have quite a relationship of result with heart problems. The two I know most about are cayenne and hawthorn. I have utilized both herbs at vulnerable times in my life, because heart disease is prevelant in my genetic blood line on both sides.
I also credit a natural supplement with saving my life. I took a product called Argenix at a time when I was very concerned about my heart and the result was incredible. Yet, this product has a therapeutic dose of L-Arginine (can trigger herpes and shingles) so I can't say side effects would not happen. I did a series on the product and my experience with Argenix on my blog. Actually, I talked more about the company's newer product, called Cardiococktail but to this day, I prefer the original, the Argenix. This product is in an MLM structure, which I don't like, but it works so I am talking about it. I'm not selling it. However, I'm not in the same position as someone with a diagnosed heart problem who is on a lot of prescription drugs already so I can't possibly say whether these herbs, safe as they are for most people and despite the long history of use and success, would be ok for your mom. If your mom is open to a natural approach, you could find a qualified nutritionist, homeopath or naturopath to ask about her medications but even then, you just have to be on the safe side and ask her doctor before adding anything new.
Part Two: Is self-treatment for you? - This may be of particular interest to those who are taking Nexium, Protonix or Prilosec.
Health Care Disclaimer: If you are currently taking prescription drugs, it is vital that you discuss the addition of any health supplements with your doctor, to rule out interactions or interference with the drugs you are taking. The information contained in any alternative health care / spiritual healing article or material on this site is not intended to take the place of personal medical advice from your health care professional.