ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: NON-STEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS

These drugs, as the name suggests, are antiinflammatory drugs. They are a step up from aspirin, paracetamol and acetaminophen, and a step down from steroids. Inflammation is the body’s natural healing process and should only be suppressed as a last resort. Alternative and complementary medical treatment should be tried first before an anti-pain drug is … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: NITRATES

The most commonly used nitrate is glycerine trinitrate . This is a potent arterial dilator that has its most beneficial effect on the arteries supplying the heart muscle. It is commonly used in angina and, like any cardiac drug, should be used as instructed unless alternatives can be found. Like any drug that affects the … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: NIFEDIPINE

Nifedipine is a cardiac drug and if prescribed should be used, unless an alternative therapy proves successful and even then withdrawal should only be under a doctor’s supervision. Nifedipine had some bad press because it was causing suicide and a worsening of symptoms and cardiac failure in a larger than acceptable number of users. Other … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: NICOTINE PRODUCTS

Nicotine is a highly addictive compound found in all tobacco. It is conceivable that some cigarette companies might put extra nicotine into their brands to ‘hook’ users. The pharmaceutical industry has produced nicotine products in the form of patches and chewing gum in an attempt to remove the need for people to obtain nicotine from … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: NALOXONE

This drug is given to block the effects of opiates, principally in those who have overdosed on heroin, opium or morphine. An excess of these compounds can cause respiratory depression and they are therefore potentially fatal; naloxone plays its part in emergency medicine.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: MOUTHWASHES

Mouthwashes are principally antiseptic solutions. They kill bacteria but do not differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys. Our mouths are protected by a variety of useful bacteria that mouthwashes may kill off, leaving us open to unwanted bacterial effects. The loss of bacteria also encourages the growth of fungi and yeasts. Avoid … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: MORPHINE

Morphine is the most potent pain reliever. It is similar to the body’s own painkillers known as endorphins and enkephalins, and also similar in structure and efficacy to heroin. Morphine is profoundly addictive, not so much psychologically but certainly physiologically. This means that when its use is stopped the body will be much more sensitive … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: MALARIA DRUGS

More accurately termed antimalaria drugs, this group of chemicals is beneficial for travellers, although their use for longer than three months is generally not recommended. The drugs kill the malaria parasites at varying stages of their life-cycle, which includes time spent in the red blood cells and well as in the bloodstream. Treatment is by … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: LITHIUM

Lithium carbonate is a drug used specifically in psychiatry for people with psychotic or schizophrenic disorders. It is generally prescribed by psychiatrists initially and these specialists and Gps will monitor levels very accurately because too little will be ineffective and too much can be toxic, causing liver and bone marrow problems. It is a remarkably … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: LIGNOCAINE

This cocaine-like drug is used as a local anaesthetic either with or without adrenaline. Some people have sensitivity to lignocaine but most have no problems. It is broken down in the liver which allows the small amount that may be absorbed through its use as a local anaesthetic to be tolerable and acceptable. Provided that … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: LAXATIVES

Laxatives are principally of four kinds: Compounds that increase bulk Compounds that pull or keep water in the bowel Drugs that stimulate peristalsis of the large bowel Stool softeners As discussed in the section on constipation these drugs should be avoided if possible. If dietetics and a complementary medical practitioner cannot solve a problem of … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: LABOUR AND DELIVERY

One of the few things that doctors can do is remove pain. I am a great supporter of natural childbirth but, for the very small risk that drugs may carry, removing the pain of delivery is, in my opinion, a perfectly safe option to consider. Pain relief in the first part of labour needs to … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: INSULIN

Insulin is prescribed when investigations suggest that the pancreas is unlikely to be able to produce enough insulin and/or diet and antidiabetic drugs are not working. Most types of insulin are extracted from pigs, although newer types are obtained from humans. The latter are proving to be more effective but also have more side effects. … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: INFERTILITY DRUGS

Infertility drugs for both men and women are principally hormonal in character and stimulate the production of sperm in men and eggs in women. These drugs have considerable side effects and are only prescribed by specialists. Try alternative treatments before using these progressive drugs and if you do you use them use complementary therapy alongside … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: INDIGESTION DRUGS

Indigestion is a very broad term covering anything from a sensation of bloating and mild discomfort to severe acidic, burning pains felt in the epigastrium, the area just below the breast bone. The discomfort can travel up into the chest and throat and can be associated with diseases such as stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers, hiatus … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: IMPOTENCE DRUGS

There are no oral drugs that are legally prescribable to help the formation of erections. Certain combinations of drugs of abuse can be erection-enhancing but carry potential dangerous side effects. The drugs most commonly used are injected and work by constricting the venous blood vessels. This allows blood into the penis but not out, thereby … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: IMMUNOGLOBULINS

