The system presumes that human body is a harmonious whole of 5 great elements that create nature, and diseases occurs when this internal harmony is lost due to toxins accumulated in the body as a consequence of individual’s faulty lifestyle. The only way to heal the disease is to bring back the elemental balance in the body by following disease- specific protocol, which will fortify and activate the body’s innate power to heal. The system works as the prevention and cure for chronic diseases through body detoxification and lifestyle modification with a holistic approach

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Brief History

The term "naturopathy" originates from "natura" (Latin root for birth) and "pathos" (the Greek root for suffering) to suggest "natural healing". Naturopaths claim the ancient Greek "Father of Medicine", Hippocrates, as the first advocate of naturopathic medicine, before the term existed. In Scotland, Thomas Allinson started advocating his "Hygienic Medicine" in the 1880s, promoting a natural diet and exercise with avoidance of tobacco and overwork. The term naturopathy was coined in 1895 by John Scheel, and purchased by Benedict Lust, whom naturopaths consider to be the "Father of U.S. Naturopathy". Lust had been schooled in hydrotherapy and other natural health practices in Germany by Father Sebastian Kneipp. Lust defined naturopathy as a broad discipline rather than a particular method, and included such techniques as hydrotherapy, herbal medicine, and homeopathy, as well as eliminating overeating, tea, coffee, and alcohol. He described the body in spiritual and vitalistic terms with "absolute reliance upon the cosmic forces of man's nature". The revival of Naturopathy started in India by translation of Germany’s Louis Kuhne’s book “New Science of Healing”. Shri D. Venkat Chelapati Sharma translated this book in Telgu language in 1894. Gandhiji was influenced by the book Return to Nature written by Adolf Just and become a firm believer of Naturopathy. Gandhiji used to stay at the Nature Cure Clinic of Dr. Dinshaw Mehta situated in Pune during 1934 to 1944. In his memory, the Government of India established National Institute of Naturopathy in 1986 at that place.

Main Texts

Naturopathy is a very old science. We can find a number of references in our Vedas and other ancient texts. The morbid matter theory, concept of vital force and other concepts upon which Naturopathy is based are already available in old texts. The revival of Naturopathy started in India by translation of Germany’s Louis Kuhne’s book “New Science of Healing”.

New Science of Healing

New Science of Healing by Louis Kuhne. The New Science of Healing or the doctrine of the Oneness of all Diseases forming the basis of a Uniform Method of Cure, without Medicines and without Operations. An Instructor and Adviser for the Healthy and the Sick by Louis Kuhne.

Return to Nature!

Return to nature by Adolf Just was first Published in 1904. The author, who was the owner of a natural health clinic in Germany, demonstrated with many instances of healing that his method is able to bring restoration of health through sunbathing in the buff, barefoot contact with the ground, air baths and fruitarianism. It includes- The true natural method of healing and living, and the true salvation of the soul; Paradise Regained; The Care of the Body; Water; Human Curative Power; Light; Air; Earth; Food; Fruit Culture.

Neo Naturopathy

Neo Naturopathy- The New Science of Healing Or the Doctrine of Unity of Diseases, by Louis Kuhne and Benedict Lust published in 1917. Mr. Kuhne was a genius in the art of healing, and his discovery of the cause of all disease and the remedies therefore, created a veritable epoch in the field of drugless medicine. In publishing this treatise, