Welcome to Part 3 of my article series “Dangers of FDA-Approved Drugs.” This article provides information on alternative remedies that are proven effective for treating common health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heartburn and others. This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor or professional health care provider. It is best to always consult with the prescribing physician before one stops taking any medications.
Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
Celery, garlic, pineapple, papaya, all potassium-rich and magnesium-rich foods, onions, and orange juice are all known to naturally lower blood pressure. Vitamin C, which works together with lysine and bioflavonoids, is an extremely important regulator of blood pressure. A deficiency of choline is known to cause high blood pressure, so taking a lecithin supplement may be also beneficial. The herbs garlic, cayenne and hawthorn may also be beneficial. For lowering high blood pressure, it is also important to drink only distilled water (not tap or spring water), eat a high fiber diet, and, most importantly, avoid refined (table) salt, which is found in nearly all processed and fast foods, as well as diet soft drinks, canned vegetables, sugar substitutes, Accent seasoning, and some medications (including a leading brand of ibuprofen). All food items containing MSG (monosodium glutamate) should be avoided. MSG is often hidden on food labels, listed as autolyzed yeast, calcium caseinate, gelatin, hydrolyzed protein, sodium caseinate, yeast extract, glutamic acid, textured protein, carrageenan, vegetable gum, seasonings, spices, flavorings, natural flavorings, chicken (beef/pork) flavoring, smoke flavoring, bouillon, broth, stock, barley malt, malt extract, malt flavoring, whey protein or soy protein. Other important factors for lowering high blood pressure include losing weight (if overweight), getting regular light to moderate exercise, getting sufficient sleep, avoiding all animal fats except occasional broiled white fish, skinless turkey or chicken. (Obtain more protein from quality vegetable sources instead, such as soybeans, legumes, nuts, rice and beans, etc.)
Alternatives to Allergy Medication
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine. Vitamin C is also water-soluble, so it must be taken every few hours to to keep a readily available supply in the body. For allergies, the recommended intake amount of vitamin C is 1,000 to 2,000 mg. every three hours. For more natural allergy remedies, read my article titled “Natural Allergy Relief.”
According to James F. Balch, M.D., author of “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” heartburn, or indigestion, may be prevented by not drinking liquids with meals, not eating while upset, chewing food thoroughly and taking an enzyme supplement. Heartburn may also be prevented by avoiding fatty foods, sugar, candy, alcohol, nicotine, citrus foods, caffeine, very hot foods, pickles and drugs. It is recommended that one doesn’t eat right before bedtime, and if nighttime indigestion is a problem, raise the head of the bed slightly so acids will not regurgitate as readily. Also try taking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in half a glass of water with meals. Take calcium-magnesium supplements or hydrochloric acid (if deficient). Another remedy is raw potato juice, which can be acquired by simply grating and juicing a fresh raw potato, diluting it with 2 to 3 parts warm water, and drinking it first thing in the morning, then before lunch, and again before bedtime. For heartburn relief, some find relief by taking activated charcoal or baking soda and water. Others report relief in minutes by eating a banana, raw oat flakes, a stalk or two of celery, or by taking the herbs ginger, sarsaparilla or thyme.
Melatonin, St. John’s wort, magnesium and the amino acids L-tyrosine and L-tryptophan (in pumpkin seeds) are known to have natural anti-depressant effects. A natural soy protein supplement provides amino acids and other nutrients and may correct hormonal imbalance, which may cause depression in some cases. Lithium, which can be found in some trace mineral formulas, may help to stabilize mood. Chromium picolinate helps stabilize blood sugar levels and may help mood problems caused by low blood sugar. Regular exercise, spending time outdoors, sunshine, counseling, negative ion generators, lifestyle changes, and finding new interests or hobbies may also provide some help.
Ulcer Relief Naturally
The most common treatment for excess stomach acid and ulcers is a drug known as a “histamine receptor antagonist,” which blocks the action of histamine on cell sites in the stomach, thereby reducing the amount of acid. Although effective, this type of drug treatment reduces the digestive power of the stomach and can cause complications, such as nausea, diarrhea, liver damage, hair loss, osteoporosis, depression, insomnia, impotence and breast enlargement in males. Natural remedies that have helped many suffering from ulcers include licorice root, aloe vera juice, unripe bananas, marshmallow root, slippery elm and raw cabbage juice. Drinking two glasses of clean water when stomach pain occurs and one glass of water half an hour before meals helps to protect the mucous lining of the stomach.
Sleep Better Naturally
Many factors can affect a person’s ability to get quality rest, including caffeine consumption, poor nutrition, eating too close to bedtime, too much stimulation in the evening hours (computer use, TV, video games), stress and worry. Sleep aid drugs are not the right solution! Melatonin is a natural hormone that promotes sleep. Melatonin levels can be disrupted by too much light in the bedroom, aging, staying up too late on a regular basis, and as a side effect of some medications. Melatonin supplements are very inexpensive and just 1 to 3 milligrams taken before bedtime has helped many people sleep better.
Alternatives to Cholesterol Medication
For information on maintaining healthy cholesterol levels naturally, please check out my article “Cholesterol Ratio and Health”.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC and James F. Balch, M.D.; 2000
Nature’s Remedies; Vijay Fadia; 1999
Anti-Aging Manual: The Encyclopedia of Natural Health, 3rd ed.; Joseph B. Marion; 2005
High Blood Pressure Lowered Naturally; Frank W. Cawood; 1995
The 24-Hour Pharmacist; Suzey Cohen, R. Ph.; 2008