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Naturopathy

By

Denise Millstine

, MD, Mayo Clinic

Last full review/revision Feb 2019| Content last modified Feb 2019
Click here for the Professional Version

Naturopathy, which draws on practices from many cultures, began as a formal health care system in the United States in the early 1900s. Founded on the notion of the healing power of nature, naturopathy emphasizes the following:

  • Prevention and treatment of disease through a healthy lifestyle

  • Treatment of the whole person

  • Use of the body’s innate healing abilities

Naturopathy uses a combination of therapies, including the following:

Some naturopathic practitioners advocate practices that are not supported by scientific evidence. Hydrotherapy is an example. Also, some practitioners discourage childhood vaccinations despite studies having proven that vaccinations Childhood Vaccinations Children should be vaccinated to protect them against infectious diseases. Vaccines contain either noninfectious fragments of bacteria or viruses or whole forms of these organisms that have... read more prevent disorders and death and that benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh risks.

Few well-designed studies of naturopathic therapies have been done.

More Information about Naturopathy

  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): Naturopathy

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