Katie Couric Show + Featured Article “Natural Alternatives to Prescription Drugs”

Yesterday, I had the honor of being the guest writer for the Katie Couric Show.  I was asked to participate in an episode with Dr. Sanjay Gupta where he and Katie discussed the overuse of prescription drugs.

I prepped for the show in the green room (as seen below) and was led to my reserved, front row seat just in time for the crowd pumping intro by comedian Harrison Greenbaum.  As the show began with an extraordinary story from “Brain on Fire” writer, Susannah Cahalan, I let my fingers do the talking on my laptop.  Hopefully you were able to see my live updates on Twitter and Facebook.

In addition to attending the taping, I was also asked to write an editorial, complementing the subject matter of the show.  I chose to write about Natural Alternatives to Prescription Drugs (see below to read in full), which is an important topic for all of us.  This editorial is now featured on the Katie Couric Show website.   Come check out the site and read my article.

Being part of the Katie Couric Show was a fantastic experience and I am happy to have been inducted as a member of Katie’s Crew.


Update:  Since the Katie Couric show ended and website no longer exists, please see the full article below.


It seems as though we live in a nation where, by and large, individuals prefer prescription drugs to their natural alternatives. As I learned from Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Katie, there are more fatalities as a result of prescription drug misuse than from car accidents. I think that’s reason enough to at least explore other possibilities.

Fortunately, many progressive medical practitioners are moving away from exclusive use of pharmaceuticals and are introducing natural options. Now, there is a time and a place for prescription drugs, so be sure to consult your physician before altering your prescription drug regime.

As a Certified Health Counselor, I have worked with many clients to address some common ailments with holistic-focused treatment.  Here are a few successful approaches:

Slippery Elm lozenges are a great option for those suffering from acid-reflux.   They coat the throat and stomach and are full of antioxidants that relieve intestinal inflammation. They also do so without the side effects of their pharmaceutical counterparts.

Prescription sleep aides come with a host of potential side effects such as: changes in behavior, hallucinations, and/or headaches. Instead, arm yourself with an arsenal of sleep-friendly foods. Before bed, try eating your choice of bananas, figs, turkey, milk, whole grain crackers, or yogurt. These foods are high in tryptophan, which promotes sleep. Wash it all down with a soothing cup of chamomile tea.  Also if you are so inclined try a little evening stress-relief yoga.  These methods will help relax your body into a peaceful slumber.

A good alternative to manage cholesterol levels is red yeast rice. It has long been utilized in China and Japan as a remedy for digestive ailments but in recent years, it has also been discovered to reduce overall blood cholesterol levels. Introducing healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids) found in salmon, walnuts and flax seeds can additionally strengthen your cardiovascular system. Even dark chocolate (yes, you read that right) has been proven to be heart healthy. A fantastic resource for ways to use food as medicine is, Food and Healing by Annemarie Colbin. It will change your relationship with food and empower you to eat for wellness.

On Katie, Dr. Gupta discussed pain medications and the dangers that can come from mixing them with alcohol and other prescriptions. In addition to their overuse, pain medications are also highly addictive. Obviously, no one wants to be in pain or see anyone in pain, but the tricky part about pain medication is that they only mask symptoms and do not treat the underlying root cause. Pain is our body’s way of communicating that something is not operating appropriately. Now I am not suggesting that you need to completely forego pain management, but there are alternatives. Today, many people turn to acupuncture, which has long been used in Eastern Medicine to manage pain symptoms.

So whether it’s herbs, vitamins, food, acupuncture or yoga, you can see there are many natural approaches to healing.  Now break off a piece of dark chocolate, brew a cup of chamomile tea, and smile knowing that you are in charge of your health.



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