Going Beyond The Pill

With the rise in prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) options, there’s a common misconception that pharmaceutical drugs are the best choice for treating various health issues. More and more individuals are turning to pills to improve health, but is there another way? There are many circumstances where medication is vital for life-saving treatment. However, natural remedies are another path worth exploring. Pharmacists can help with this holistic approach to health.


Saying no to medication

Natural remedies are non-pharmaceutical practices, herbs, foods, and techniques that help address medical issues. Many of these options have been used in different cultures throughout history. Some people would prefer to avoid medication or pharmaceuticals due to personal choice, religion, or the risk of severe side effects. The most common natural remedies are dietary choices, body manipulation, exercise, and stress management. Natural compounds like mushrooms, turmeric, ginger, echinacea, and ginseng can all help with treatment due to anti-inflammatory or antioxidant properties.

How your pharmacist can help

Trusted pharmacists are more than medication providers in white coats. People working in this profession are experts in health and wellness, spending years learning about the body. Many natural and alternative options contain compounds that are active ingredients in some useful medicines. Some natural remedies even mimic certain drugs. For instance, studies show the supplement berberine can mimic the effects of medication used for type 2 diabetes. Pharmacists can also recommend combining natural remedies with complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, and stress management.

Navigating medication alternatives with your pharmacist

A simple discussion with a pharmacist can lead to a medication review to determine if medicines or supplements are necessary. Upon consultation with the doctor, a pharmacist can suggest natural alternatives, helping the patient to avoid side effects. Some pharmacists can help with compounding, the process of creating custom medication. The pharmacist can create a natural herbal supplement to help with pain, energy, allergies, and other ailments.

Potential concerns and precautions

While effective, natural alternatives are not for every individual, particularly in the short term. Natural remedies can help people in good health who are committed to seeing gradual improvement over time. Individuals using natural options should also look for drug or food interactions, especially if prescription medication is involved. Natural remedies aren’t an alternative for severe or immediate medical concerns, which can often benefit from prescription medication. After recovery or control of symptoms, some natural alternatives can be explored.

Work together for better health

Pharmacists desire to help patients manage health and wellness. The goal is to prescribe safe and effective medication. However, many pharmacists encourage and even recommend natural alternatives. Herbs, supplements, and other effective lifestyle options can help improve health. Don’t hesitate to explore a collaborative, holistic approach to healthcare.


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