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Definition of Naturopathy

Naturopathy is a system of man building in harmony with the constructive principles of Nature on physical, mental, moral and spiritual planes of living. It has great health promotive, disease preventive and curative as well as restorative potential.

Ministry of AYUSH ,GOI

Naturopathy is a system of treatment which recognizes the existence of the vital curative force within the body. It therefore, advocates aiding human system to remove the cause of disease i.e. toxins by expelling the unwanted and unused matters from human body for curing diseases.

British Naturopathic Association

What is Naturopathy?

Naturopathy is a distinct type of primary care medicine that blends age-old healing traditions with scientific advances and current research. It is guided by a unique set of principles that recognize the body’s innate healing capacity, emphasize disease prevention, and encourage individual responsibility to obtain optimal health. The Principles on which naturopathy is based on are

  • Healing Power of Nature (vis medicatrix naturae)
  • First, do no harm (primum non nocere)
  • Identify and treat the cause (tolle causam)
  • Doctor as teacher (docere)
  • Treat the whole person
  • Prevention

Naturopathy has two aspects – Preventive aspect & curative aspect. Naturopathy in its preventive form advocates moderation in food, thought and action which are the basic foundation of health. This basic foundation hinges on commitment to adhere to the above said at personal level since health is a personal responsibility. Moderation in food helps the body to utilize its resources within it in a judicious way so that the body can use the healing forces for digestion, absorption, routine maintenance that happens due to wear & tear within the body. Moderation in thought helps in keeping the mind stress free which is the key to good health. Human actions also leave a deep impact on the mind hence moderation in action/ good action helps us to remain stress free. Proper use of the vital force within the body helps by optimizing the body’s defence and also to help to fight the external sources of disease.

Curative aspect of Naturopathy or Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes on prevention and the self-healing process through the use of natural therapies. This system of treatment recognizes an inherent self-healing process within the human system, which is orderly and intelligent. Disease according to Naturopathy is caused by alteration or obstruction in body’s regular activities primarily due to incorrect way of living, eating & thinking that affects the body at the grosser & subtler levels. By taking into consideration the body in totality that is the physical, the physiological & the psychological levels, the physician analyzes the core of the health issue by blending centuries-old wisdom about the body with current research on health and human systems. He then uses simple elements available in nature which are in the form of water, earth, heat, air in the form of therapy to treat the body level ailments. This may also include Clinical Nutrition, Botanical Medicine, Homeopathic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Physical Medicine (Therapeutic Massage) lifestyle advice and a whole range of natural therapies. Counselling, positive thoughts, meditation and prayer operate at the mind level. Thus Naturopathic treatments blend centuries-old knowledge with current research on health and human systems, cater to all layers of human existence making it a simple yet powerful means to restore health. Naturopaths treat both acute and chronic conditions. Naturopathic care is well suited to anyone at any age. Naturopaths have many answers for common conditions. Naturopathic doctors utilize methods and natural substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat while avoiding when possible, the harmful suppression of symptoms and respecting the individual’s self- healing process.

The five great element representation & treatments

Naturopathy uses the healing power of natural resources like earth, water, air, fire and ether to allow the body to heal itself.

Earth – Mud therapy

Earth element is represented in the solid organs in the body. Of the five elements of Nature, mud represents Earth and has tremendous impact on the maintenance of health and prevention of diseases. The thermal, mechanical and chemical effects from mud application accelerate the healing process both locally & generally. Minerals and trace elements present in the mud are known for its renowned effects and healing properties. Mud also has the remarkable property of holding moisture for a long time, which has a cooling effect on the part of the body applied. Full mud bath, local mud packs, mud wraps are the modes of mud applications commonly used in Naturopathy.

Water – Hydrotherapy

The body fluids represent this element. The therapeutic usage of water dates back to renowned ancient healers like Hippocrates who knew and used the physical, thermal & mechanical properties of water for treatment of human ailments.

Water is used in different states, at different temperature & pressure as a therapeutic agent. The most commonly used external water treatments are hip bath, spinal bath, immersion bath, under water massage, steam bath, packs, douches, irrigations. Internally water is used for drinking, irrigations & enema.

Fire – Heat generating therapies

Metabolic processes of the body are the representation of this element in the body. These therapies use heat as a media to treat the body particularly to induce sweating. Natural sources like sunlight or artificial sources like electricity may be used to generate heat. The common treatments associated with this element are sun bath, Chromo therapy, plantain leaf bath, sauna bath, far infra red sauna, wax bath, SWD.

Air – Breathing exercise

Respiratory apparatus is the representation of this element. Air is the abundantly present element in nature. Proper oxygenation of the body is necessary for proper functioning of the cells and the therapy associated with it are air bath, morning walk & breathing practices.

Ether – Fasting therapy

The hollow organs and inter cellular space represent this element and the main therapy associated with it is fasting.

Common Naturopathy Treatments


Therapeutic use of water at prescribed form, temperature, duration and pressure to get the desired therapeutic result is called hydrotherapy.


Hip bath, immersion bath, contrast arm & foot bath, arm & foot bath, enema, sitz bath, spinal bath, spray spinal bath, steam bath, douche, G.H. pack, kidney pack, chest pack, local packs, full wet sheet pack.

Mud Therapy

Application of unpolluted mud taken from about 3 feet below the surface for therapeutic purpose is called mud therapy.


Eye pack, abdomen pack, mud application to face, local mud application, full mud bath, mud pack to face.

Massage Therapy

Systematic manipulation of body tissue with varied pressure on body surface is called as massage.


Swedish massage, aroma massage, powder massage.

Chromo therapy

Using the healing property of colours to treat diseases in the body is called as Chromo therapy.


Chromo thermoleum, coloured water charging.

Magneto therapy Using the healing property of magnetic poles to treat diseases in the body is called as Magneto therapy.


Pulsating magnetic field, magnet application, magnet water charging.

Acupressure & Reflexology

Stimulation of body parts or zones by applying pleasure with bare hands or blunt equipments is called as Acupressure or Reflexology.


Piercing the body with fine needles on the specific points at prescribed depth is acupuncture.

Diet Therapy

Fasting therapy, raw diet therapy, boiled diet therapy.

Salient Features of Naturopathy

  • Naturopathy believes that barring trauma all the disease has one cause that is accumulation of toxins in the human system and one treatment i.e by elimination of toxins. Germs are found if the body is loaded with toxins. As a proof there are almost 3 times more bacteriae in the body than the cells in it. But one gets illness if the healing forces within the body are weak.
  • The whole body & mind are treated as a single unit. Every physical ailment has a mind manifestation & every mind problem has a bodily manifestation. Hence each aspect has to be analyzed and attended to have a good result.
  • Acute diseases are self-healing efforts of the body. These should not be suppressed so that the body eliminates the toxins within. Chronic diseases are a result of suppression.
  • Fasting facilitates healing by stimulating the defences within the body and controls inflammation, killing abnormal cells, regulate hormonal secretions and restore normalcy to the body.
  • Naturopathy believes “Food is only the Medicine”.
  • Treatments are simple, cost effective and have definitive results.
  • The harmful effects are eliminated because of the use of natural elements for treatment.
  • The results can be subjectively & objectively verified by scientific means.
  • Treatments can be modified to suit person & places.