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MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
Medicinal Therapies

For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
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  • Naturopathy Description
  • History
  • Key Principles
  • The Theory of Naturopathy
  • Evidence & Research
  • Conventional Medical Opinion
  • Consulting A Practitioner
  • Self Help


    Also known as "Natural Medicine" or "nature cure", naturopathy developed in the late 19th century, founded on an ancient belief in the power of the body to heal itself. Naturopaths believe that the body's natural state is one of equilibrium, which can be disturbed by an unhealthy lifestyle. They look for the underlying causes of a problem rather than treating symptoms alone, combining diet and non-invasive therapies where possible to stimulate the healing process. Naturopathy is practiced throughout the Western world and some of its principles have been adopted by conventional medicine.

    Naturopaths approach health and well-being wholistically and believe a body's natural state is one of equilibrium, which can be disturbed by an unhealthy lifestyle.


  • Degeneration and long term conditions, such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.
  • Depression.
  • High blood pressure, hardening of the arteries.
  • PMS and menstrual problems.
  • Skin conditions.
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as ulcers.
  • Anxiety, stress.
  • Headaches & fatigue, CFS.

  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Allergies
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Anxiety Disorders
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Arthritis
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Arthritis, Osteo
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Arthritis, Rheumatoid
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Asthma
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Backache
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Bronchitis
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Cardiovascular Disease
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Cardiovascular Disease & Cardiac-Circulatory System
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Circulatory Problems
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Depression
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Dermatitis
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Dysmenorrhea (Menstrual Cramps)
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Endometriosis
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Fatigue
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Headache
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Indigestion
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Insomnia
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Migraine
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Stress
    MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Uterine Fibroids


    Some aspects of naturopathy have common ground with other ancient holistic health systems, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, which share the belief that the body has an innate power to heal itself. In naturopathy this power is known as "vital force". Many of the principles of naturopathy can be found in the work of the Greek physician Hippocrates. Writing in the 5th century B.C., he said that health could be maintained by a balance of rest, exercise, and plain food in moderation, while cures should be as natural as possible to stimulate the body's ability to heal itself.

    Hippocrates, known as the "father of medicine", expressed 2,000 years ago the principles that were to become guiding principles for modern naturopaths.

    The term "naturopathy" was coined in 1895 by Dr. John Scheel of New York, but the system grew out of the "nature cures" popular in 19th century spa towns in Austria and Germany. These emphasized the benefits of hydrotherapy, fresh air, sunlight, and exercise. Naturopathy was also influenced by the work of French physiologist Claude Bernard in the 1850s. Bernard developed the concept of le milieu interieur (the body's internal environment), the equilibrium of which, he maintained, was vital for good health, or "homeostasis".

    health spas.
    Taking the waters in Karlsbad, Germany, in 1900. Spas offering hydrotherapy, fresh air, and exercise were popular in 19th century Europe.

    Naturopathy was introduced in the US in the 1890s by Benedict Lust, a follower of the German monk Father Sebastian Kneipp, who had established health spas in Europe. Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York in 1896. The practice flourished in the US and in 1909 California became the first state to recognize it as a therapy. By the late 19th century, John Kellogg (famous for his breakfast cereals) was using natural therapies at his sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan. In 1918 to 19, the naturopath Henry Lindlahr set out the principles of naturopathy in his Philosophy of Natural Therapeutics. Advances in pharmaceuticals and surgery in the 1930s swept natural methods aside in the US, and it was not until the 1960s that interest revived.

    Naturopathy is widely practiced in many countries. In Germany, there are several thousand state-licensed naturopaths, or Heilpraktiker (health practitioners), and, as in the Us, Canada, the UK, Australia, and the Netherlands, they are reasonably autonomous. In some states, naturopaths are recognized as family practitioners. Italy, Spain, and Israel also have growing numbers of naturopaths.


    Modern naturopaths believe the body will always strive toward good health, or homeostasis (see below), and that the body is its own best healer. They maintain that many factors, such as an unhealthy diet, a lack of sleep, exercise, or fresh air, any emotional or physical stress, pollution in the environment, even negative attitudes, allow waste products and toxins to build up in the body and upset self-regulation. This in turn can overload the immune system and weaken the vital force, the body's innate ability to maintain good health. If this vital force is weakened, the body becomes susceptible to viruses, bacteria, and allergens.

