Vitamins, herbs, and supplements


Many people think that just because a remedy is natural, it must be safe. But when something is strong enough to have an effect, it's also strong enough to have side effects — and possibly interact with other medications.

We've teamed up with the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database to bring you reliable information so you can make smart decisions about taking vitamins, herbs, and other supplements.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database gives you the tools to:

  • find safety and effectiveness updates for each product and ingredient
  • check for interactions between natural products and other medications
  • look for herbs and supplements with a "seal of approval"
  • see whether a natural product is accepted to treat your condition

Before using any new medication (including over-the-counter drugs, herbs, or supplements), it's a good idea to discuss its safety and effectiveness with your doctor or pharmacist. It's also important to find out how it will interact with any medication you're currently taking.

The products and services described above are neither offered nor guaranteed under Kaiser Foundation Health Plan’s contract with the Medicare program nor under any other Kaiser Permanente health plan contract. These products and services are provided by an entity other than Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse or make any representations regarding the quality of such products and services, nor the financial integrity of the entity providing them. Kaiser Permanente expressly disclaims any liability for the products and services provided by this entity. In addition, they are not subject to the Medicare appeals process. Any disputes regarding these products and services may be subject to Kaiser Permanente's grievance process. Should a problem arise with any of these products or services, you may call the Member Service Call Center, and we will direct you as appropriate.

Reviewed by: Mark Groshek, MD, July 2013

Complementary and alternative care

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