I often hear people use this blanket statement: naturopathic medicine is safe. Relatively speaking, many naturopathic therapies pose little risk of negative side effects or interactions. If treatment is selected correctly, taking into consideration a person’s state of health, medical history, current condition and other treatments they are receiving and when the naturopathic treatment is administered in an appropriate form and dose, then yes, it is safe! Those are a lot of “ifs” though, so it’s important to look at the exceptions. Some naturopathic treatments have the potential to interact with prescription or over the counter medications or even with other supplements and natural remedies. Furthermore, some natural treatments can produce side effects. This is especially true if someone has an underlying health condition that can become aggravated by the use of such remedies (e.g. licorice can raise blood pressure and so should be avoided in people with hypertension). Before starting any new treatment plan, course of supplements or other naturopathic therapy, it is important that your naturopathic doctor review your medical history and current medications or other treatments you are receiving. This way, they can recommend the safest and most effective course of action based on your unique condition and state of health. This means that just picking up a product at the health food store may not be a wise move. While staff at the health food store may be very well versed in product knowledge, they are unfamiliar with your health history and cannot provide a recommendation specific to your needs. The good news is that when used appropriately, naturopathic medicine has quite a low incidence of negative effects. For patients with underlying conditions or taking multiple medications, naturopathic medicine also offers some forms of treatment such as homeopathy and acupuncture, among others, that pose little to no risk of interaction.