We all know at least one “Pill Popper.” He pops pills like they are candy! There is at least one bottle of medication or other pills that is in his desk drawer. We all wonder how he makes it through one day without chemical help!

While these “pill popping” people take pills to the extreme, there is a touch of medication dependency among us all.  At one time or another, everyone has taken some pill or liquid to help you get through the day (or night) – especially when it comes to trying to avoid using sick days.

However, there doesn’t have to be chemical dependency for feeling better. Thankfully, there is a developing trend in recent years for taking natural treatments and alternative remedies to prevent or recover form illnesses. These home remedies can positively impact sick time and are far easier on the body. Because of their effectiveness, safety and growing popularity, they may soon be introduced into the workplace as a legitimate means of care.

Here’s what everyone should know about the growing health trend of natural remedies for treating sickness:

Medications Have Side-effects

Medications block or stimulate receptors on cells to treat symptoms of illness. This may seem all good, but by blocking (such as “anti-something”) what is natural, you are working against your body.

For example, an “antihistamine” is a chemical that blocks the receptor for the amino acid histamine. When histamine can’t connect to its receptor, it can’t initiate the allergic response. So, the symptoms go away within the immune system. However, histamine isn’t only known for allergies; in fact, it also acts as the wake-up neurotransmitter in the brain. Many people might recognize that when histamine is blocked, you just can’t wake up. Thus, the drowsy side-effect from taking Benadryl or other allergy medication. Histamine-blocking medication is just one example of working against your body. But receptors are found everywhere and are responsible for multiple functions in the body. All medications have side-effects, not just antihistamine or “blocking” (beta-blockers) medications, which inhibit normal body functions.

Home Remedies Work

Natural treatments treat illnesses using vitamins, minerals, and other substances normally found in nature. Some natural remedies include:

  • Foods
  • Plants
  • Herbs
  • Isolated nutrients

Because these nutrients provide the building blocks for normal system functions, they don’t create side-effects. They may not relieve symptoms with the immediacy of a medication, as it takes time for the natural remedy to build up to a level that allows the body to function normally, but the relief will be more complete and easier on the body overall.

Alternative Treatments Are Growing

Thankfully, the use of natural remedies is increasing in America. About 5 years ago, more than half of America’s population was seeking out natural treatments and remedies rather than patented medications. Today, more than half of all health care dollars are spent on natural, herbal, nutritional and homeopathic remedies.

The New Doctor’s Note 

Many patients come into my office after they have used natural treatments to treat an illness. They feel great, but in order to return to work they need an authorized doctor’s note. These notes exist because an employer is not allowed to dictate how an employee treats his illness; a physician fills this role instead. In my professional experience, those who use natural remedies may take a slightly longer time to return to work than their pill-popping counterparts, but it’s also been observed that they have fewer illnesses overall.

In the future, however, employers may need to be more accommodating of those who opt not to go to a doctor, but still need protection from potentially contagious illnesses.

The face of the workforce’s “sick day” is changing. Natural treatments for illnesses are gaining popularity over traditional medicine and drugs, which typically cause more harm than good. Natural remedies and alternative treatments can help cure illness and treat symptoms, sans questionable side-effects.

I would advise everyone – from the occasional OTC pain reliever user to the full-blown pill popper – to explore natural, homeopathic remedies and home-based remedies for traditional illnesses. These safe and natural treatments are in the body’s best interest and they can play a huge role in maintaining overall health, which means:

  • Less sick days
  • More energy
  • Greater wellness

That is something every company – and every employee – craves.

Does your employer allow extra sick days to treat yourself with natural remedies???


Dr. Scott Saunders is the Health and Nutrition Advisor of Barton Publishing, a company that promotes natural

health through teaching people how to cure themselves using alternative home remedies instead of expensive and harmful prescription drugs. He is also a contributor for Home Cures That Work, a site naturally treating illnesses, one disease a time.  Saunders is the director of The Integrative Medicine Center of Santa Barbara, which balances conventional medicine with alternative healing modalities to achieve optimal wellness.