With over $300 billion spent on medications each year, and sickening statistics around addictions and misuse of pharmaceuticals, it is good to remember that there are natural remedies for many of the ailments we face.  When a full 50% of adults took at least one prescription medication in the last month, we have to ask ourselves: is all this medicine making us better, or just making large corporations wealthy?

Let’s review the plant-based alternatives to medications for some common ailments.  [Note, we are not doctors, and none of this information should be taken as medical advice. If you have questions about a medication you are taking, please consult your doctor.]



Symptom Medication Plant Remedy Why It Works How to use
Muscle pain Aspirin, ibuprofen

CBD cream

CBD:THC cream

CBD and THC are analgesic and anti-inflammatory Rub on affected area liberally; works especially well when combined with elements like arnica, peppermint; Look for high concentration of CBD and THC.  For more severe pain use 1:3 or 1:4 CBD:THC ratio
High Cholesterol Statins Plant Sterols Plant Sterols line the intestine wall so that they block cholesterol from food being absorbed into the body Eat or drink foods enriched with plant sterols added before a meal; aim for at least 400mg plant sterols per serving
High blood pressure Lisinopril (Zestril) or amlodipine besylate (Norvasc)



Magnesium dilates blood vessels; potassium relaxes the walls of blood vessels

Eat magnesium and potassium rich foods: leafy greens, bananas

Magnesium 400mg/day

Potassium 4,700mg/day

Acid reflux Prilosec Slippery Elm Coats the stomach and throat to reduce irritation, antioxidants reduce inflammation in the intestine, boosts mucus production to coat the throat and intestine Found in capsule or powered form.  Do not take other supplements within 2 hours of taking slippery elm.  Since it coats the intestine, it can inhibit absorption of other nutrients.




CBD or low dose THC CBD and THC are known to reduce stress and promote a sense of calm

15-45mg daily by pill/capsule 

10-20 mg daily by tincture under the tongue




Rhodiola Rosea Rhodiola is an adaptogen which means it helps your body adapt to stress by regulating serotonin and dopamine 100/mg day in the morning





Ginkgo Biloba

Bacopa Monnieri

Ginkgo preserves the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain and enhances cerebral blood flow

Bacopa enhances nerve communication in the brain through growth of nerve endings

Experiment with a combination of plant medicines along with behavioral therapy, time in nature, and exercise.



CBN CBN is the cannabinoid in cannabis responsible for the sleepy effect 2.5mg of CBN has been shown to be equal to 5mg Diazepam; use before bed

Written by:

Shari Boyer and Sue Feldmeth

With input from scientific research journals

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