Glossary of country- or jurisdiction-specific terms related to natural products

Country or jurisdictionTermDefinitionSource (accessed July 15, 2020)
United StatesDietary supplementA product (other than tobacco) in the United States that is intended to supplement the diet; contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and other substances) or their constituents; is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid; and is labeled on the front panel as being a dietary supplement.
United StatesBotanicalA plant or plant part valued for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, and/or scent. Products made from botanicals used for health purposes may be called herbal products, botanical products, or phytomedicines. Herbs are a subset of botanicals.
NAPhytochemicals or phytochemical constituentsChemical compounds produced by plants.
United StatesDSHEAA 1994 statute of the US federal legislation that defines and regulates dietary supplements. Under the DSHEA, manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded. Firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of the DSHEA and FDA regulations.
United StatesFunctional foods and nutraceuticalsTerms widely used in the marketplace. Foods associated with these terms are regulated in the United States by the FDA under the authority of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, albeit these products are not specifically defined by law.
United StatesNew dietary ingredientA dietary ingredient that was not sold in the United States as a dietary supplement before October 15, 1994. The FDA requires specific safety information from a manufacturer intending to market a dietary supplement containing a new dietary ingredient. This information is not required for older dietary supplement ingredients.∼:text=What%20is%20a%20%22new%20dietary,the%20FD%26C%20Act)%2C%2021%20U.S.C.
ChinaTraditional Chinese medicineA 3000-year-old holistic system of medicine combining the use of medicinal herbs, acupuncture, food therapy, massage, and therapeutic exercise. Chinese physicians look for the underlying causes of imbalance in the “yin” and “yang” that lead to disharmony in the “qi” energy in the body. Traditional Chinese medicine addresses how illness manifests in a patient and treats the patient, not the ailment or disease.
ChinaHealth foodsDefined by the China Health Food Registration and Filing as food products that have specific health function or supply vitamins and (or) minerals with the goal of regulating body’s function. However, it is not used for the purpose of curing disease and causes no acute, subacute, or chronic health effect to human body.
ChinaNutrition supplementDefined by the China Health Food Registration and Filing as food that replenishes the vitamins and (or) minerals but without providing energy or other active ingredients.∼:text=Nutrition%20supplement%3A,energy%20or%20other%20active%20ingredients.
European UnionHerbal medicinal productsAny medicinal product, exclusively containing as active ingredients one or more herbal substances, one or more herbal preparations, or a combination of the two.
European UnionFood supplementDefined by the European Food Safety Authority as concentrated sources of nutrients (i.e., mineral and vitamins) or other substances with a nutritional or physiologic effect that are marketed in “dose” form (e.g., pills, tablets, capsules, liquids in measured doses).
JapanFoods with health claimsFoods that comply with the specifications and standards established by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and are labeled with certain nutritional or health functions. These foods are categorized into two groups, according to differences in purpose and function: Foods with Nutrient Function Claims, defined as foods that are labeled with the functions of nutritional ingredients (vitamins and minerals), and Foods for Specified Health Uses, defined as foods officially approved to claim their physiologic effects on the human body.
CanadaNatural health productsDefined by Health Canada as vitamins and minerals, herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines, traditional medicines such as traditional Chinese medicines, probiotics, and other products such as amino acids and essential fatty acids.
AustraliaComplementary medicinesDefined by the Australian Government Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration as “traditional” or “alternative” medicines including vitamin, mineral, herbal, aromatherapy, and homoeopathic products.
  • NA, not applicable.