    Naturopaths believe that symptoms such as fever or inflammation are signs of the body's self-healing powers at work, and advise against suppressing such symptoms, since that can cause disorders to "go underground", becoming chronic and causing further degeneration. Rather than treating symptoms directly, naturopaths work to improve underlying health so that the patient is less susceptible to infection.

    Naturopathic treatments are as non-invasive as possible. Some practitioners specialize in a particular approach, while others draw on a wide range of techniques. Some of the most commonly used treatments include clinical nutrition and fasting (diet is a very important part of naturopathic medicine); hydrotherapy, physical therapies, including osteopathy or chiropractic, massage, and physiotherapy; counseling and lifestyle modification; herbal medicine; homeopathy; Traditional Chinese Medicine; light therapy; touch therapies including massage, acupressure, shiatsu, and reflexology; and yoga.


    Naturopathy is a multi-disciplinary approach that uses the healing power of natural resources, such as whole foods, medicinal herbs, and fresh air and water, to allow the body to heal itself. Treatment is given to support what naturopaths term the "triad of health": the musculoskeletal structure of the body, its internal biochemistry, and emotional well-being.


    Naturopaths believe that self-healing depends on a "vital force", which helps the body fight disease and maintain equilibrium, known as homeostasis. An unhealthy lifestyle can throw this process off balance, weakening the vital force.

    A balanced lifestyle.
    A balanced lifestyle sustains homeostasis, strengthening the body's self-healing abilities and enhancing the immune system.

    An unhealthy way of life.
    An unhealthy way of life may overwhelm the body's natural ability to regulate itself, and can therefore lead to illness.


    Naturopathy uses a range of therapies to enhance the body's self-healing powers. These aim to work by improving digestion and circulation, increasing the elimination of waste products, and boosting the immune system.

    A whole-foods diet.
    A whole foods diet rich in unrefined, preferably organic, fresh fruit and vegetables is recommended.

    Herbal remedies.
    Herbal remedies are prescribed to support the body's natural regenerative powers.

    Yoga postures and breathing develop physical flexibility and promote relaxation.

    Osteopathy / chiropractic.
    Osteopathy and/or chiropractic care is important in promoting a healthy body structure, considered to be essential for well-being.

    Massage is often a feature of naturopathic programs. It relaxes tense muscles and helps circulation.

    Hydrotherapy is a traditional naturopathic remedy that improves circulation and boosts vitality.


    The therapeutic benefits of a whole-foods diet and other naturopathic practices, such as regular exercise, relaxation, and the use of massage for stress relief, have been endorsed by medical research.

    In 1991, a study of ear infections in children, undertaken by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, claimed that naturopathy was an effective alternative to antibiotics and surgery. At the Bastyr University Clinic in Seattle, the Healing AIDS Research Project treated 16 HIV-positive patients along naturopathic lines for a year, using vitamin supplements, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, and herbal remedies. The results of their trial, published in 1992, revealed that 12 of the 16 reported improved well-being and none of the group developed AIDS.


    Many long-held naturopathic notions, such as the importance of a diet that is high in fiber and antioxidants, and low in salt and fat, have since been adopted by conventional medicine. Stress management and exercise, now accepted by conventional practitioners as important to health, have been stock-in-trade in naturopathy for most of the 20th century. Conventional preventive medicine, though it might not admit it, owes a lot to the naturopathic tradition.


    The first visit to a naturopath may last up to an hour as he will want to build up a complete picture of your physical and emotional well-being. He will probably give you a routine medical examination, including tests on your blood pressure, lungs and heart, spinal joints, and reflexes. The practitioner may also arrange for X-rays, blood, urine, and other tests. In addition, he may carry out non-conventional tests, examining your irises, analyzing your sweat or hair, or using kinesiology muscle tests.

    MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information: Diagnostic Techniques - Iridology
    MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information: Diagnostic Techniques - Hair Analysis
    MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information: Diagnostic Techniques - Applied Kinesiology
    MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information: Diagnostic Techniques - Nutritional Testing


    Naturopaths assess the patient's health with a wide range of tests to build up a complete picture.

    The irises are examined.
    The irises are said to indicate the state of internal organs.

    The sweat patch.
    A sweat patch can be applied to test for mineral imbalances.

    A blood test.
    A blood test may reveal anemia and food allergies.

    Checking heart and lungs.
    Checking the heart and lungs. The naturopath listens to the breathing patterns and heartbeat through a stethoscope to check that the heart and lungs are functioning properly. The patient breathes deeply to fill his lungs. This important diagnostic technique can reveal disorders ranging from asthma and emphysema to heart defects.

