Pharmacy
Many are discovering that natural substances work just as well if not better than prescription drugs. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

We’re a medicated nation. American doctors write more than 4 billion prescriptions for drugs every year to the tune of about $320 billion.

Almost 70 percent of us take at least one drug regularly, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, the majority of Americans aged 60 and older take two or more prescription drugs, and 37 percent used at least five.

A study published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience found that in 2011, antidepressants were the most prescribed class of drugs. The No. 1 selling brand-name prescription overall was the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor.

In addition to being costly, many drugs come with a wide range of serious, even possibly lethal, side effects. But there are natural substances that rigorously conducted scientific studies have shown work as well as pharmaceuticals for common ailments, including depression and high blood cholesterol, with few or no side effects.

Check out these products that are available on store shelves:

  • Red yeast rice. The Chinese have used red yeast rice for years to lower cholesterol. Made from fermenting a variety of yeast called Monascus purpuresus over red rice, it has the same chemical composition as the prescription drug lovastatin, according to the University of Maryland. A 2008 study compared people who took fish oil and red yeast rice with those who took simvastatin (Zocor), and cholesterol levels were reduced in both groups. Numerous studies have shown that using red yeast rice results in a reduction of cholesterol — up to 34 percent — over placebo.
  • St. John’s wort. The ancient Greeks used the herb St. John's wort to treat a variety of medical conditions, including depression, and today it’s one of the most commonly used supplements in the United States. The Cochrane Collaboration, which reviewed the effectiveness of health treatments, studied the results of 29 trials that compared St. John’s wort to prescription antidepressants. They found that the herb treated mild-to-moderate depression as effectively as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which include Prozac, Celexa, and Zoloft. In addition, St. John’s wort doesn’t appear to depress sex drive, a common side effect of prescription antidepressants.
  • Ginkgo biloba. One of the oldest trees on Earth — it goes back more than 200 million years —Ginkgo biloba was used in Chinese medicine as early as 2800 B.C. The supplement, which uses the herb's leaves, boosts mental functioning by increasing blood circulation to the brain. Gingko is sold in Europe as an approved drug in both over-the-counter and prescription versions. “A couple of meta-analyses and systematic reviews show that ginkgo biloba is helpful for dementia in about the same range as drugs being pushed very heavily to treat Alzheimer's,” Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, told WebMD. Fugh-Berman is an associate professor in the complementary and alternative medicine master’s program of the department of physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine.
  • Curcumin. A study at Baylor University found that curcumin, the main compound in the spice turmeric, worked as well as the popular antidepressant Prozac. Study participants were divided into three groups: one took 500 milligrams of curcumin twice a day; the second took a standard dose of Prozac, and the third group took a combination of both. After six weeks, curcumin relieved symptoms of depression as effectively as Prozac. “It was a surprise to us to see that curcumin actually worked as good as the antidepressant,” said researcher Ajay Goel, M.D. “So this is amazing news.”
  • SAMe. S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is a naturally occurring compound in the body, and many well-designed scientific studies have shown that SAMe supplements ease the pain of osteoarthritis. Several studies found it was just as effective as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, to relieve the pain and swelling of joints. At the end of a two-month period, a randomized trial found that a daily dose of 1,200 mg of SAMe was as effective as Celebrex, a COX-2 inhibitor, in relieving pain. In addition, studies have shown that SAMe relieves depression. A meta-analysis of studies found that it was as effective as standard prescription tricyclic antidepressants, such as Elavil, in reducing the symptoms of depression.

For the original article, visit newsmaxhealth.com.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Did you enjoy this health article? Click here to receive new health articles by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Foot washing

    Shaking the Gates of Hell With a Basin of Water and a Towel

    "When I saw His foot, I knew He had come to take back territory the enemy had stolen from His ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit