Prescription drugs get more expensive with each passing year. Net spending on prescription medication rose from $250.7 billion in 2012 to $341 billion in 2016. That’s in the United States alone.
Prescription drugs aren’t optional for most people. This makes them a necessary expense. Considering that 7 out of 10 Americans over the age of 40 have used at least one prescription drug in the last 30 days, that’s more like a tax than a luxury.
Luckily, there are ways you can save money on your prescriptions. Several natural alternatives to some of the most popular prescription drugs on the market can save you money while still treating what ails you.
Here are a few natural alternatives that are both effective as well as cost-effective.
1. Chiropractic and Massage
Opioid abuse has been all over the news in recent years. Every day, over 2,500 youth between the age of 12 and 17 abuse prescription pain medicine for the first time.
In the United States alone, over 15 million people abuse prescription drugs. That’s more than cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogens combined. There are a lot of reasons to keep prescription painkillers out of your house.
Hydrocodone, otherwise known as Vicodin, is one of the most widely prescribed medications in the United States. Doctors write more than 131 million prescriptions for painkillers each year. Pain medication has its place but it can also be habit-forming.
Pain medication only treats symptoms and not the causes for conditions. That means if you’re suffering from chronic pain of the muscular or skeletal system, you might want to think about seeking out a chiropractor or licensed massage therapist.
2. Change Your Diet For High Cholesterol
Medications for high cholesterol are some of the most widely-prescribed medications by doctors, as well. Doctors write millions of prescriptions for statins, such as Zocor or Lipitor. There are over 45 million prescriptions written for Lipitor each year, alone.
Luckily, there are all kinds of natural alternatives to cholesterol medication out there. And they’re all things you can find at the supermarket.
Foods like oats, garlic, olive oil, and red wine reduce inflammation in the body. This has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, which is the kind you don’t want. It also raises HDL cholesterol, which is the kind you do want.
Garlic’s cholesterol-lowering properties are a result of an amino acid called allicin. Allicin protects the heart by not allowing cholesterol to stick to the artery walls.
Red wine prevents bad cholesterol by thinning the blood. This prevents clots that could clog your arteries from forming. Dark chocolate has a similar effect and is even thought to be 25x more effective for preventing heart disease than statins.
3. Supplements For Reducing High Blood Pressure
Over 144 million prescriptions for high blood pressure medication are written every year. Zestril and Norvasc are some of the most common.
Nutritional supplements can be highly effective in reducing high blood pressure, especially in conjunction with prescription medication. Be advised, you should consult with your doctor before weaning yourself off of any blood pressure medication.
Doctors recommend using prescription medication to bring your high blood pressure under control. Once it’s stabilized, you can use natural remedies to help maintain it.
500 mg of Potassium a day is effective at regulating blood pressure. This is equivalent to one banana, a cup of tomato juice or coconut water.
200 mg of Magnesium is also quite effective at keeping high blood pressure down.
If you’re suffering from particularly high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about adding 200 mg of Coenzyme Q10 to your daily health regime.
4. Check For Mineral Deficiencies For Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is incredibly common in women over 50. Over 10% of women older than 50 suffer from some form of hyperthyroidism. There are over 70 million prescriptions written for Synthroid each year, which is the most common prescription medication for hyperthyroidism.
Low thyroid problems are often caused by a lack of minerals in your system. These include iodine, iron, and selenium. Make sure to check with your doctor about taking mineral supplements before getting on thyroid medication. Often, these supplements make thyroid medication unnecessary.
5. Natural Solutions For Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is incredibly common. Millions of prescriptions are written for Prilosec each year, which is one of the most common prescription medications for acid reflux disease. Over 53.4 million prescriptions had been written for Prilosec as of 2010.
The problem with Prilosec is that it can cause the problems it’s supposed to cure. Prilosec blocks protective hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This can lead to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines.
This can lead to further mineral deficiencies, as the bacteria restricts the absorption of minerals. This means that Prilosec can be okay in the short term but you should look for other solutions for the long-term.
Natural solutions like slippery elm are effective in treating acid reflux. Slippery elm coats the throat and stomach. It also contains antioxidants which help to relieve inflammation in the intestines. Finally, it boosts mucus production which helps protect your gastrointestinal tract from excess acid.
Papaya is also very effective in treating acid reflux. Papayas contain papains, which are an enzyme that improves digestion and reduces heartburn.
These are just some of the natural alternatives to popular prescription medication. There are plenty of other ways you can save money on prescriptions.
As you can see from this list, there are all kinds of ways that natural and holistic health practices can be integrated within your existing health regime. Medicine is derived from nature, after all. It works particularly well when the two work together in tandem.
Want To Know More About Natural Alternatives For Prescription Medication?
Health and wellness are our greatest treasure. They are the cornerstone of everything that we do on this Earth. They make it possible for us to enjoy our lives to the fullest.
Now that you know more about natural alternatives for some of the prescription medication out there, browse the rest of our site for even more health inspiration and guidance!