We're a medicated nation. American doctors write more than 4 billion prescriptions for drugs every year to the tune of about $320 billion. Almost 70 percent of us take at least one drug regularly, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, the majority of Americans aged 60 and older take two or more prescription drugs, and 37 percent used at least five.
A study published in the journal ACS Chemical Neuroscience found that in 2011, antidepressants were the most prescribed class of drugs. The No. 1 selling brand-name prescription overall was the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor.
In addition to being costly, many drugs come with a wide range of serious, even possibly lethal, side effects. But there are natural substances that rigorously conducted scientific studies have shown work as well as pharmaceuticals for common ailments, including depression and high blood cholesterol, with few or no side effects.
Check out these products that are available on store shelves: