Naturopathic Philosophy

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Latest Edit: Iva 2012-05-08 (EDT)

One of the differentiating features of naturopathic medicine compared with conventional (allopathic) medicine is its strong philosophical foundations. The basic philosophical premise of naturopathic medicine is that there is an inherent healing power in nature and in every human being. It is the physican's role to bring out or enhance this innate healing power.[1] Unlike most other systems of medicine, naturopathic medicine is defined by its principles and philosophy and not by any particular therapy or modality. [2] Naturopathic medicine has always been eclectic with respect to its treatment options in fact, this is one of it's strengths.

Naturopathic medicine is more inclusive than exclusive. Its basic philosophical premise is based on vitalistic and holistic concepts. Yet, it acknowledges that mechanistic and reductionist concepts are useful in describing the inner workings of the body. The naturopathic premise is that there is a difference between how an individual part works and the integration of the whole. It is the integration of the whole and the interplay between individuals and their environment that is their focus with respect to health, healing and disease.[3]


  1. Pizzorno Joseph E, Murray Michael T (1999) Textbook of Natural Medicine. Harcourt Publishers Limited.
  2. Brandly Randall S Philosophy of naturopathic medicine In Pizzorno Joseph E, Murray Michael T (1999) Textbook of Natural Medicine. Harcourt Publishers Limited.
  3. Lloyd Iva (2009) The History of Naturopathic Medicine, a Canadian perspective McArthur & Company, Toronto
  • Other Sources
  • Holtum Ronald A (1937) A Thesis on the Philosophy of Naturopathy, British Columbia
  • Lindlahr Henry (1919) Philosophy of Natural Therapeutics, Maidstronge, England
  • Martin Marg (2004) Naturopathic Philosophy: Time is of the Essence Journal of the Australian Traditional Medicince Society, Volume 10, Issue 2.