Over 75% of consumers worldwide take supplements, and many complementary and alternative medicine treatments are becoming widely used. Are they safe? Are they effective? How do these supplements interact with prescription medications?
Natural Standard was founded by healthcare providers and researchers to provide high-quality, evidence-based answers to these questions. This database provides information about complementary and alternative medicine, including dietary supplements and integrative therapies. The EU Libraries subscribe to the Natural Standard Database. To get complete access as an EU student or faculty member, you must click on the Natural Standard link in the blue box after logging into our library’s website, http://www.evergladeslibrary.com/
Letter grades reflect the level of available scientific data for or against the use of each therapy for a specific medical condition. For example, St. John’s wort is an herb that has traditionally been associated with relieving symptoms of depression. How could we verify whether the available evidence provides support for this traditional belief?
When you search for St. John’s wort on Natural Standard, the first result is what’s called a professional monograph:
A professional monograph is a comprehensive, in-depth overview of a particular treatment or condition. Here, you will find information about: dosing/toxicology, clinical studies, precautions, interactions, herbal products, and more. In the ‘Evidence Grades’ section, we find that St. John’s wort received an A for treatment of mild-to-moderate depression, but a C for treatment of ADHD in children:
Natural Standard determines its evidence grades by compiling and analyzing clinical studies that have been made available on PubMed.gov, the National Institutes of Health’s storehouse of medical information. Abstracts of the clinical studies are listed as references at the bottom of Natural Standard’s professional monographs, and links to the PubMed abstracts are usually included within the monographs, so that you can read them for yourself. (NOTE: A “C” does not necessarily denote a poor grade; it could mean that simply not enough studies have been done to determine whether or not a treatment is effective. Ds and Fs would reflect a sizable amount of evidence indicating that the remedy is ineffective and/or dangerous for the listed condition).
If you have any questions about Natural Standard, or about any EU library topics, please feel free to contact your campus librarian.
Best of luck to everyone for a successful Winter D term!