Natural products include a variety of herbal medicines (also known as botanicals), vitamins, minerals, and other ‘natural products’ such as essential fatty acids.
Many of these natural products are sold over the counter as dietary or nutritional supplements.
The idea behind the use of most natural products is to overcome nutritional or metabolic imbalances found in autistic people, which are supposed to cause some of the symptoms of autism (such as impaired communication and social difficulties) and related issues (such as challenging behaviours).
Determining the benefits of natural products for autistic individuals is difficult because there are so many different products. We must wait for further research of sufficiently high quality to be completed.
Many natural products are safe provided you follow recommended daily doses published by reputable organisations, such as the Food Standards Agency. Some dietary supplements contain active ingredients that can have strong effects in the body. For example, too much vitamin A can cause headaches and liver damage, reduce bone strength, and cause birth defects.
Please see separate section on Diets and Supplements for details of these interventions.