Natural Medicines: A Newly Combined Resource

Natural Medicines is a broad-based, easily-navigated resource for information on dietary supplements, natural medicines, and complementary therapies. It merges Natural Standard and Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database into one resource, retaining features and functionality from both. The scope includes dietary supplements, natural medicines, and complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies. Effectiveness, safety, interactions, adverse effects, nutrient depletion, and pregnancy/lactation checkers are among the product’s components. Patient and consumer education handouts are offered in English, Spanish, and French.

The entire database can be searched as a whole, or individual subsections can be searched looking for foods, herbs, sports medicine, manufacturers, commercial products, and medical conditions.

Some references are included, along with a last review date. Updates and refreshed searches occur every 3-18 months, depending upon the topic.

The Commercial Products section is particularly robust with ingredients, effectiveness, safety, interactions, and adverse effects sections for each item. Commercial products may include a “Natural Medicines Brand Evidence-based Rating (NMBER)” using a 1 (lowest rated) to 10 (highest rated) scale. This scale combines the safety and effectiveness ratings of a given product. Individual ingredients are evaluated on their own merit with one summation score per product.

Diverse topics like American ginseng, emu oil, Cannabidiol, iron, muscle milk, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) are all searchable. Browsing is available within sections.

When reading the monograph, note that even though a substance may be used for a condition that does not mean that it is effective.

A Continuing Education Center offers accredited courses for physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and registered dieticians.

To access Natural Medicines, type Natural Medicines in the search.HSLS box on the HSLS home page or browse the Databases A-Z list. Also available is the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database App, which provides much of the same up-to-date, authoritative information as the full database. Data is stored on your mobile device, so you can access the app without an Internet connection. For more information about the app, direct your browser to the HSLS Mobile Resources Web site.

For questions about Natural Medicines database, contact the HSLS Main Desk at 412-648-8866 or Ask a Librarian.

~Michele Klein-Fedyshin