6 Natural Alternatives To Diamox

Natural Alternative To Diamox

Whether an avid climber or a vacationer, you may be seeking a natural alternative to Diamox as altitude sickness poses a significant challenge when visiting high-altitude regions. As a Colorado based company with years of experience, we'll share with you the top six natural alternatives to Diamox and other top tips.


Diamox, also known as Acetazolamide, is a prescription medication for various usages including altitude sickness being one of the more common ones.

Acetazolamide (Diamox) works for altitude sickness by stimulating ventilation and increasing oxygenation in the body. The CDC notes that acetazolamide can also minimize sleep apnea (periodic breathing) that is common in high altitudes and can worsen altitude sickness.

The downside is there are many potential side effect risks including liver injury, lowering red blood cell count, irregular heartbeat, allergic reactions, and kidney stones to name a few. For these reasons people may seek out a natural alternative to Diamox.

Natural Alternative To Diamox

While Diamox is effective, some individuals prefer natural remedies due to personal preferences or potential side effects.

A natural alternative to Diamox is not a drug, but can provide support for you body during high altitude trips. (Natural alternatives can't cure, prevent, treat or mitigate any disease.)

Keep reading to find five natural alternatives to Diamox based on the research available.

Why Not Take Diamox?

The main reason some opt to not take Diamox is due to the side effect risks.

The upside of taking Diamox is very promising, to help altitude sickness. Although with the downside risks, some look to a natural alternative to Diamox. Some side effects can be minor, however can actually be similar to symptoms of altitude sickness including headache and fatigue.

Diamox potential side effects (according to Cleveland Clinic):

  • ringing of the ears
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • increased thirst
  • kidney stones
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle cramps
  • allergic reactions
  • nausea or vomiting
  • tingling numbness in the hands or feet
  • trouble breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • low red blood cell counts
  • headache
  • unusually weak or tired
  • liver injury

These conclude the potential side effects, but not to be taken as advice or recommendation. You should consult a doctor or medical professional.

What Can I Use Instead Of Acetazolamide?

While there is no replacement for a drug or medicine, there's plenty of natural alternatives to acetazolamide (Diamox) that can support the body in high altitudes.

Read more about the top six remedies below — which include CBD, tea, essential oils, supplemental oxygen, coca leaves, and antioxidants.

These natural alternatives to acetazolamide won't cure, treat, prevent, or mitigate symptoms or diseases — rather can fuel the body with nutrients that are helpful in high elevation conditions.

6 Natural Alternatives To Diamox

For mountain climbers, vacationers, and skiers — a natural alternative to Diamox is commonly sought out.

With years of high-altitude experience as a company based in Colorado, we'll share with you various natural remedies that are science-backed including including CBD, tea, essential oils, supplemental oxygen, coca leaves, and antioxidants.

6 Natural Alternatives To Diamox:

1. CBD

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant that has cherished for its health benefits.

Research has shown some results in CBD that might help in high-altitudes. A study in Canada showed CBD to help nausea.³ Other research showed CBD to help with headaches.⁴

2. Tea

Certain types of tea, such as ginger tea and black tea, are known for their soothing properties that even can help with high elevations.

Black tea particularly has a study on Mt Everest mountain climbers showing a positive on hydration, mood, and fatigue.⁵

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils for altitude sickness have been a remedy of choice for some high-altitude travelers.

One of the more popular essential oils is peppermint. One study shows it helping tension headaches,⁶ while another shows its ability to support respiratory rate and performance in exercise.⁷

4. Supplemental Oxygen

While canned oxygen has become more popular, the research we find for altitude sickness is mainly based on using oxygen tanks.

The University of Pennsylvania showed at noteworthy effect from supplemental oxygen (oxygen tank) on physiological factors at high altitudes.⁹

5. Coca Leaves

Coca leaves, native to South America, have been traditionally used to combat the common high-altitude physiological effects. Containing alkaloids, research on the Andean culture shows Coca is seen as an altitude sickness remedy and can even suppress red blood cells known to worsen conditions.

It's important to note that while coca leaves are a great option in countries like Peru, they are considered illegal in the United States.

6. Antioxidants

Antioxidants can help combat oxidative stress that is shown to be caused by lower oxygen levels, promoting overall well-being during exposure to high altitudes.[¹⁰][¹¹] One study showed glutathione, the body's master antioxidant, to decline by 45% in high-altitude conditions.¹²

Taking antioxidants, such as glutathione, can help fuel the body and replenish levels.

Each of these six remedies or in combination can be a natural alternative To Diamox — including CBD, tea, essential oils, supplemental oxygen, coca leaves, and antioxidants.

Supplement To Support Mountain Trips

Altitude Supplement Alternative
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1. Diamox — High Altitude Travel
2. Acetazolamide Oral Tablets
3. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids
4. Medical Cannabis, Headaches, and Migraines
5. The Effect Of Drinking Black Tea At High Altitude On Hydration Status And Mood
6. Peppermint Oil
7. The effects of peppermint on exercise performance
8. High Elevation Travel & Altitude Illness - Acetazolamide
9. Supplemental oxygen and hyperbaric treatment at high altitude: cardiac and respiratory response
10. High altitude and oxidative stress
11. Oxidative Stress and Diseases Associated with High-Altitude Exposure
12. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione