Natural Facts
Michael Alan Morton Ph.D., Mary Morton  (Excerpted from Five Steps to Selecting the Best Alternative Medicine, New World Library, 1997)
  • In 1983 the World Health Organization recommended the integration of naturopathic medicine into conventional health care systems.2
  • In 1994 Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences, a naturopathic medical school, was awarded almost $1 million in research funds from the National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine to research alternative therapies for patients with HIV and AIDS.3
  • Graduates of accredited naturopathic medical colleges are required to have more hours of study in basic sciences and clinical sciences than graduates of Yale or Stanford medical schools.4
  • The "anti-cancer" diet recognized by the National Cancer Institute was first published in a naturopathic medical textbook in the 1940s.5
  • Graduates of accredited naturopathic medical colleges receive more formal training in therapeutic nutrition than M.D.'s, osteopathic physicians, or registered dietitians.6
  • The government of Germany now requires conventional doctors and pharmacists to receive training in naturopathic techniques because they have been found to be so cost-effective.7
  • Today there are over one thousand licensed practicing naturopathic physicians (N.D.'s) in the United States.8
  • As of August 1996, twelve states in the U.S. and five provinces of Canada now license naturopathic doctors as primary-care physicians. (It is projected that all fifty states will license naturopathic physicians by the year 2010.)9
  • Three accredited colleges educate and train naturopathic doctors in North America.10
  • The County Council in Seattle, Washington, established the nation's first government-subsidized naturopathic medical clinic.11
The origin of naturopathy can be traced back to the ancient healing arts of a variety of cultures. Still, as a formal system of medicine and healing, it was developed in the United States nearly one hundred years ago by Benjamin Lust.
To heal in harmony with the natural functions of the body without harm is the underlying principle of the naturopathic system of medicine. The intent is to support the natural healing potential of the human body as validated by modern scientific research. It is this combination of the healing power of nature and scientific methods that makes naturopathic medicine an important system of medicine for today's health care.
Naturopathic medicine's basic principles are:
  • Utilize the healing power of nature
  • First, do no harm
  • Find the cause
  • Treat the whole person
  • Preventative medicine
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