What is Naturopathy

Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is a system of medicine based on the healing power of nature. Naturopathy is a holistic system, meaning that naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) or naturopathic medical doctors (N.M.D.s) strive to find the cause of disease by understanding the body, mind, and spirit of the person. Most naturopathic doctors use a variety of therapies and techniques (such as nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and acupuncture).

There are two areas of focus in naturopathy: one is supporting the body's own healing abilities, and the other is empowering people to make lifestyle changes necessary for the best possible health. While naturopathic doctors treat both short bouts of illness and chronic conditions, their emphasis is on preventing disease and educating patients.

The term naturopathy came into use early in the 20th century. It provides a distinct system of healing that aims to promote health by stimulating and supporting the body's inherent ability to restore harmony and balance. Naturopaths consider the symptoms of ill health to be the body's way of trying to heal itself so if you suppress the symptoms you inhibit the body's healing ability and ignore Nature's warning signals. Instead of suppressing symptoms, Naturopaths will use appropriate therapy to support the body's inherent healing powers

The fundamental principle of Naturopathy is the healing power of nature. Naturopathy is a system of healing that places emphasis on health and how to promote it, rather than concentrating on disease states and how to suppress them. The vital force is the foundation of naturopathic philosophy and the naturopathic therapist seeks to create the most favourable conditions to stimulate and enhance this healing power. The vital force, the energy of life, is known by different names - in China it is Ch'i or Qi; it is Ki in Japan and Prana in India.

In today's society there is almost an acceptance that feeling generally unwell and sluggish is normal - you may not be seriously ill but neither are you full of the joys of spring! People who are chronically unwell may lose their awareness of true health. Naturopaths understand that health is not merely an absence of symptoms but also the feeling of fulfilment and vitality.

Disease is a manifestation of the vital force, applying itself to the removal of obstructions to the normal functioning of organs and tissues. The Naturopath seeks to discover and remove the basic causes of disease, whether they are:

Chemical - an imbalance in the chemistry of the body's fluids due to dietary deficiency or dietary excesses, retention of waste products due to inefficient functioning of the bowels, liver, lungs, skin or kidneys, or poor circulation of body fluids

Mechanical - i.e. muscular tensions, strained ligaments, stiff joints, poor posture, or spinal misalignments, leading to an interference in the functioning of the nervous and the muscular-skeletal systems

Psychological - i.e. impaired function induced by stress, which may be due to worries and upsets in personal and domestic life and/or anxieties and pressures at work

Naturopathic medicine is a therapeutic system with specific principles:

It recognises the uniqueness of each person. Each person responds in a unique way to his or her environment. Each of us has individual strengths, weaknesses and needs.

It attempts to establish and treat the highly individualised causes of symptoms, rather than solely the symptoms themselves. A Naturopath searches for causes at many levels and attempts to remove the fundamental causes of illness, not simply relieve symptoms.

It uses a holistic approach to healing, treating the whole person and not just the affected, local area i.e. disease affects the whole person - the mind, body and spirit - and not just an isolated organ or system of the body. An individual has the power to heal him or herself through internal vitality

A Naturopath has two main roles:

Firstly, to educate clients to take responsibility for their health and to help them understand the fundamental laws of health. In naturopathic philosophy it is important to explain to the client why disease occurs and what the client can do for him or herself to maintain the new, improved level of health given to them by naturopathic treatment. In this way the client is given the responsibility for his or her health

Secondly, to use appropriate natural therapies to increase vitality and restore internal harmony.

The modern form of naturopathy can be traced to 18th- and 19th-century natural healing systems. Such systems include hydrotherapy (water therapy), which was popular in Germany and nature cure, developed in Austria, based on the use of food, air, light, water, and herbs to treat illness.

Benjamin Lust, a German immigrant, first introduced naturopathy to the United States in 1902 when he founded the American School of Naturopathy. The school emphasized the use of natural cures, proper bowel habits, and good hygiene as the tools for health. This was the first time that principles of a healthy diet, like increasing fiber intake and reducing saturated fats, became popular.

