What is Naturopathic Medicine?

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is primary health care that uses safe and effective natural therapies that address the underlying cause of illness. Naturopathic physicians educate their patients about their bodies and how to live healthy lifestyles in order to achieve and maintain optimal health.

Naturopathic Physicians (NDs) are licensed primary health care providers who are trained at four-year, graduate-level, accredited medical schools. NDs may see patients for general health care and for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions. Naturopathic doctors are trained to support the body’s own innate healing ability and to treat the cause of illness — not just the symptoms. The goal of a naturopathic physician is to utilize therapies that support and promote the body’s natural healing process, leading to the highest state of wellness.

Naturopathic Principles:

First, Do No Harm
Support the Healing Power of Nature
Identify and Treat the Cause
Treat the Whole Person
Prevention is the Best Cure
Establish health and Wellness
Educate the Patient (Doctor as Teacher)

Naturopathic Medicine FAQ


What are Naturopathic Doctors (ND’s)?

Naturopathic physicians (ND’s) are licensed primary health care practitioners who are trained in natural therapeutics. They diagnose disease and treat patients by using natural modalities.

Are ND’s the same as homeopathics and herbalists?

ND’s are licensed general practitioners who use homeopathy and botanicals as methods of treatment. ND’s are trained and educated in all the naturopathic treatment options, unlike herbalist and homeopaths.

What type of education do ND’s receive?

  • Each doctor must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Must take and pass pre-medical prerequisites.
  • Must graduate from an accredited four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school
    First two years: didactic instructing
    Second two years: clinical practice

 Are all states licensed with ND’s?

Currently, only 13 states are licensed, but there are active naturopathic license proceedings occurring across the nation due to the demand and growth of naturopathic medicine.

 Are ND’s and MD’s the same?

Naturopathic physicians take the same basic science courses as allopathic doctors (MD): Anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, etc. Clinical sciences: cardiology, neurology, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology, minor surgery, etc

ND’s and MD’s must both continue their education by taking at least 30-credit hours each year after graduating for license renewal. Both also have a governing board for their scope of practice which regulates them. ND’s use the same lab diagnostic techniques and procedures as allopathic doctors, such as:  blood draws, urine samples, pap smears, hormone test, etc. ND’s and MD’s both have prescription rights.

Can I have both an MD and an ND taking care of my medical concerns?

Yes, MD’s and ND’s complement each other.  Most MDs are comparative with working with a ND’s.  All medical records and labs results can be release to ND’s.

When should I come see a ND?

To have the six principles apply to their lives.
To use the modalities of Naturopathic medicine for their illness, disease, or problem
To reduce the side effects of current medications
To receive information about alternative health care

What can I expect when I visit an ND?

ND’s are trained primary care physicians, we specialize in:
Diabetes, Cancer, Hypertension, Allergies, Chronic Pain, Autoimmune Diseases, Pediatrics, Geriatrics Cardiology, Gynecology, Men and Women Health, Sports Medicine, etc., and we have Referral Options

Is Naturopathic Medicine Scientifically Based?

Yes – we keep up with current research and use conventional and naturopathic methods for diagnosis and treatment.

Are Naturopathic Doctors and Naturopaths the same?

No.  There are licensed ND’s and unlicensed naturopaths that practice naturopathic medicine.  There are people practicing who are not licensed.

What is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor?

In order to be a licensed ND, you must attend and graduate from one of the accredited schools four-year naturopathic schools (see List).  The person must take and pass the national boards licensing exams.  Also they must meet all the criteria to renew their license.