    A naturopath may diagnose your condition in terms unfamiliar to conventional practitioners, such as "toxic accumulation" and "leaky gut". Treatment falls into two broad categories.
      Catabolic (cleansing) treatment is given for conditions caused by a buildup of waste products, and may include fasting to assist detoxification.

      Anabolic (strengthening) treatment is aimed at building up a weakened constitution with nutritional supplements and changes in the diet.

    The practitioner may give advice about breathing patterns, exercise, and relaxation. Some naturopaths are also trained in counseling skills and techniques such as hypnotherapy. Advice is tailored to individual needs, and willing participants in treatments and a positive mental attitude are crucial. Your health should improve steadily, possibly with temporary relapses known as "healing crises" as detoxification takes effect.


    Q: How long does a treatment session last?
    A: The first session lasts about an hour. Subsequent sessions last 20 to 40 minutes.

    Q: How many sessions will I need?
    A: Between 4 and 30 weekly sessions, depending on the condition. A qualified naturopath will refer you to your conventional practitioner if he feels that your condition requires surgery or treatment beyond his expertise.

    Q: Will it be unpleasant?
    A: The naturopath may ask you to give up some favorite foods for a time.

    Q: Will there be any aftereffects?
    A: Symptoms may appear to worsen before improving as the body tries to eliminate toxins and return to a homeostatic state.


    Sinusitis is an infection of the membranes lining the air-filled cavities (sinuses) in the bones around the nose, causing throbbing pain and fever. Naturopathic treatment for the condition will be tailored to the patient's individual needs, and will vary according to whether catabolic or anabolic principles are applied.

    The naturopath will first ask about the patient's lifestyle and take a detailed medical history. If the sinusitis is thought to have resulted from toxins in the body or from exposure to pollutants, catabolic treatments such as fasting may be recommended. On the other hand, if the patient's overall health is poor, and his self-healing powers are not strong enough to rid the body of infection, a health-promoting whole-foods diet and food supplements will be used, based on anabolic principles. Other options might include soft-tissue massage and cold compresses to stimulate circulation.

    Lymphatic pumping.
    Lymphatic Pumping: The practitioner massages lightly around the lymph nodes, stimulating the lymphatic system to help it expel toxins. Gently vibrating the muscles around the ribs "frees" the chest and helps the patient to breathe more deeply.


    Joan, a 31-year old marketing executive, had "weakness" of the right side and extreme fatigue: "The naturopath believed it was chronic fatigue syndrome and put me on a very plain diet with lots of fruit, vegetable juices, and water. I was prescribed the herb Echinacea to build up my immune system, and lots of supplements. She asked me to make some lifestyle changes - I had been driving to work through a tunnel full of exhaust fumes, so I traveled by train instead. After being sick for 18 months, within three or four weeks I was feeling much better."

    MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information: Find A Practitioner


  • Do not fast or follow a restricted diet without supervision by a qualified naturopath.


    One of the many foundations of naturopathic medicine is diet, and you may be given a specific juice fast and diet to follow at home. The practitioner may prescribe nutritional supplements to complement the changes in your diet, and may also advocate hydrotherapy or self-massage.

    Fresh juice.
    Fresh Juice: Freshly squeezed juice is rich in vitamin C and potassium. For sinusitis, a juice combining apple, carrot, orange, and grape might be prescribed. Following a juice fast for three days, avoiding mucus-generating foods, such as dairy products, salt, and sugar, can encourage detoxification of body systems.

    Cold compresses.
    Cold Compresses: Made from cotton cloth soaked in cold water, these can be left on the body for a few hours to promote sweating and detoxification. For sinusitis, a compress should be wrapped around the throat, with another around the abdomen. Both should be covered with a towel, and sometimes also a blanket.


    General guidelines for leading a more healthy lifestyle include the following:

  • MINERAL WATER: Drinking 2 to 8 glasses daily helps the body to eliminate waste products.

  • SUPPLEMENTS: There is no substitute for a healthy diet. However, Vitamins B-Complex, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C, and a Multivitamin and a Multimineral preparation may help if you are in a stressful or polluted environment.

  • Nutritional supplements.
    Supplements: Taking vitamin and mineral supplements when ill or stressed can boost the digestive system and help the elimination of waste products.

  • BREATHING: Breath deeply, from the bottom of the lungs, for two minutes twice a day.

