Naturopathic Medicine


Naturopathic Medicine is a form of primary health care that has been practiced in North America since the turn of the century. Naturopaths recognize the Vis Medicatrix Naturae (which is Latin for The Healing Power of Nature), the inherent ability of the body to heal itself. Naturopaths work towards identifying and removing the obstacles to the body's recovery. The goal of the Naturopathic practitioner is to detect and eliminate the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely suppress the symptoms. Naturopathic doctors treat the whole individual taking into account each patient's physical and mental health, genetic predispositions and environmental influences.

The naturopathic doctor views the individual as an integral whole where symptoms of disease are seen as warning signals of improper functioning of the body and unfavourable lifestyle habits. The primary goal is to treat the underlying cause of disease. Naturopaths also emphasize a preventative approach to disease and encourage self-responsibility for health care. The Naturopathic approach can prevent minor illnesses from developing into more serious or chronic degenerative conditions. Patients are taught the principles by which to live a healthy life.

Naturopathic doctors can also complement and enhance health care services provided by other health care professionals. They provide patients with a comprehensive way to obtain optimal health. This is a truly integrative form of health care.


There are many treatment modalities the Naturopathic practitioner can draw from and include the following:

  • Clinical nutrition and dietetics which looks at the intrinsic relationship between diet, nutrition and disease. Through the elimination of food allergies, improvement in digestive function and adequate intake of nutrition many health conditions can be improved.
  • Botanical Medicine which is the administration of plant extracts for their specific healing effects.
  • Homeopathic Medicine which is a system of therapeutics in which micro doses of natural substances are given to stimulate the body's self healing abilities.
  • Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture which is a system of medicine based on the balance of Yin and Yang energy throughout the body. Disease results from obstruction or imbalance of this energy and acupuncture is used to correct this and restore health.
  • Counselling, both lifestyle and emotional, is an important component of Naturopathic practice because of the recognition that underlying emotional issues can cause or aggravate physical problems just as bad lifestyle factors can.

Treatment programs are designed according to patient individuality since Naturopaths treat patients not diseases and where necessary, referrals are made to the appropriate specialists.

More Information

For more information, please visit The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.