Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Herbal Substitutes for Common Pharmaceuticals

From: When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency by Matthew Stein

From a chapter titled When High-Tech Medicine Fails

(In the book, this is a chart with columns, but I can’t do that here. Please bear with the list instead. I have read of some of the uses for herbs, and others are new to me in their usage for a particular ailment. Just FYI.)

Herbal Substitutes for common pharmaceuticals

Ailment: Acne
Pharmaceutical: Retin-A, tetracycline
Herbal options: tea tree oil (external), calendula

Ailment: Allergies
Pharmaceutical: Synthetic antihistamines
Herbal options: Garlic, stinging nettles, Ginkgo bilboa

Ailment: Anxiety
Pharmaceutical: Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin
Herbal options: Hops, kava-kava, valerian

Ailment: Arithitic pain
Pharmaceutical: Tylenol and other NSAIDs
Herbal options: Cayenne (external), celery seed, ginger, tumeric

Ailment: Athlete's foot
Pharmaceutical: Griseofulvin
Herbal options: Tea tree oil, garlic, coffee grounds (all external)

Ailment: Boils
Pharmaceutical: Erythromycin
Herbal options: Tea tree oil, slippery elm (both external)

Ailment: Body odor
Pharmaceutical: common deoderants
Herbal options: coriander, sage

Ailment: BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia)
Pharmaceutical: Hytrin, Proscar
Herbal options: Saw palmetto, evening primrose, stinging nettle, pygeum africanum, Serona repens

Ailment: Bronchitis
Pharmaceutical: Atropine
Herbal options: Echinacea, garlic

Ailment: Bruises
Pharmaceutical: Analgesics
Herbal options: Arnica, St. John's wort, yarrow, plantain (all external)

Ailment: Burns
Pharmaceutical: Silvadene cream
Herbal options: Aloe vera gel (external), calendula

Ailment: Colds
Pharmaceutical: Decongestants
Herbal options: Echinacea, ginger, lemon balm, garlic

Ailment: Constipation
Pharmaceutical: Laxatives
Herbal options: Flaxseed, psyllium, cascara sagrada

Ailment: Cuts, Scrapes, Abscesses
Pharmaceutical: Topical antibiotics
Herbal options: Tea tree oil, calendula, plantain, garlic (all external)

Ailment: Depression (mild)
Pharmaceutical: Prozac, Elavil, Trazodone, Zoloft
Herbal options: St. John's wort

Ailment: Diarrhea
Pharmaceutical: Imodium, Lomotil
Herbal options: Bilberry, raspberry

Ailment: Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
Pharmaceutical: Naprosyn
Herbal options: Kava-kava, raspberry

Ailment: Earache
Pharmaceutical: Antibiotics
Herbal options: Echinacea, garlic, mullein

Ailment: Eczema (itchy rash)
Pharmaceutical: Corticosteroids
Herbal options: Chamomile

Ailment: Atopic eczema (allergy-related rash)
Pharmaceutical: corticosteroids, sedatives, antihistamines
Herbal options: Evening primrose

Ailment: Flu
Pharmaceutical: Tylenol
Herbal options: Echinacea, elderberry

Ailment: Gas
Pharmaceutical: Mylanta, Gaviscon, Simethicone
Herbal options: Dill, fennel, peppermint

Ailment: Gingivitis (gum inflammation)
Pharmaceutical: Peridex
Herbal options: Chamomile, echinacea, sage

Ailment: Halitosis (bad breath)
Pharmaceutical: Listerine
Herbal options: Cardamom, parsley, peppermint

Ailment: Hay fever
Pharmaceutical: Antihistamines, decongestants
Herbal options: stinging nettle

Ailment: Headache
Pharmaceutical: Aspirin, other NSAIDs
Herbal options: Peppermint (external), feverfew, willow bark

Ailment: Heartburn
Pharmaceutical: Pepto-Bismol, Tums
Herbal options: Angelica, chamomile, peppermint

Ailment: Hemorrhoids
Pharmaceutical: Tucks
Herbal options: Plantain, witch hazel, calendula (all external)

Ailment: Hepatitis
Pharmaceutical: Interferon
Herbal options: Dandelion, milk thistle, tumeric