The body has a remarkable defence system. Part of its immunity is the production of specialized molecules called immunoglobulins that attach to invading or foreign matter within the bloodstream to form a larger molecule that is removed from the system by entrapment in lymph glands or envelopment by white blood cells specialized in recognizing immunoglobulin-antigen … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: HYDROGEN PEROXIDE

Used most commonly in a dilute topical solution against acne, this molecule containing two oxygen atoms is also found in intravenous techniques for increasing oxygen levels in the blood. The topical applications are safe provided that the solution is dilute enough, although they will only treat the symptoms and not any underlying cause of skin … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY DRUGS

These drugs are principally oral contraceptives and the pros and cons can be read about in the relevant sections . In principle, 50 per cent of ladies who embark upon HRT will not be using the medication within the first year. The side effects are pronounced and efficacy against the symptoms of menopause is limited. … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE DRUGS

Treating high blood pressure is discussed fully in the main text. Diuretics and beta-blockers are discussed elsewhere here and should be the first-line treatments from Gps and specialists. If complementary methods and these basic drugs do not work, people with high blood pressure will be introduced to calcium antagonists or ACE inhibitors. Calcium antagonists block … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: HEAD LICE PREPARATIONS

Head lice are a common and irritating infestation that are often amenable to complementary medical treatments. The topical drug preparations have been cited as causing illnesses, possibly cancer, although these compounds have been withdrawn from the market in the UK. If an alternative treatment schedule does not solve the problem swiftly then I think the … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: GOUT DRUGS

The drugs used to combat gout are divided into those for acute and those for chronic situations. Alternative treatments are often very effective in both, whilst the orthodox drugs are geared towards relieving the pain or cutting down the DRUGS causative uric acid crystals by artificial means, paying little attention to the underlying metabolic defect … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: GOLD

Gold is used as an antiarthritic drug prescribed by hospital specialists arid usually after other treatments have failed. It is a toxic drug that should only be considered by those whose quest for relief has failed through basic drugs and extensive alternative treatments.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: GLYCERYL TRINITRATE

This is used as a sublingual tablet, spray, oral tablet or transdermal patch. It is a cardiac drug that opens up the blood vessels which can instantly reduce the pain of angina. Like any cardiac drug it should only be used once advised by a medically qualified specialist and should only be stopped with that … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: GLYCERINE SUPPOSITORIES

Glycerine is a stool softener and is used by gently inserting a suppository into the rectum. There are no contraindications for this use provided that they are not needed too often. Persisting hard stool is generally a matter of hydration or poor diet and referral to a nutritionist would be recommended.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: FINASTERIDE

This drug interferes with testosterone metabolism and is an alternative to the more commonly used Alpha-blockers in the treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Recent studies have shown that it has reduced the risk of needing surgery by 55%, reduced urinary flow obstruction and reduced one of the main problems which is urinary retention. The study … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: EYE DROPS AND CREAMS

Optical applications are antibiotic, antifungal, steroidal or for reducing the pressure in the eye as in glaucoma. The first three groups can be referred to in the relevant sections and, in principle, avoided if such advice is supported by a medically qualified alternative practitioner. Eye drops to combat glaucoma must be taken, although they do … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: EPILEPSY DRUGS

Antiepileptics work by altering the sensitivity of the cells in the brain. This reduces their firing off an electrical impulse when instructed to do so, incorrecdy, by the area in the brain that is triggering the fits. Antiepileptic drugs have side effects, including drowsiness and reduced concentration, but need to be used for at least … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: EMOLLIENTS

Emollients are principally soothers, smoothers and hydrators of the skin and can be used in all conditions that cause scaling or dryness. Those that are unmedicated, such as aqueous cream, and those that are extracted from natural sources are beneficial and safe. They do not claim to be curative but are generally very soothing, especially … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: EARDROPS

Antiwax compounds melt the wax build-up in the ear and are perfectly safe to use. Anti-bacterial, antifungal and steroid drops can all be used with some confidence in their safety provided that the prescription has been given by your physician. Please review the relevant sections depending on the type of drug being used and always … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: DIURETICS

The kidney has several parts in its miraculously complex make-up. Different diuretics work in different ways but principally encourage the excretion of potassium, which causes water to leave the bloodstream and also causes the dehydrating effect of diuretics. There is no doubt that diuretics, along with antibiotics and steroids, have made a profound impact on … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: DIABETIC DRUGS

Diabetic drugs should only be taken under the guidance of a qualified doctor, and even then only after an original prescription by a hospital specialist. The two forms of diabetic drug either stimulate the cells in the pancreas, called the islets of Langerhans, to produce insulin or affect cells generally and encourage the membranes to … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE

