Polyethylene Glycol Natural Alternatives

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Many herbs can be used as an alternative to polyethylene glycol.
Many herbs can be used as an alternative to polyethylene glycol. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Polyethylene glycol is the most frequently used polymer in biomedical applications. It has been used for the past 20 years in drugs that treat cancer, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. It is also used in industrial manufacturing and many toothpastes, creams, deodorants and lubricants. Abundant alarmist and contradictory information is published on this compound, mostly by individuals in the field of alternative health. Alarmist reports exaggerate research and inconclusively point to danger. However, a careful analysis of recent research and studies done on polyethylene glycol indicates little support for these reported dangers.

The biggest danger of consumption of polyethylene glycol compounds is hypersensitivity and possible accumulation within the body. This is best averted by being conscious of the amount of PEG compounds you take into your body. Read all labels and integrate natural options whenever possible, like holistic approaches. However; polyethylene glycol is often grouped into a category of cancer-causing chemicals, generating unneeded worry and concern. Sometimes, the most effective solution is a chemical compound that has possible side effects. If you experience hypersensitivity, are allergic to PEG or have experienced side effects, a variety of alternative remedies are available.

Laxative Natural Alternatives

Used as a laxative, polyethylene glycol 3350 is known as PEG 3350 or MiraLax. Many natural alternatives relieve constipation including increased water consumption, increased fiber consumption, aloe, rhubarb, probiotics, magnesium and acupressure. A variety of teas also have proven medicinal affects on constipation including dandelion, goldenseal and milk thistle.

Skin Cream and Lubricant Natural Alternatives

The ancient Indian health system of Ayurveda has long advocated the use of oils to moisturize the skin and for lubrication. The philosophy of Ayurveda is grounded in its holistic approach to health. To keep skin moisturized, Ayurvedic practices include consuming organic milk, water, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits and dark leafy vegetables to hydrate your body from within. A daily oil massage is recommended to keep skin supple. Ayurvedic health practices are based in three categories of psycho-physiological principles called doshas. Understanding what dosha type you are can help you develop a customized skin care regimen.

Natural Polymers

Natural polymers are alternatives to synthetic polymers like polyethylene glycol. Natural polymers do not accumulate in the body. They include poly-saccharides, which are polymeric carbohydrate structures that act effectively as carriers for other elements in the body. Natural polymers such as heparin, dextran, and chitosan are already used in a wide range of drug-delivery systems.

Cancer Treatment

Many cancer treatments include polyethylene glycol. Recent research shows that polyethylene-glycol (PEG) 8000, taken as a dietary supplement, can suppress and prevent colon cancer. PEG compounds are also used in drugs that have successfully reduced tumors in patients with lung cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. There are no available alternative medicines for these drugs.

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