AML: Natural Medicines

Welcome to the Guide on the Side for Natural Medicines

Natural Medicines focuses on an evidence-based approach to systematically review and critically appraise the literature related to products sold as supplements.

Search for:

  • products associated with a specific disease or condition
  • a natural product name
  • a specific drug
Results include effectiveness ratings and potential interactions.
*Note: you will need to register to use this database. Any healthcare provider in Alaska can register for free. Register online at AML.
NM register

 This guide should be used simultaneously with the live website (on the right).


Navigating the Guide

Using Guide on the Side (GotS):
  • Use the arrows at the bottom to navigate the guide page by page.
  • The menu button (top right of guide) Menu Button can be used to skip to any section of the guide.
  • Links to additional information appear throughout the guide.

Additional help

Learning Objectives

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This interactive guide will:

  • Provide an overview of important database tools
    • Interactive Checker
    • Effectiveness Checker
    • Nutrient Depletion
    • Pregnancy & Lactation
    • Adverse Effects
  • Guide you through the database to complete a search
  • Ask questions that will give you an opportunity to demonstrate competence with using this tool

Learning Objectives

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This continuing nursing education activity has been approved by the Montana Nurses Association for .83 contact hours. Montana Nurses Association is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

For more information regarding contact hours, please call Kathy Murray, 907-786-1611.

To receive a completion certificate, learners must answer all the questions posed throughout the tutorial.


Access Natural Medicines

From the AML home page, Select the Natural Medicines link to enter database

Natural Medicines Access

Searching Natural Medicines

Upon entering Natural Medicines, users will see a large search box, as well as tabs across the top and along the left side of the website.

Selecting a tool from the list on the left of the website is an effective search strategy. 

  • Interaction Checker 
    • Lists potential interactions between natural medicines and conventional medications
    • Provides interactions between natural medicines and muti-ingredient supplements
    • Evidence-based, clinically significant interactions ratings
  • Effectiveness Checker shows the level of effectiveness of natural medicines and integrative therapies used for various medical conditions.
  • Nutrient Depletion identifies potential nutrient depletion issues caused by medication and provides a rating of the clinical significance.
  • Pregnancy & Lactation provides an evidence-based safety rating on the use of herbs, supplements, vitamins, and minerals during pregnancy and lactation. 
  • Adverse Effects lists natural medicines that may be associated with specific adverse effects.

Interaction Checker

A patient reports taking feverfew, black cohosh and niacin for migraine prevention.

Click the Interaction Checker button.  Then enter each supplement into the Selected Agents box to discover any potential interactions.

Are there any interactions listed between the supplements?

In addition, this patient suffers from migraines and takes verapamil for this condition.

Are there additional possible interactions?


Effectiveness Checker

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Now the patient would like information on which supplements are most effective for migraine. Enter migraine into the Effectiveness Checker to find a list of natural medicines. 

Which of the supplements taken by the patient is possibly effective in the treatment of migraine?

Effectiveness Checker

2 of 2At the conclusion of the Feverfew description is the option to View More.  This takes you to the Professional Monograph of the supplement. 

Natural Medicines Supplement Monograph

The above image points out some links:

  • Patient Handout  This can be printed.
  • Migraine headache, a condition found on this page, opens a Comparative Effectiveness Chart.
  • Detailed evidence summary includes both a table and discussion of relevant studies. 


Nutrient Depletion Tool

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Use the Nutrient Depletion tool to find which nutrients are depleted by prescription and over-the-counter medications.

If the patient takes Topamax for migraine, what supplement will she need to take?

Nutrient Depletion Tool

2 of 2Now select View Details on the calcium interaction.

After reading the detail, would you still suggest supplementation?

Pregnancy & Lactation

This tool is used to determine the safety of herbs, supplements, vitamins and minerals during pregnancy and lactation. 

Which of the supplements taken by the migraine patient is likely safe during pregnancy?

Adverse Effects

The Adverse Effects Checker shows you which natural medicines have the potential to cause specific adverse effects. Selecting a symptom or side effect will generate a list of natural medicines that have evidence to suggest that they might cause that side effect. 

If the migraine patient is experiencing joint pain and heartburn, which supplement is most likely suspected?




Natural Medicines is made up of multiple databases. Users of Natural Medicines have several search options and clinical tools to get the information desired. The search box found on the home screen is the integrated database search and collects results from all databases. 

It can be useful to perform a more targeted search using only one of the databases. Individual databases are accessed from the Databases tab on the top of the page.

Natural Medicines Databases

Food, Herbs & Supplements Database

Natural Medicines contains over 1200 monographs on natural ingredients including

    • vitamins,
    • herbs
    • minerals
    • non-herbal supplements
    • naturally sourced chemical compound
    • and foods

Each monograph provides scientific, evidence-based information on safety, effectiveness, interactions and more. 

Selecting from the alphabetical listing, results include access to the patient handout as well as a list of products containing the substance, if any.

 Natural Medicines Monograph


Health & Wellness Database

The Health & Wellness Database contains over 200 monographs covering a wide range of complementary and alternative treatment topics, including specialized diets and therapies. 

Natural Medicines Health&Wellness

Sports Medicine Database

The Sports Medicine Database includes all monographs relevant to athletic performance, including specific exercise regimes, injury treatments and sports supplements. 

Natural Medicines Sports Medicine Database

Comparative Effectiveness Database

The Comparative Effectiveness Database allows users to review all therapies that might be used for a specific condition in one easy-to-read chart. Each chart provides a list of natural medicines and therapies that have been studied for a selected condition, ranked by level of effectiveness. 

Natural Medicines Comparative Effectiveness Database

Manufacturers Database

A list of all commercial product manufacturers included in the Natural Medicines Database. Selecting a manufacturer generates a list of all their products included in the database. 

Natural Medicines Manufacturers Database

Commercial Products Database

Natural Medicines contains over 90,000 dietary supplement products.

Search the Commercial Products Database by brand name product to find

  • ingredients
  • effectiveness
  • safety
  • interactions
  • and adverse events.

Monographs also include an evidence-based rating tool, NMBER, unique to Natural Medicines.

Natural Medicines Commercial Products Database


Medical Conditions Database

Each Medical Conditions monograph provides detailed summaries on symptoms, risk factors, and conventional treatments. Also included are integrative therapy treatment options.

Natural Medicines Medical Conditions Database


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To find adverse effects in Natural Medicines, scroll down in the Professional Monograph to Adverse Effects section:

Natural Medicines monograph adverse effects

Drug interactions are found by scrolling further:

Natural Medicines monograph drug interactons

Scrolling up, you will find a section on effectiveness:

Natural Medicines monograph effectiveness  


You have completed the tutorial for the Natural Medicines Database. 

To get credit for this tutorial:

  • Students, include your name and email to
  • For practicing nurses, please be sure to include your name and email to receive your certificate of completion.

If you do not provide your email address on the next page:

  • Students will not receive credit for the assignment.
  • Practicing nurses will not receive a completion certificate.


Please enter your name and email address to retrieve a copy of your completed quiz.

You can enter multiple email addresses separated by commas. If you are doing this for a class, you may need to enter your instructor's email address also.