In the mid-1920s to 1940, the use of naturopathic medicine declined. It was not until the 1960s that naturopathic-style holistic medicine became popular again. Today, naturopaths are licensed care providers in many states. They offer a variety of natural therapies, including homeopathy, vitamin and mineral supplements, Traditional Chinese Medicine, relaxation techniques, and herbal remedies.

Effective diagnostic techniques used by a Naturopath may include iris-, facial-, tongue-, nail- or pulse-analysis, kinesiology, blood microscopy. After appropriate diagnostic evaluation, a Naturopath may employ any of the various therapeutic modalities in which he or she has been appropriately trained, and can demonstrate competence in them. Homeopathy, phytotherapy (herbal medicine), nutritional therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic and reflexology are among the various modalities that may be used. Where appropriate for the client, naturopathic therapies will be used to complement orthodox medicine. The following are considered to be of primary importance in the naturopathic treatment of disease.

Nutrition and dietetics. This includes advice on a balanced, natural diet while emphasising the importance of ensuring digestive system efficiency in the actual metabolism of food and/or supplements.

Structural adjustment. By such methods as osteopathy, chiropractic, neuromuscular techniques, postural re-education and remedial exercise, the Naturopath seeks to restore balance and integrate the spine, muscles, ligaments and joints of the whole person, thus re-establishing the efficient flow of the neural and vascular systems.

Hydrotherapy. This is the use of water, both internally and externally in the form of baths, packs, compresses, sprays and douches. Hydrotherapy is of value in most conditions and rightly applied can give remarkable results in the treatment of both acute and long-standing conditions.

Healthy life-style. This includes the general care of one's mind and body, the use of appropriate physical exercise, the cultivation of a positive approach to life enhancement etc.

A visit to a naturopathic doctor, or N.D., will be similar to a visit to your family doctor. Your first visit may take more than an hour. The doctor will take a very thorough history, asking about your diet, lifestyle, stress, and environmental exposures. Next, the N.D. will do a physical examination, which may require laboratory tests. In addition to conventional tests, N.D.s may use unique laboratory techniques such as the Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (CDSA). This test allows naturopaths to examine your digestive process as well as to see which nutrients your body is absorbing, among other things.

Naturopathic doctors treat the whole person, which means they consider a variety of factors before they diagnose an illness. An N.D. might look at your mental, emotional, and spiritual state; your diet; your family history; your environment; and your lifestyle before making a diagnosis.

Some of the more common treatments used by a naturopath include:

Nutritional counseling

Herbal medicine

Homeopathic medicine


Hydrotherapy (water therapy) – These therapies include drinking natural spring water, taking baths, alternating hot and cold applications, and water exercise, all of which are thought to stimulate healing and strengthen the immune system.

Physical medicine -- This natural approach to healing involves using touch, hot and cold compresses, electric currents, and sound waves to manipulate the muscles, bones, and spine.

Detoxification -- This therapy removes toxins from the body by fasting, using enemas, and drinking lots of water.

Spirituality -- Personal spiritual development is encouraged as part of an overall health program.

Lifestyle and psychological counseling -- An N.D. may use hypnosis, guided imagery, or other counseling methods as part of a treatment plan.

Naturopaths consider patients to be participants in their health care, so you may be asked to make lifestyle changes (such as changing your sleeping, eating, and exercise habits).


Naturopathy is a natural healing technique using the healing powers of nature. The principle of Naturopathy is that the accumulation of toxins is the root cause of all diseases. Prevention and elimination of toxins is the route to health. Treatments are based on the 5 great elements of nature that have immense healing properties. There is no role of internal medications in the nature cure system.

