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Updated on February 6, 2013
Hot Stone Therapy
Hot Stone Therapy

Alternative Remedies – Do they work for everyone?

Is anyone else like me in that they have certain health conditions that bring them down and feel that they will do almost anything to become well again?  I am not talking about conditions such as colds and flu, upset stomach or a broken toe; although these indeed do sometimes make one feel low and desperate to be healthy again.  Rather; I am talking about chronic conditions such as auto-immune and endocrine disorders like coeliac disease, thyroid conditions, diabetes and the like.

Cure All?
Cure All?


Here is a typical scenario.  I develop some health concern or condition and so I visit my General Practitioner.   After a short consultation I am prescribed one drug or another.  Although I do sometimes feel a little better I can honestly say that I never feel on top form.  So I turn to the Internet and do some research. 

Invariably I find some ‘revolutionary’ or ‘newly discovered’ herbal remedy or supplement; some ancient forgotten form of therapy or treatment.    I read everything I can until I am thoroughly convinced that this product will work.  I avidly digest the testimonials about how this person and that person’s lives have been transformed in a few short weeks, or even days.  I am utterly convinced that because so many people have written in such glowing terms that this is my salvation; my road to health and well-being.

I get out the good old credit card and make my payment (usually extortionate) and eagerly await the padded bag containing my panacea for all ills.  A few days later it arrives.  Again I read up on the Internet about the product just to make sure that there were as many glowing references as I first imagined.  This confirmed I take the dosage as instructed.   I wait to begin feeling better but it never happens – I get all the side effects that the Internet warns about but none of the positive benefits.


Catalogue of Disappointments

Here are a few of the disappointments I have had over the last couple of years.

Underactive Thyroid

· Black walnut,

· Bladderwrack,

· Calamus Root,

· Iceland moss,

· Oat straw,

· Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil,

· Saw Palmetto Berry,

· Traditional Chinese Medicine.

None of these worked for me; nor did prescribed Levothyroxine or Synthyroid as I believe it is called in the US. There is however, good news because I did finally find something which made me feel a whole lot better. The synthetic thyroid tablets left me feeling under the weather and extremely tired; I was also suffering from substantial hair loss. After much of the aforementioned research I discovered Armour ™ Thyroid tablets. Since then I haven’t looked back. I feel more awake than I have in years and my hair has thickened up no end. There is however a downside to all this. My GP now says that my thyroid levels are LOW! I guess this is because the synthetic stuff only replaces one component which the thyroid gland uses, whereas Armour ™ is natural thyroid extract (from pigs) and so has all the components the thyroid needs. Apparently in the UK only T4 levels are tested but it is lack of T3 which causes the tiredness and when the T3 is up the T4 goes down. I am not a doctor and do not have a medical background so I have no idea why this happens but no amount of trying to convince my doctor that I feel well will stop him trying to get me to go back on the synthetic drug. He will certainly not prescribe me Armour ™ so I have to pay for it to be sent from America. Normally in the UK the prescription is free for people with Hypothyroidism.

Update - June 2012. Well the Armour supplies ran out at the International pharmacy I was buying it from so I sourced some from Thailand. Big mistake! I must have got a bad (or fake) batch because a few weeks later I began exhibiting the signs and symptoms of Hypothyroidism again. My GP was very annoyed with me because I won't take Levothyroxine and in exasperation sent me to see an Endocrinologist. I considered this a result. I have now been prescribed Liothyronine which is an almost chemically identical compound to T3 (triiodothyronine) and I am happy to report I am doing well on this. Another plus is that it is free via an NHS prescription.

The Unusual Bitter Melon Fruit (and apples)
The Unusual Bitter Melon Fruit (and apples)
Cinnamon Sticks
Cinnamon Sticks

Type II Diabetes

· Apple Cider Vinegar,

· Bitter Melon Fruit,

· Cinnamon capsules,


· Fenugreek Capsules,

· GLA,

· Garcinia Cambogia,

· Garlic Capsules,

· Gotu kola,

· Green Tea,

· Niacin-bound Chromium,

· Stevia,

· Zinc.

I continue to use Stevia on a daily basis and take Cinnamon and Bitter Melon Fruit capsules all washed down with green tea but to no avail. I still need to take my prescription medicine – Meformin (also known as glucophage in US), with all its side effects, at the same level as always.

Garlic Bulbs
Garlic Bulbs

High Cholesterol

· Almonds,

· Garlic Capsules,

· Honey,

· Oats,

· Oat Bran,

· Plant sterols,

· Soya beans,

· Turmeric,

· Walnuts.

Honey of course is not to be recommended for Diabetics but I did give it a try! Oats also give me high blood sugar and Soya products are not good for Thyroid conditions. So back to the drawing board and continue with the prescribed Statins.


Now it certainly isn’t lack of enthusiasm that causes these things to fail.  I wonder if I am a truly resistant person…   I say this because I have also tried the Alternative Therapies listed here for general stress and malaise.

·         Hypnosis – it didn’t work!

·         Colour Therapy –it didn’t work!

·         Reflexology – It didn’t work!

·         Homeopathy – It didn’t work!

·         Reiki – Some success but short lived

·         Hopi Ear Candles – It didn’t work!

·         Tapping (EFT) – It didn’t work!

·         Binaural Beats – It didn’t work!

·         Brain Wave Entrainment – It didn’t work!

I don’t want to be negative or to put anyone off trying these things.  Please do; and who knows you may find some relief or even a cure for your ailments.  I just wonder if I am the only person who doesn’t seem to respond to them and often to conventional medicine too.  GOOD LUCK!



Do alternative remedies work for you?

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    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      Thanks for your thoughts Josh. The trouble with doing more than one thing at the same time as you suggest is that you aren't sure what it is that helped you...

    • profile image

      Josh 4 years ago

      These "alternative" medicines are the foundations for the meds prescribed by doctors.

      Their effectivness depends on the lifestyle of the person "trying" them. I believe that it is sometimes necessary to take a pill as prescribed, but with the use of alternative meds and a change in lifestyle (ie. Eating habits sleeping, workouys, stress levels ect.)

    • profile image

      Herbal Malc 8 years ago

      Hi Sue - it sounds as if you have been using a 'shotgun' approach, where if you try enough things, something might work. This is where a suitable practitioner can be worth seeing. I know they are expensive - and many of them will note work for you! But the principle of getting a firm diagnosis, then selecting products with a proven track record is good. I believe strongly in deciding yourself what to take - but getting help with both diagnosis and treatment from experts.Pricey, probably. Eg I went to USA from UK to get blood tests done - because these are so expensive in the UK.

    • Miranda_Laney profile image

      Miranda_Laney 8 years ago from Kansas

      Alternative medicine is getting a lot of attention these days and I've never had much luck with it either. I do like using peppermint if I have intestine upset and I take a multi-vitamin but that's it. Why people believe that alternative medicine is so healthy is beyond me. They aren't highly regulated and thus quality is not assured. I'm not a great believer in getting medication for every single ailment, but for truly serious ones, its necessary.

      I really appreciate this hub since most of the other ones are simply glowing reviews of alternative medicine and I've always been baffled as to why it never really worked for me. Thanks.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 8 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      I'm glad that you have found they work for you JumboRock.

    • profile image

      JumboRock 8 years ago

      YES THEY DO WORK!!!! I found lots of info on this site