Natural health products

Quick Facts

Natural Health Products

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

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

NHPs must be safe to use as over-the-counter products and do not need a prescription to be sold. Products needing a prescription are regulated as drugs under the Food and Drug Regulations.

For Consumers

For Industry

Health Canada's Role

Through the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate, Health Canada provides Canadians access to a wide range of natural health products that are safe, effective and of quality.

We assess all natural health products before allowing their sale in Canada. We also verify that natural health products are properly manufactured (without contamination or incorrect ingredients). We monitor companies involved in natural health products to make sure they respect the Natural Health Products Regulations.

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