The Five great elements of nature and the treatments based on them are:

Earth - Mud baths, Mud packs,

Water - Hydrotherapeutic methods in the form of Baths, Jets, Douches, Packs, Compresses, Immersions

Air - Breathing exercises, Outdoor walking, Open air baths

Fire - Sun baths, Thermoleum baths, Magnetised water, Colour charged oils / water

Ether - Fasting therapy

Other Naturopathic Therapies:


Oriental healing techniques like Reflexology, Acupressure, Acupuncture and Auriculotherapy

Food and Nutrition




Of the five elements of nature, mud represents Earth and has tremendous impact on the maintenance of health and prevention of diseases. Minerals and trace elements present in the mud are known for its renowned effects and healing properties. Mud also has the remarkable property of holding moisture for a long time, which has a cooling effect on the part of the body applied.

Helps improve circulation and relax the muscles

Improves the digestive activity and sets right the metabolism


Frequent application of mud helps in improving the complexion of the skin by getting rid of spots and patches, which appear in various skin disorders. Mud baths are also generally recommended for all skin diseases, including psoriasis, leucoderma and urticaria and other allergic conditions of the skin.


Using special Natural Muds high in natural minerals and salts the pack is applied on the entire body except the head.

Dead Sea Mud Body Wrap

The mud from the Dead Sea is highly saturated with natural salts and minerals like calcium chloride, iron and sulphates. These minerals are known for their renowned effects and healing properties.


2 VEDASAyurveda Medicine ( BC) ayur (life) and veda (science). • Sacred medicine from Ancient India. • Holistic philosophy embracing fasts, herbs, enemas, baths and cleansing diets 2700 BC Shen Nong discovers Chinese herbalism BC Imhotep describes ancient Egyptian medicine. c2000 BC The writings of the Nei Jing (Classics of Internal medicine) by Huang-Ti (Yellow Emperor). c1700 BC Code of Hammurabi (King of Babylon) lays down laws for doctors BC Ebers papyrus records Egyptian medical practice. 1200BC Asclepius (Greek physician) sets up a healing center in Greece.


3 Our Ayurveda text contains the Swastha Vritta which is nothing but Naturopathy. During the ancient era the physicians used to treat the patient's disease using natural medicines but would also educate them about a healthy lifestyle.

4 HIPPOCRATES (468-377 BC) The father of medicine
HIPPOCRATES ( BC) The father of medicine. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. • Greek physician from Cos. • Recognised that disease was a disturbance of the balance of harmony within the body. • A physician would restore this balance with the help of the patient. • He was the first healer to record medical experiences for future reference. • The Hippocratic oath was exacted by his students. c300 BC The medical school and library of Alexandria is founded.

5 Naturopathy“Life is short; the art is long. Opportunity is fleeting, experience perilous and judgment is difficult. The physician must be ready, not only to do his duty himself, but to secure the cooperation of the patient, attendants and of externals.”Hippocrates, the father of modern therapeutic science, believed that “It is Nature that heals, not the physician”

6 Give me fever and I can cure every disease
Give me fever and I can cure every disease.” Thus Hippocrates the father of medicine the fundamental law of cure over two thousand years ago. I have expressed this law in he following sentence. “ Every acute disease is the result of a cleansing and healing effort of Nature”. - "Nature Cure: Philosophy and Practice Based on the Unity of Disease and Cure" book, by Henry Lindlahr

7 not of recent origin.originated 2500 years ago, at the time of Hippocrates.People regard Hippocrates as the father of modern medial science. This is a misconception. As a matter of fact, he owes his frame primarily to his advocacy of methods of healing based on the laws of Nature.Physis means Nature.Greek word that the term physician has been derived.He was the first to study the process of what has been described as ‘healing crisis’ the process that is the backbone of Nature Cure System. It is this process that is described by Drug Therapists as the ‘acute’ state of a disease.

