What Should Be in Your Natural Medicine Cabinet? Pain. It’s tough to get a handle on it. What do most people do at the first onset of discomfort? They reach for what the doctor prescribed. It could be anything from Ambien for sleep, Zocor for high cholesterol or Vicodin for sports injuries. When safer alternatives are readily available, why encumber your body with prescription medications weighed down by potential side effects?

Instead, fill your medicine cabinet and your life with a handful of go-to alternatives that heal from within, instead of masking the pain with prescription medications.

Chiropractic care may not literally fit inside your new alternative medicine cabinet, but rest assured chiropractic adjustments have been shown in studies to improve pain, decreasing it without damaging your liver that drugs like hydrocodone or acetaminophen can do. Chiropractic treatments are designed to manipulate the spine to release unnatural subluxations that interfere with the functioning of a healthy nervous system and, therefore, overall health.

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of Real Cause, Real Cure, says enjoying a square of dark chocolate a few times a week is “25 times as effective as taking statins” to prevent heart disease. A bar of dark chocolate will fit right into your medicine cabinet—but we know it won’t last for long. You’ll have to replenish this natural remedy every week, at least! (We recommend a second medicine cabinet for the dark chocolate alone.)

Osteoarthritis pain can be improved with curcumin, which is a chemical found in turmeric. Curcumin works by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes, reducing joint pain and swelling, according to the Arthritis Foundation. You can find curcumin capsules in vitamin shops and health food aisles.

What Should Be in Your Natural Medicine Cabinet?

Coconut water and bananas to counter high blood pressure? No, we haven’t gone bananas. Natural therapies like foods rich in potassium and magnesium can help you wean off your high blood pressure prescription medications, according to Dr. Teitelbaum.

Vitamin B6 supplements are important for nerve functioning, experts conclude. If carpal tunnel syndrome is a hindrance, then get your doctor’s approval to start a vitamin B6 regimen. This vitamin supplement has been shown to improve pain relief. As with any supplement, there are studies that find a connection with B vitamins for pain relief and those that conclude it is as ineffective as a placebo.

Natural medicines do not always come in neat little capsules that sit snugly on your cabinet shelving. So if you’re averse to popping pills, herbs and supplements can be found in various forms, from soothing teas to powders to luxurious oils and syrups. Plus, including an assortment of additional health regimens, like exercise, acupuncture, relaxation and art therapy will complement your natural medicine routine for better daily health.

Please be sure to talk to your physician before going off any prescription medications.