Health Canada
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Drugs and Health Products

Natural Health Products

A 2010 Next link will take you to another Web site Ipsos-Reid survey shows that 73% of Canadians regularly take natural health products (NHPs) like vitamins and minerals, herbal products, and homeopathic medicines.

What are Natural Health Products?

Under the Natural Health Products Regulations, which came into effect on January 1, 2004, natural health products (NHPs) are defined as:

  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Herbal remedies
  • Homeopathic medicines
  • Traditional medicines such as traditional Chinese medicines
  • Probiotics
  • Other products like amino acids and essential fatty acids

NHPs must be safe to use as over-the-counter products and not need a prescription to be sold. Products needing a prescription are regulated as drugs under the Next link will take you to another Web site Food and Drug Regulations.

What Information can you find here?

This section contains natural health product information tailored to reach a wide-ranging audience.

Consumer

Industry

Health Canada's Role

Through the Natural Health Products Directorate, Health Canada assures that all Canadians have ready access to a wide range of natural health products that are safe, effective and of high quality.

We assess all natural health products before letting them be sold in Canada. We also check that NHPs are properly manufactured (without contamination or incorrect ingredients). And we do post-market monitoring to make sure that NHP Regulations are being followed.