Prednisone is one of the synthetic corticosteroids that is used to treat cancer, headaches, and a variety of inflammatory diseases. It is an immunosuppressant drug that often causes severe side effects that have prompted some to look for different treatments. Some alternatives include Chinese and other herbs, anti-inflammatory foods, and foods that help to naturally numb the pain. In order to choose the best prednisone alternatives, it is important to note what condition you are taking it for and then take the appropriate remedies that fight that particular condition.
In cases of cancer, the best alternatives for prednisone are foods that naturally contain cancer-fighting agents. These alternatives include antioxidant-rich foods, such as tomatoes, blueberries, and spinach. Lingzhi, ku shen, and gan cao are three Chinese herbs that can be formulated into an herbal preparations that is said to be an effective combination. Other herbs that can serve as an alternative include dong quai, aloe vera, and feverfew.
Migraines and other forms of headaches are often treated with prednisone to help ease the pain. Therefore, the best alternatives are remedies that help ease the pain in a similar manner. Chamomile and white willow bark tea, as well as essential oils obtained from lavender, peppermint, or rosemary, have been shown to be effective in easing pain. Other natural painkillers include hot and spicy foods, such as cayenne pepper and ginger. Supplements that contain amino acids, certain minerals, and B vitamins have also shown to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory foods can serve as a great prednisone alternative in cases of inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease. These foods include fish, nuts, seeds, and other foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Quercetin also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be found in onions, garlic, and many fruits. In addition to consuming plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, it is just as important to avoid saturated fats, sugar, and other processed foods that contribute to inflammation.
The side effects of prednisone can be severe, especially after a prolonged use of the corticosteroid drug. Short-term side effects include high blood sugar levels, insomnia, and mania. It suppresses the immune system, which in the long term increases the risk for infections and other immune disorders. Many other treatments can deliver some of the same benefits, however, without the same short- or long-term side effects, when taken in moderation.