The word naturopathy was first coined in the United States around 100 years ago and refers to a holistic way of treating illness using the "natural healing forces" present in the human body. According to the philosophical basis of naturopathy, healing occurs naturally in the human body if it is given what it needs, such as a proper diet, pure water, fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and rest. As with other holistic healing systems, the emphasis is not on finding a disease and curing it, but rather on helping the body establish what is considered to be its own state of good health. Traditional naturopaths do not diagnose or treat disease but instead focus on health and education. Naturopaths employ a wide range of herbal medicines, from a variety of herbal traditions.
A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an allopathic physician. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, and psychology. In the United States, naturopathic physicians are not yet licensed in all fifty states. Membership in the AANP is available only to a naturopathic physician who is a graduate of a recognized college of naturopathic medicine.
This Web site provides a database of articles on naturopathy written for the public, including papers on the adverse effects of botanicals and their place in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, and cardiovascular disorders.
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