4 Natural Supplements Are as Strong as Medicines

For millennia, societies around the world have relied on natural supplements to meet their health needs. Despite modern-day medical and technological advancements, the global market for natural supplements is on the rise.

Some natural supplements are strong as medicines. These supplements are not subject to the same scientific scrutiny. Therefore, the FDA does not regulate them as pharmaceutical products. For example, herbal supplement manufacturers need to follow excellent manufacturing practices to ensure that supplements meet quality requirements.

Here are 4 natural supplements that are strong as medicines.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a common spice renowned for the yellow color of curry. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a medicinal herb. Turmeric includes curcumin, which has been researched many times. Curcumin battles molecular level inflammation by blocking an inflammatory molecule called NF-kB (1, 2).

Some studies show that its effects are strong as anti-inflammatory medicines with no significant side effects. For instance, 500 mg of curcumin per day was more efficient than anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac in people with rheumatoid arthritis (3, 4).

There are also countless other health benefits of turmeric. It is a strong antioxidant that can enhance the health of your heart and can help avoid cancer. Curcumin may also help fight depression, according to one research. It proved to be as strong as some antidepressant medicines (5, 6).

Curcumin is not absorbed properly; however, it is best to use a supplement that includes the piperine, which has been shown to increase its absorption by 2,000 percent (7).

2. Garlic

Garlic is a common ingredient in kitchens but has also been used for thousands of years as a medicinal plant.  Garlic’s primary effects are because of one of its active ingredients, allicin, which is useful to heart health. Studies show that garlic can decrease complete cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol by an average of 10–15 percent (8, 9, 10).

Aged garlic extract can reduce blood pressure, a significant risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, renal illness, and premature death.  In one research in 210 individuals with high blood pressure, aged garlic extract effects were strong as some medicines (11, 13).

Garlic also seems to increase the function of the immune system and fight the common cold. It decreased the cold by 63 percent in one research and the length of cold symptoms by 70 percent (14).

3. Red Yeast Rice

Statin medications are one of the world’s most prescribed drugs. They inhibit cholesterol production in your liver, resulting in lower concentrations of blood cholesterol.  Interestingly, a fermented rice extract called red yeast rice can have comparable effects. It contains small quantities of monacolin K, the active ingredient in the Lovastatin statin drug (15).

Red yeast rice reduced cholesterol by an average of 34 mg, LDL (bad) cholesterol by 28 mg, and triglycerides by 35 mg, according to a review of 93 studies. It also improved HDL (good) cholesterol by 6 mg (16).

In addition, red yeast rice reduced the risk of subsequent heart attacks by 45% and the risk of dying during the study period by 33% in a study of 5,000 people in China who had experienced heart attacks (17).

However, depending on the brand, the quantity of the active ingredient in supplements may differ up to 100-fold.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that we should deem red yeast rice products containing this substance a drug rather than a supplement because of the potency of monacolin K (18, 19).

1. Berberine

They have obtained berberine from certain crops as a bioactive substance. It’s not well known, but it may be one of Earth’s most strong supplements.  It offers multiple health benefits but its effects are strong as some blood sugar reducing medicines.

They believe that these affects are because of various mechanisms. The study show berberine in specific to decrease the output of glucose in your liver and enhance the sensitivity of insulin.  Studies show that taking berberine can reduce blood sugar concentrations to the same extent as the common metformin medicine (21, 22).

Berberine decreased fasting blood sugar levels by 20 percent and HbA1c a marker for long-term blood sugar concentrations by 12 percent. In addition, berberine also improved other health indicators (23).

It reduces concentrations of triglyceride and blood pressure, and LDL (bad) cholesterol, which can decrease heart disease danger. The study shows that Berberine has antibacterial affects that may protect against cancer.  Use it with caution and consult with your doctor, if you are taking any other medicines (24, 25).

The Bottom Line

The supplements can never substitute a healthy lifestyle and excellent sleep. Keep in mind that these natural supplements are strong as medicines and should be consumed carefully. If you have a medical condition or are taking any medicines, consult with your doctor before you try any supplement.

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