This hormone, found in most cells in the body, is thought to be responsible for maintaining a cell’s ability to repair and maintaining its integrity. Its action is possibly by mediating the permeability of the cell wall to glucose. This hormone is now extracted and manufactured and is being touted as a potential elixir of … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: DECONGESTANTS

Congestion of the nasal passages and sinuses is generally a natural body response to the presence of irritants or infection. The swelling and mucus production is there to protect the body from invasion. Decongestants suppress this body healing response and should therefore only be used in extreme cases. If a patient, particularly a child, is … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: CYSTITIS PREPARATIONS

The orthodox practitioner will swiftly prescribe antibiotics for cystitis, very often without taking a urine sample to see if the bacteria are sensitive. This is leading to the production of resistant strains of bacteria, which is detrimental to the individual and society as a whole. Cystitis can be dealt with by altering the acidity of … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: COUGH MEDICINES

A cough is the body’s natural response to removing an object, excess mucus or infection from the lung. Cough medicines inhibit this process by desensitizing the nerves that recognize an irritant and, whilst soothing, will allow the cause of the problem to stay in the lungs. The general use of these suppressants should be curtailed … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: CARDIAC DRUGS

Cardiac drugs can only be prescribed by medical practitioners. In principle, if you are prescribed them, take them. They may have many side effects and may be unnecessary, but most often they are life-saving. Further discussion on the use of cardiac drugs should be undertaken with a medically qualified practitioner of complementary medicine or a … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: CALCIUM-ABSORBING DRUGS

There has recently been a surge of interest in drugs that maintain calcium levels in bones. These drugs are not always effective and need to be taken continuously if any effect is to be maintained. They are often prescribed together with hormone replacement therapy . Complementary measures should be tried before resorting to either of … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: BETA-BLOCKERS

Beta-blockers are so called because they block adrenaline beta-type receptors in certain cells around the body. These beta-receptors respond to adrenaline produced by the adrenal glands and nervous system in response to anxiety, shock and fear. Beta-blockers are commonly used in heart patients but are also used by people who have palpitations through anxiety or … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: BARBITURATES

These are rarely prescribed these days except for specific paediatric conditions. However, they are found in several European-manufactured painkillers and should be avoided at all costs. Barbiturates are highly effective as tranquillizers and as toxins to the system. There is no need to use them because far better and less dangerous drugs are available for … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ASTHMA DRUGS

Do not forget that asthma is a potentially lethal condition. Adjusting of asthma drugs is not recommended without medical supervision. There are no orthodox asthma medications that are curative. The pharmaceutical industry has preferred to research into medications that keep asthma at bay but are not curative. This is a perfectly acceptable situation for an … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ASPIRIN

Aspirin is being tested as an effective treatment against bowel cancer because a reduction in the incidence of these tumours has been noted in a group who had been taking aspirin for its anticoagulant and therefore antistroke aspects. We watch and wait for the outcome.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ANTIWORM AND ANTIPARASITE DRUGS

Threadworms and pinworms are very common amongst schoolchildren and spread through families very easily. They are generally not harmful although an excessive number can cause poor absorption and affect growth and development in children. These parasites lay their eggs at the anus and travel through the gut, usually overnight, to do so. This gives the … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ANTIVIRAL DRUGS

There are very few effective antiviral agents that can be taken by the humans. Killing a virus is not difficult, but the problem is the drugs will kill humans equally efficiently. Acyclovir is the most commonly used antiviral agent against herpes and shingles. This is, without doubt, an effective drug but probably kills many other … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ANTIPYRETICS

As a general rule fever is considered by holistic practitioners to be a friend. Most bacteria and viruses do not fare well at higher temperatures whilst the body, although it may not feel too comfortable, can generally survive fevers up to around 103°F . The best-known antipyretics are aspirin and paracetamol . Their mode of … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ANTI-PARKINSON’S DRUGS

Parkinson’s disease is created by a lack of a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the central nervous system. Treatment is by replacing this with a compound called levodopa, which when given in the right quantities is a safe drug to take. Another drug called dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor prevents natural dopamine from being broken down. The two in … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ANTIHISTAMINES

When the body is irritated or invaded by a foreign substance, special cells release histamine. This chemical causes the arteries in the area to open up allowing more blood to travel to the damaged part and thereby allowing the white blood cells, vitamins, minerals and other necessary factors for healing to reach the area quickly. … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ANTIFUNGAL AGENTS

The body is coated internally and externally with fungi. It sounds awful but, like the bacteria in the body, they are essential to our well-being. They prevent foreign fungi, which may be very toxic to our system, from gaining a foothold by what is called competitive inhibition. Fungi thrive on sugars and other nutrients and … Read more

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: ANTIEMETICS

If the body is feeling sick it is generally an indication that the individual has taken something in that it needs to throw out, or it is busily processing a toxin and does not need anything else going in to detract from that biochemical process. Once the cause has been established, it is better to … Read more