Spit That Out!

The Overly Informed Parent's Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt by Paige Wolf

Blogging about green guilt, eco-anxiety, and finding practical, reasonable ways to keep our families safe and healthy.
August 21st, 2012

Can a Pill Popper Still Be Green? Balancing Modern Meds with Eco Ideals

With all my talk about chemicals, a couple readers have asked me how I feel about prescription medications. What does “Ms. Natural” think about kids taking Adarol, moms taking Zoloft, and Tylenol for teething?

One might expect me to be anti-vaccine and using homeopathic methods for all that ails me. But I must admit – I have no problem with using a bit of modern science where medication comes in. What I rally against are what I believe are unneccesary chemicals – food coloring in Nyquil and and caramel color in baby vitamins. But personally, I believe traditional medication is a wonderful thing – I can’t be mad at the modern science which has allowed us to live longer, cured polio, and took fear of fatality away from the common cold.

I recently found that a change in exercise significantly lowered my cholesterol and blood sugar. I do believe that Americans are over-medicated and doctors tend to prescribe medications rather than getting to the roots of problems. However, diet and exercise and general healthy living unfortunately can’t entirely resolve some health issues.

Apple cider vinegar and eating early doesn’t ease my heartburn so I take Prevacid. Neti pots help my sinuses somewhat but I still require a daily dose of Claritin D. I rely on integrative medicine. Acupuncture and green tea are two of my best friends, but I still sleep with Nyquil from time to time.

I am much more particular with my child, who mostly gets homeopathic meds unless he really needs something stronger. Interestingly, it is less the active ingredients in many of these over-the-counter medications that concern me as much as the unnecessary preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.

I know that many of my green blogging friends are entirely “au natural,” and are lucky enough to feel well without the aid of conventional medications. However, they readily admit that they aren’t sure what they’d do in a situation where medication was really necessary, like cancer.

How do you balance green ideals with a splitting migraine? Does your family use conventional medicine or are you entirely holistic?

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)



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  • Lynn

    Great points raised here. More than anything, I think we do ourselves harm with all or nothing thinking or by simply doing the easiest thing without thinking. Questioning and learning, then making the best choices we can based on the information we have, where we are in our lives, etc. is the approach that works for most people. I think when it comes to medications, most people think they’re fine and don’t give the aspects you mention a second thought. So that’s where raising awareness about potential problems is so important. It’s all about making those choices. Thanks for a good reminder.

  • Michelle Wolfson

    I could have written this post word for word! All the crap they put in kids vitamins- their vitamins for Pete’s sake- drives me batty!

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