Natural health

Historically, people have used herbal medicines to prevent illness, cure infection, relieve fever, and heal wounds. Herbal medicines can also treat constipation, ease pain, or act as relaxants or stimulants. Research on some herbs and plant products has shown that they may have some of the same effects that conventional medicines do, while others may have limited effect.

Researchers have studied some natural products and have found them to be useful. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, may help lower triglyceride levels.

Sometimes those natural products are the basis for some of today's common medicines. For example, people have used willow bark tea for centuries to relieve fever. Pharmaceutical companies eventually identified the chemical in willow bark that relieved fever and used that knowledge to produce aspirin.

Natural health products are widely used and it is available in pharmacies, health food stores, and on the Internet. People commonly take them for health-related reasons. Common natural health products include vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin C or a multivitamin), botanicals (herbs and plant products, such as St. John's wort), and substances that come from a natural source (such as omega-3 fatty acids).

The dietary supplement is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider.

Makers of natural health products cannot say that natural products can diagnose, cure, or treat disease. But they can say that they contribute to health maintenance and well-being.