8 Gandhiji influenced by the Book Return to Nature by Adolf Lust Wrote Several articles on naturoapathy in Newspapaer Harijan Moraji Desai, Ex.Gov.Mannarayanji, Ex.Presi,V.V.Griri Acharaya Vinoba Bhave adnd Shri Balkova Bhave 

9 Philosophy First, do no harm Heal the whole person
Identify and treat the causeDoctor as TeacherTreat the Whole PersonHealth Promotion, the Best Preventionm

10 PhilosophyFirst, do no harm; provide the most effective health care available with the least risk to patients at all timesHeal the whole person Recognize, respect and promote the self-healing power of nature inherent in each individual human being.Identify and treat the cause Identify and remove the causes of illness, rather than eliminate or suppress symptoms

11 Educate, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility for health (Doctor as Teacher).
Treat each person by considering all individual health factors and influences. (Treat the Whole Person).Emphasize the condition of health to promote well-being and to prevent diseases for the individual, each community and our world. (Health Promotion, the Best Prevention)Philosophy

12 Different Modalities Cranial osteopathy Hair analysis Homeopathy
 Acupuncture Applied kinesiology Botanical medicine, Brainwave entrainmentChelation therapy for atherosclerosis Colonic enemas Color therapyCranial osteopathy Hair analysisHomeopathyRidology Live blood analysisPhysioltherapyElectrotherapyHydrotherapyReflexology

13 3 BASIC PRINCIPLESThe whole practice of Nature cure based on the following three principles:Accumulation of morbid matterAbnormal composition of blood and lymph Lowered vitality

14 "Nature Cure is so simple easy and cheap
"Nature Cure is so simple easy and cheap.....this system of treatment should be used." -Mahatma Gandhi

15 “I BELIEVE that man has little need to drug himself
“I BELIEVE that man has little need to drug himself. 999 cases out of a thousand can be brought round by means of a well-regulated diet, water and earth treatment and similar household remedies.The essence of nature cure is that we learn the principles of hygiene and sanitation and abide by those laws as well as the laws relating to proper nutrition. Thus does every one become his own doctor.- Mahatma Gandhi

16  Nisargopchar Ashram, Uruli Kanchan   It was pre-independence period, when Gandhiji accompanied Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to Pune for his treatment at Dr. Dinshaw Mehta's Nature cure center near Pune railway station. Gandhiji founded "Society of Servants of Gods" along with Dinshaw Mehta. While in Pune Gandhiji was deeply impressed by simple ways of Natural Cure. He thought cities like Pune have all medical facilities but villages do not have access to medical facility. He wrote an article in Harijan, "I made a mistake, I should have gone to the village to popularize simple ways of Nature Cure, therefore I want to shift." m

17 The man who eats to live, who is friends with the five power-earth, water, ether, sun and air and who is a servant of God, the Creator of all these, ought not to fall ill.”Gandhi believed that disease is an attempt by the body to get rid of the toxins. These toxins can be eliminated by fasting, eating and drinking natural food, cleansing of the bowels by enemas, baths, hydro therapies and massages.For Gandhi, food was not something that just satiated hunger. It was an integral part of shaping the human consciousness. "Occasional fasting," according to him, "is indeed beneficial for the body and restores normal functioning of the digestive system.“Written 2 Books My Nature Cure, The Key of HealthFamous Naturopaths are Dr.K.L.Lakshman Sharma, Dr.S.J.Singh.J.M.Jussawala, Dr.B.Venkat Rao,Venkatachalapathy Sharma,H.K.Bakru

18 Naturopathy Vs Nature Cure
Nature cure is the system of man building in harmony with the constructive principles of nature on the physical, mental, social and moral planes of buildingNaturopathy is the drugless system of medicine, which relies upon the natural resources in the treatment of diseases rather than drugs

19 DefinitionsNaturopathy is a distinct school of healing, employing the beneficent agency of Natures forces of water, air, sunlight, earth power, electricity, magnetism, exercise, rest, prope diet, various kinds of mechanical treatment, mental and moral science.” – Dr.Benedict Lust Naturopathy is the science,art,philosophy of adjusting the framework, correcting the mental influence and supplying the body with its needed elements – Dr.J.E.Cummins

20 "Nature cure is a constructive method of treatment which aims at removing the basic cause of disease through the rational use of natural diet and elements freely available in nature," says H.K. Bakhru,

