Resources and Links

In September 2016, Health Canada launched Consulting Canadians on the Regulation of Self-Care Products, which proposed changes that could significantly alter the way natural health products (NHPs) are regulated in Canada. In February 2018, after considering feedback heard in 2017, Health Canada announced their revised approach to the framework, which includes a three-phase, multi-year plan. In the short term, another round of consultation is expected in the fall of 2018. This consultation will focus on amendments to the Natural Health Products Regulations to change how NHPs are labelled. Details are not available currently, but it is expected that the proposal will include the use of a facts table on the product’s label as well as an outline for providing product information in a clearly displayed way and plain language.

To learn more about the proposed changes and stay updated, Health Canada’s Self-Care Products website provides consumers with the most current information on the proposal.

The Natural Health Products Regulations came into effect in Canada in January, 2004. These regulations provide guidance on product licensing; site licensing; Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for Natural Health Products (NHPs); labelling information; and clinical trials for NHPs. Important links include:

Licensed NHP Database

Consumers wanting to learn more about a particular natural health product (NHP) can use Health Canada’s Licensed Natural Health Product Database. To use it, simply enter the eight-digit Natural Product Number (NPN) found on a product’s label. This database will grant you access to useful information for each product, such as:

  • product brand name;
  • product licence holder;
  • product's medicinal ingredients;
  • product's non-medicinal ingredients;
  • product's dosage form;
  • product's recommended use or purpose (i.e. its health claim or indication);
  • And risk information associated with the product's use (i.e. cautions, warnings, contra-indications and known adverse reactions).

The information in this database is updated daily and the website includes a User Guide to help consumers navigating it. You will also find a Terminology Guide to help you understand the words and terms used within the database. 

For more information and to access the Licensed Natural Products Database, click here.

Natural Health Products Ingredients Database

The Natural Health Products Ingredients Database is a repository of scientific terminologies and pre-cleared information approved by the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD).

This database provides detailed information about approved medicinal and non-medicinal ingredients, as well as NNHPD monographs and abbreviated labelling standards.

The information you will find in the database includes:

  1. Medicinal ingredients;
  2. Non-medicinal ingredients;
  3. Non-natural health product ingredients (not allowed as medicinal ingredients in natural health products or under specific restrictions);
  4. Selected single-ingredient NNHPD monographs and selected single-ingredient abbreviated labelling standards (AbLS);
  5. Ingredient details relevant to their type (for example, Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) numbers for chemical substances, organism parts and preparations for organism substances, etc.);
  6. Medicinal, non-medicinal, and non-NHP ingredient restriction details; and
  7. Controlled vocabularies that represent a standard for the electronic transmission of core sets of natural health product information (e.g. lists for dosage forms, route of administrations, ingredient categories, organism parts, organism preparations, non-medicinal purposes, etc.)

For more information and to access the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database, click here.

To stay informed on important regulatory initiatives, NNHPD's What's New page houses the latest additions and significant updates to the NHP sector.

All of this information, and more, is available on Health Canada’s website here

Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of NHPs and how to use them to support a naturally healthy lifestyle? Explore our blog and Lifestyle Tips pages, and consider signing up for our newsletter. To find a CHFA Member natural health store near you, click here.

Do you own a business in the natural health industry? Learn about the many benefits of becoming a CHFA Member here.