August 29, 2013
by library
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Database Review: Natural Standard

Attention students and faculty of Counseling Psychology, Biology, Environmental Studies & Ecology, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, Food Studies, and Psychology!

Natural Standard offers evidence-based and peer-reviewed data on complementary and alternative therapies that is synthesized into encyclopedia-like entries. The World Health Organization said “[It’s] the best and most authoritative web site available on herbal medicines” (WHO, 2009). Hundreds of scholars are involved in this completely independent international research collaboration and include our own John Laird from the Physician Assistant program!

Admittedly, this database is hard to browse or find information on a minor topic, but we have a trick for you! Use Google to search it by looking for your topic, say “acid rain,” followed by “site:naturalstandard.com/databases”. Voilà!

The toolbar header helps you navigate its main sections, including its collection of databases. These include Foods, Herbs & Supplements, Health & Wellness, Comparative Effectiveness, Charts & Tables, Brands & Manufacturers, Medical Conditions, Sports Medicine, Genomics & Proteomics, Environment & Global Health, and Animal Health. Each database is further divided into subsections for quick reference:

Database Divided into
Foods, Herbs & Supplements Herbs & Supplements, Functional Foods, and Vitamins & Minerals
Health & Wellness Therapies, Diet, Fitness, Beauty
Comparative Effectiveness Allergy & Immunology, Cardiopulmonary, Dermatology, EENT, Endocrinology, GI & GU, Hematology & Oncology, Nephrology, Neurology & Psychiatry, Rheumatology & Orthopedics
Charts & Tables Herbs & Supplements, Drugs & OTCs
Brands & Manufacturers Brands, Manufacturers
Medical Conditions Allergy & Immunology, Cardiopulmonary, Dermatology, EENT, Endocrinology, GI & GU, Hematology & Oncology, Nephrology, Neurology & Psychiatry, Rheumatology & Orthopedics
Sports Medicine Amino Acids, Antioxidants, Athletic Performance Enhancement, Bath & Body, Cell Metabolism, Exercise Recovery, Muscle Building, Sports Supplements, Sports-Related Conditions, Weight Loss & Fat Burners, Workout Routines
Genomics & Proteomics (none)
Environment & Global Health (none)
Animal Health (none)

 

Topics within these databases are arranged alphabetically and can also be searched by grade (“levels of scientific evidence for specific therapies”). When selected, each topic entry provides information on several of its aspects, such as related terms, background, signs and symptoms, treatment, prevention, evidence discussion, risk factors and causes, etc.

FYI: Some databases include topics that you wouldn’t normally associate with each other. For example, Sports Medicine includes the topic “Mindfulness Meditation” and a whole division on “Bath & Body.”

Natural Standard is directed at healthcare professionals working in the field, so it provides not just a collection of databases, but also checkers, tools, continuing education opportunities, and news and events. Checkers help you deduce ailments or effects of drugs and can be searched either alphabetically or by category. Specific checker tools include symptoms, pregnancy/lactation, depletion, interactions, and adverse effects. The tools section is your electronic reference shelf and includes a recipe and therapy finder, calculators, a dictionary, patient handouts, nutrition labels, products studied, practitioner search, and training programs. Under Continuing Education, you can take courses as well as view presentations and tutorials. News and Events also offers alerts, an eNewsletter, RSS feeds, webinars, podcasts, a blog, and social media platforms to help you get informed and involved.

Sources

World Health Organization. (2009). A Practical Handbook on the Pharmacovigilance on Antiretroviral Medicines. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/quality_safety/safety_efficacy/HIVhandbook.pdf

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