21 “Naturopaty is the perfected science of Human Wholenesss and it includes all agencies, methods, systems, regimens, practices and ideals of natural origin and divine sanction, whereby human health may be restored enhanced and maintained.” – Edward Earle Purinton Each Patient carries his own doctor inside him. They come to us not knowing that truth, we are at our best when we give this doctor inside each person the chance to do his job – Dr.Albert Schweitzer M.D m

22 Naturopathy means a drugless, non-invasive, system of therapy involving the use of natural materials in its treatments based on the theory of vitality, the theory of toxemia, the theory of the self healing capacity of the body and the principles of healthy living. Naturopathy means nature path. It is considered as the mother of medicine. It uses the power of mother nature as a curative agent. Nature is Gods Physician. Nature alone possess restorative powers. She alone can build up her exhausted energies and repair the injuries she has received by the inattention to her fixed laws. 

23 Five Great Elements Earth – Mud baths, Mud packs,
Water – Hydrotherapeutic methods in the form of Baths, Jets, Douches, Packs, Compresses, ImmersionsAir –Breathing exercises, Outdoor walking, Open air bathsFire – Sun baths, Thermoleum baths, Magnetized water, Color charged oils/waterEther – Fasting therapy

24 Dr. H.G. Cox, M.D., of the New York College of Physician and Surgeons, admonishes doctors in these words, “The fewer the medicines you give to your patients, the better for them”Dr.William Osler, whose name is recorded in golden letters in history, deserve to be inscribed in the hearts of every one use : “The human body is such a complex machine that our present knowledge of it can still be considered only rudimentary. And yet we fill it with medicines about the mode of action of which we know next to nothing. The only real doctor is one who understands the limitations of his own medicines” Perhaps no one is more qualified than Dr. Osler to express an opinion on the value of medicines.

26 "The natural system for curing disease is based on a return to nature in regulating the diet, breathing, exercising, bathing and the employment of various forces to eliminate the poisonous products in the system, and so raise the vitality of the patient to a proper standard of health."Benedict Lust, 1918,  Founder of Modern, Naturopathic Medicine

27 As a professional waiter in Baden-Baden he became ill (with what he felt was tuberculosis) and decided to return to Germany to seek the water cure offered by Father Sebastian Kneipp. He claimed his health improved dramatically, and he became an even more fervent believer in natural medicine. 

28 the "Father of Naturopathy" in America,
and his writings and magazines introduced the country not only to German methods, but also Indian concepts of Ayurveda Lust was harassed by authorities and medical associations for promoting his approach towards healing, involving massage and nude sun bathing, at his health resorts, and was arrested at least 19 times by New York and Federal authorities.Paramahansa Yogananda was one of several Indians who wrote articles for "Nature’s Path" in the 1920’s, m

29 Benedict Lust began the Yungborn Nature Cure in 1896 on 60 acres in theRamapo Mountains near Butler, New Jersey. In 1911, when this photo of the main recreation building was taken, Yungborn reportedly had more than 100 guests taking the nature cure.

30 Mister Lust can make you well,
if you will let him layThe plans for what you eat andwear, and his commands obey.He's got an Eden out of town,where you will get no meat,Roast beef, cigars, and lagerbeeryou'll never want again,When you've been healed at [Yungborn],by fruit, fresh air &rain.Its very cheap as well as good—this wondrous Nature Cure,And if you take it home withyou, its blessings will endure;For all the ills of all mankind,the cheapest and the bestIs Mister Lust's great NatureCure--just put it to the test! m

31 Vincenz Priessnitz watched a roebuck with a wounded limb coming to a pond (or stream) to heal its wound.  He healed his own finger injured during timber felling with water wraps (1814). In 1816 he was injured more seriously when he broke his ribs in an accident with a cart and the doctor claimed it was fatal or at least crippling. He used his water therapy which took a year but eventually succeeded. 

