If you’ve ever found yourself wandering down the aisles of your local grocery store staring pensively at the rows upon rows of vitamins, natural remedies and supplements, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to determine if any of these products can safely support your health and wellness goals. To wrap up this month’s focus on nutrition, we’d like to introduce you to a database you may not know much about which can help you tackle those tough questions. Here are some ways the Natural Medicines database can help you out, and why you should add it to your arsenal of reliable health resources.
1. Access hundreds of patient handouts to share with your physician
You should always talk with your doctor about any decisions you want to make regarding your health, but you might as well go into the conversation armed with knowledge. Curious about a supplement you heard about somewhere? Simply search for it by scientific, common, or brand name in the database and print out an easy-to-understand explanation to bring to your next appointment.
2. That obscure remedy your aunt mentioned is probably covered here
We’re all victims of unsolicited advice from time to time – some of it’s useful (and safe) and some of it’s not. Luckily, with a simple search you can find out if there is actually any evidence-based science behind these well-meaning suggestions. The database contains information on over 90,000 commercial dietary supplements and natural ingredients, so chances are you’ll be able to find whatever it is you’re looking for. In addition, the database also covers complementary and alternative treatments, sports medicine, and commercial products.
3. Information presented is way more reliable than just word of mouth
Every entry in the database is backed by clinical research and other expert resources, so you know the information can be trusted. What’s more, every entry explains how effective the therapy is for the ailments they’re meant to treat and why. Products are also given a rating from 1-10 with 10 being the best and highest rating. Each rating is based on safety, effectiveness, and product quality information gained from scientific evidence.
4. Quickly confirm whether A + B = Bad News
While there are many foods, herbs and supplements you can take together or alongside prescription medication without adverse effects, there are plenty that could spell trouble when combined. Natural Medicines has a tool for checking interactions between multiple products. If you have questions about whether your wellness cocktail will play nicely together, this feature can get you off to a good start before you follow up with your doctor.
5. Learn about potential adverse effects before they occur
The saying goes “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, but it would still be nice to know if something you were going to put in your body might make you feel more ill than before. Look up your symptoms and see which products you may want to steer clear of.
The Natural Medicines database is freely accessible if you’re affiliated with UCF. Find it on the Online Databases page of our website.