We all know of the negative side effects which some prescription drugs can cause. Indeed, many of these drugs have official recommendations for use no longer than more three months at a time (particularly with anti-depressants and other mood-altering prescription medications). Yet what do we know about the alternative; herbal supplements, and should we be ditching one for the other?
In one word: No.
For many years herbal supplements have been looked upon by medical professionals and much of the population alike as 'silly' and as a waste of time. Yet in recent years the medical industry has been sitting up and taking notice of some of the clinical evidence given that many herbal supplements are having a positive effect on our health. This doesn't mean that Doctors and drugs companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Bayer should stop producing their medication made for prescriptions but rather that they should weigh up which will be more beneficial to the patient or to their medical condition.
There is no way of saying which is better out of herbal supplements and prescriptions drugs; each have their own merits and their own downfalls. Yet when it comes to deciding what to do about our own health there is something we can do. Try discussing your ideas about using herbal supplements with your GP. If they dismiss the idea but your condition is not severe then suggest you try out the supplement for a week and see what the effects are (for instance, using oatmeal scrubs twice daily for eczema instead of steroid creams which thin the skin). It's important to check out herbal remedies with a medical practitioner as there are some plants and extracts which can be dangerous to some patients.
Remember, what you do with your own body is your choice and when it comes to prescription drugs you don't always have to take them. It's a matter of common sense and if your condition isn't severe or life threatening then consider the side-effect-free, all natural herbal alternative before diving down to the chemist.
Lucia Halotova enjoys writing about health related topics and has written for a wide range of publications on topics such as fibromyalgia and depressions in recent years. She currently resides in New York City with her family and is a freelance writer.. Visit Herbal Supplements versus Prescription Drugs - Pros and Cons.