The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates was first to advocate naturopathic medicine. Father Sebastian Kneipp, a priest famous for his recovery from tuberculosis by bathing in the Danube, was next to use naturopathy. Dr. Benedict Lust brought the practice of naturopathy from Germany to the United States in 1890.
The first U.S. college of naturopathic medicine was founded in New York City in 1902. Courses included nutritional therapy, natural diet, herbal medicine, homeopathy, spinal manipulation, exercise therapy, hydrotherapy and stress reduction.
The Naturopathic Society of America was founded in 1902 and was renamed in 1919 as the American Naturopathic Association and is still active today. Another organization is the American Naturopathic Medical Association.
Naturopathy is a broad discipline that includes the techniques taught at many natural health colleges today. Naturopathic doctors focus on prevention through stress reduction and healthy lifestyle using homeopathy and herbal supplements.
Naturopathic medical schools in the United States offering doctor of naturopathy degrees have increased over the last 10 years. Some are accredited; most are not.
Ask questions before picking a Doctor of Naturopathy (N.D.). Find out the organizations they belong to and their educational background.