Ailment: Herpes
Pharmaceutical: Acyclovir
Herbal options: Lemon balm

Ailment: High cholesterol
Pharmaceutical: Mevacor
Herbal options: Garlic

Ailment: Hives
Pharmaceutical: Benadryl
Herbal options: Stinging nettle

Ailment: Indigestion
Pharmaceutical: Antacids, Reglan
Herbal options: Chamomile, ginger, peppermint

Ailment: Insomnia
Pharmaceutical: Halcion, Ativan
Herbal options: Chamomile, hops, lemon balm, valerian, evening primrose, kava-kava

Ailment: Irregularity
Pharmaceutical: Metamucil
Herbal options: Flaxseed, plantain, senna psyllium

Ailment: Lower back pain
Pharmaceutical: Aspirin, analgesics
Herbal options: Cayenne (external), thyme

Ailment: Male pattern baldness
Pharmaceutical: Rogaine
Herbal options: Saw palmetto

Ailment: Migraine
Pharmaceutical: Cafergot, Sumatriptan, Verapamil
Herbal options: Feverfew

Ailment: Motion sickness
Pharmaceutical: Dramamine
Herbal options: Ginger

Ailment: Nail fungus
Pharmaceutical: Ketoconazole
Herbal options: Tea tree oil, garlic (both external)

Ailment: Night blindness
Pharmaceutical: Vitamin A
Herbal options: Bilberry

Ailment: PMS
Pharmaceutical: NSAIDs, diuretics, analgesics
Herbal options: Chaste tree, evening primrose

Ailment: Rhinitis (nasal inflammation)
Pharmaceutical: Cromolyn, Vancenase
Herbal options: Echinacea

Ailment: Shingles
Pharmaceutical: Acyclovir
Herbal options: Cayenne (external), lemon balm

Ailment: Sprain
Pharmaceutical: NSAIDs
Herbal options: Arnica, calendula

Ailment: Stress
Pharmaceutical: Diazepam
Herbal options: Kava-kava, valerian

Ailment: Tinnitus (ringing ears)
Pharmaceutical: Steroids
Herbal options: Ginkgo

Ailment: Toothache
Pharmaceutical: NSAIDs
Herbal options: Cloves, willow bark

Ailment: Urinary tract infection
Pharmaceutical: Sulfa drugs
Herbal options: Cranberry, stinging nettle

Ailment: Vaginitis
Pharmaceutical: Clindamycin, Flagyl
Herbal options: Garlic, goldenseal

*NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Source: adapted from "Nature's Medicine--The Green Pharmacy" by James A. Duke, Ph.D., Mother Earth News (December/January 2000), pp. 22-33).

I have Duke's The Green Pharmacy, which I'll be reviewing one of these days. He's a real expert on herbs, so this is probably a pretty good list. You'll have to do a bit of research on what to do with the herbs, i.e., tea or extract, how to apply if external, but now you have the list.

Onwards,

HM

7 comments:

HermitJim said...

Thanks so much for the list and for the recommended books. I need to read them, for sure!

Patricia said...

You're welcome, Hermit. Thanks,
HM

Chiot's Run said...

I use a few of these. I often drink night time tea when I can't sleep. I like to use comfrey for cuts/scrapes & burns. I also like using peppermint for sore muscles and headaches.

I haven't heard of a few of these, I'll have to check that book out and see if it will make a good library item. This is definitely somethings that more of us should learn, home treatment.

My parents always used, "Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook" as a medical reference when they lives in the jungles of South America. They used the information and taught it to most of the villagers as well.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I get spring or fall alergies I either take a spoonfull of local honey or eat local eggs. An egg a day or tsp. of honey usually sends my allergies on their way. Takes about a week to take effect but it works for me. Something good for a night time sleep aid is catnip tea......
Charli Gribble

Mindy said...

Great post HM! I just received my copy of Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs and Spices. Got a good deal at amazon (1/2 price). A lot to learn. I have a pretty good collection of healing/herbal books. Love your blog.
Mindy

Patricia said...

Chiot's: Yes, we should all learn more home treatments. IMHO, I think the American medical system won't be available to many of us, as it isn't to our household now. I've used peppermint for headaches and it works...

Charli: Yes, the local honey for allergies is a good one, and effective.

Mindy: thanks! Glad you got the Heinerman's, it's a really useful book.

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