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Child Psychiatrist /Adult Psychiatrist

What are Alternative Medical Treatments?

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

It's no secret that alternative medical treatment is not so alternative anymore. Due to various side effects, natural ways of living it is estimated that approximately 40% of Americans are opting to try to use or augment their medical or mental health medications. Each year approximately $20 billion per year on these choices.

a mortar and pestle with herbs and essential oils

Traditional medicine, can have its limitations, as there has been epidemic of inappropriate dispensing leading to epidemics like the opioid crisis or overuse of "benzos". Stricter regulations should have been enforced by the FDA at the time clinicians would careless prescribe such medications though it was out of their scope of practice.

A lot of research is not dedicated to alternative medicine, as it is hard to patent a substance that grows from the ground, compared to prescription medications that can be patented for 10 years, priced at 30-40x times the cost of a generic medication. One question that comes to mind - how does someone without insurance or limited coverage able to pay for medication that is only name brand name. As example of such is the medication, Latuda is an expensive drug. The out-of-pocket cash price for a 30-day supply of 40 mg tablets is $1,776. That’s nearly $60 per pill, but 40 mg is on the lower end of Latuda dosages.

There is a epidemic growth of popularity of herbs for mind to treat conditions, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, memory deficits. "He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time in the great inventor" - Sir Francis Bacon. One factor that contributes to this shift in use of remedies, is ongoing issues with side effects of newly involving psychotrophic medications, despite millions, if not billions of dollars in research.

Now the hard part is the internet is flood with various products that claim certain properties. I will discuss some simple well studied remedies. I will also include the supplement(s) that I would recommend based on high potency (not related to side effects) but maximum effect, but also maximum absorption and bioavailability. I think that it is important to be selective when purchasing items as a local grocery store, as it is unclear if your body is properly processing the ingredients labeled on the bottle. I have exclusive researched and created a list of supplements, which I think will be beneficial, which I recommend for my patients as well.

In writing this article, I wanted to provide a disclaimer that this is only a suggestion that I am providing, as this is not a medication, it is your choice to try to supplement. I would highly recommend you do additional research to see if this is the right fit, however alternative medical treatment tend to have minimal side effects, if any at all. Regardless, if you don't feel that you are having a positive experience I would highly recommend discontinuing it. In this article and other article, I will provide an in-depth description of each herbal remedy and even discuss areas that I would be concerned about, before attempting to start the supplement. You can find more details about many herbal remedies in the book I would highly recommend. Herbal supplement(s) can be benign, however no one can truly know how it interacts with your body leading to potential allergic reaction, though a low probability.

What is interesting is ask the average herbal shopper what is the actual remedy that is found in the product, often you are looked at with a blank stare, unless well read in the fundamental of herbal science. The irony of medicine in general is it has been a series of trial and errors, to this day. One interesting example, as an observation in the 1800's form a Viennese physician who was austerized to the point of having an emotional breakdown when he pointed out that women were dying during child birth because their doctors were not washing their hands. Now, it seems like a no-brainer that germs cause infection spread through unhygiene practices. Unfortunately, excessive handwashing based on this preoccupation with germs can be seen with OCD.

It is important to recognize that every human being wants relief and wants to feel good and have a quality life. Depression hurts, stress kills, anxiety is unnerving, and insomnia is dangerous and unnerving, therefore it is not a mysterious that everyone is trying to find a solution that is in alignment with their values. Medication and/or therapy is not for everyone, however it should be an option to consider in the right situation. It is important to be open minded and feel free to discuss potential treatment options with your doctor, as herbal remedies can be helpful, but really dependent on your response. Check out this book that such the benefit of herbs, nutrients, and yoga in mental health care.


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