  • FRESH AIR: Spend time outdoors in moderate sunshine to increase Vitamin D production.

  • SKIN BRUSHING: Using a loofah or special brush before a bath helps eliminate waste products and improve the circulation.

  • MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Fasting
    MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Herbal Baths Recipes Index
    MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Hot & Cold Therapy Information & Techniques
    MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Hydrotherapy Information & Techniques
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Juicing
    MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Using A Poultice, wrap, Compress Therapy
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Index
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
    MoonDragon's Nutrition Guidelines Index
    MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information: Therapy Index


    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Naturopathy
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Hydrotherapy
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Homeopathy
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Homeopathic Remedies
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Homeopathic Potencies
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Biochemic Tissue Salts
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Bach Flower Remedies
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Crystal Therapy
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Western Herbalism
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Chinese Herbalism
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Ayurveda
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Nutritional Therapies
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Orthomolecular Therapy
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Clinical Ecology
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Magnetic Therapy
    MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Other Therapies

    MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

    | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

    Health & Wellness Index


    Allspice Leaf Oil
    Angelica Oil
    Anise Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Basil Oil
    Bay Laurel Oil
    Bay Oil
    Benzoin Oil
    Bergamot Oil
    Black Pepper Oil
    Chamomile (German) Oil
    Cajuput Oil
    Calamus Oil
    Camphor (White) Oil
    Caraway Oil
    Cardamom Oil
    Carrot Seed Oil
    Catnip Oil
    Cedarwood Oil
    Chamomile Oil
    Cinnamon Oil
    Citronella Oil
    Clary-Sage Oil
    Clove Oil
    Coriander Oil
    Cypress Oil
    Dill Oil
    Eucalyptus Oil
    Fennel Oil
    Fir Needle Oil
    Frankincense Oil
    Geranium Oil
    German Chamomile Oil
    Ginger Oil
    Grapefruit Oil
    Helichrysum Oil
    Hyssop Oil
    Iris-Root Oil
    Jasmine Oil
    Juniper Oil
    Labdanum Oil
    Lavender Oil
    Lemon-Balm Oil
    Lemongrass Oil
    Lemon Oil
    Lime Oil
    Longleaf-Pine Oil
    Mandarin Oil
    Marjoram Oil
    Mimosa Oil
    Myrrh Oil
    Myrtle Oil
    Neroli Oil
    Niaouli Oil
    Nutmeg Oil
    Orange Oil
    Oregano Oil
    Palmarosa Oil
    Patchouli Oil
    Peppermint Oil
    Peru-Balsam Oil
    Petitgrain Oil
    Pine-Long Leaf Oil
    Pine-Needle Oil
    Pine-Swiss Oil
    Rosemary Oil
    Rose Oil
    Rosewood Oil
    Sage Oil
    Sandalwood Oil
    Savory Oil
    Spearmint Oil
    Spikenard Oil
    Swiss-Pine Oil
    Tangerine Oil
    Tea-Tree Oil
    Thyme Oil
    Vanilla Oil
    Verbena Oil
    Vetiver Oil
    Violet Oil
    White-Camphor Oil
    Yarrow Oil
    Ylang-Ylang Oil
    Healing Baths For Colds
    Herbal Cleansers
    Using Essential Oils


    Almond, Sweet Oil
    Apricot Kernel Oil
    Argan Oil
    Arnica Oil
    Avocado Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Black Cumin Oil
    Black Currant Oil
    Black Seed Oil
    Borage Seed Oil
    Calendula Oil
    Camelina Oil
    Castor Oil
    Coconut Oil
    Comfrey Oil
    Evening Primrose Oil
    Flaxseed Oil
    Grapeseed Oil
    Hazelnut Oil
    Hemp Seed Oil
    Jojoba Oil
    Kukui Nut Oil
    Macadamia Nut Oil
    Meadowfoam Seed Oil
    Mullein Oil
    Neem Oil
    Olive Oil
    Palm Oil
    Plantain Oil
    Plum Kernel Oil
    Poke Root Oil
    Pomegranate Seed Oil
    Pumpkin Seed Oil
    Rosehip Seed Oil
    Safflower Oil
    Sea Buckthorn Oil
    Sesame Seed Oil
    Shea Nut Oil
    Soybean Oil
    St. Johns Wort Oil
    Sunflower Oil
    Tamanu Oil
    Vitamin E Oil
    Wheat Germ Oil


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index

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