32 Lázně Jeseník (until 1948 and in German Gräfenberg) is a small village in the Olomouc Region of the Czech Republic. It is administratively part of the city of Jeseník (Freiwaldau).The place is known for its connection with Vincent Priessnitz, an early proponent of hydrotherapy. Priessnitz had founded the first modern hydrotherapeutic institute in the world here. It is also known for the Sanatorium Priessnitz building (author Leopold Bauer) and many springs.

35 Some time later, Father Sebastian Kneipp of Baveria (in Germany) attained fame as a healer. He was not only a Naturopath, but also a teacher and a social worker. He ran a sanatorium based on hydrotherapy for more than forty-five years, and attained exemplary success in curing all types of disease. His book on hydrotherapy, ‘My Water Cure’ is studied with interest even today. His speciality was the use of water at different temperatures for different illnesses. 


36 "With the correct combination of water and herbs, almost any illness can be cured."
"Those who do not find time every day for health must sacrifice a lot of time one day for illness.- Father Sebastian Kneipp, Pioneer of Hydrotherapy & direct instructor to the founders of Naturopathic Medicine.

37 Kneipp Hydrotherapy Herbalism – The use of botanical medicines.
ExerciseNutrition - A wholesome diet of whole grains, fruits & vegetables with limited meatSpirituality - Kneipp believed that a healthy mind begot a healthy person

38 "Nature has provided us generously with everything we need to remain in good health.” - (Sebastian Kneipp)Nutrition "As long as there is no radical change in our dietary habits, the serious damage that causes man to become ill cannot be remedied. Indeed, it will become worse.“

39 When submerged in water, your body is about one tenth of its normal weight. Buoyancy is the key to relaxation and stress relief. It helps overcome the effects of gravity and stress on the joints. Hydrotherapy is now recognised as an excellent form of complimentary treatment by established health institutions worldwide. m


40 Sebastian Kneipp revolutionized naturopathic medicine in the 19 century. After having cured himself of a severe case of tuberculosis (a disease held to be incurable in his day) by taking short immersions in the freezing cold Danube, he began intensive study of the health-promoting power of water and the healing properties of certain plants."... for the healthy individual it is an excellent means to maintain his health and energy, but also in times of illness it is the prime remedy; it is the most natural, the simplest and, when used properly, the safest means. Water is my best friend and will remain so until I die.“

41 "Nature has provided us generously with everything we need to remain in good health."
(Sebastian Kneipp)

42 Henry Lindlahr  - Nature Cure deals with disease suppression versus elimination, hydrotherapy, and the importance of fresh air and sun bathing. 

43 He overcame obesity and diabetes naturally under the program of Father Kneipp. He devoted himself to healing after being helped by Father Sebastian Kneipp. 

44 “The ‘regular’ school of medicine, as a body, has ignored and will ignore this science, because it discloses the fallacy of their favorite theories and practices and because it reveals unmistakably the direful results of chronic drug poisoning and ill-advised operations.”~Henry Lindlahr,Upas Tree Of Disease

45 Dr.Louis Kuhne‘The New Science of Healing’ and ‘The Science of Facial Expression’“All diseases originates in the accumulation of poisons in the body : all diseases are fundamentally the same” - principle

46 Dr.Arnold Rickley – said importance of air and sunlight in addition to water and diet. 

47 Dr.Adolf-healing with the help of clay mud.
gave ‘Return to Nature’

48 Specific Physiological Effects of Hydrotherapy
Enhanced Circulation of Blood & LymphIncreased Oxygen to TissuesBetter Digestion of FoodIncreased Nutrients to CellsGeneral Boost to the Immune SystemBalances the Nervous SystemCalms the SympatheticNourishes the ParasympatheticAssist the Body's Detoxification Efforts

49 Like all diseases are linked to sickness, the causes of the Disease are disturbance and imbalance of our organ and System - Dr. Louis KunheIt is better to eat less. Reduction in eating will extend your life Longer-Dr. Luigi Cararo