What is Naturopathy?

Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is an alternative health practice that uses all-natural remedies to prevent and treat illness. Naturopathic doctors believe in treating the whole person. They consider mental, emotional, environmental and other concerns in their treatment of a person.

Naturopathy is proactive, focusing on prevention. Naturopaths believe in educating and working with individuals on lifestyle, as well as providing supplements such as herbs and vitamins.

Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Naturopathy is a medical system that takes a holistic approach to medical treatment. In the 1800’s it was an established practice in Germany where a man named Benedict Lust became seriously ill. A priest who used natural treatments such as water therapy, healthy foods, herbs and gentle exercise treated him and he was cured. When Lust moved to the US he brought this holistic system with him and called it Naturopathy. He established the first naturopathic college in America.  

Naturopathy is based on utilizing the body’s natural ability to heal. It uses similar principles to modern medicine as well.  These include:

•    First do no harm
•    The physician is a teacher and partner in health
•    Treat the whole person
•    Focus on prevention
•    Honor the healing power of nature
•    Treat the cause not the symptoms of disease

Naturopathic practitioners commonly use nutrition therapy, herbs, vitamins, massage, lifestyle counseling, massage and homeopathy as part of their practice.

Naturopathic doctors attend a four-year naturopathic medical college that is accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. Licensing requirements and how much a naturopath can do (prescriptions, x-rays, procedures, etc.) varies by state.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.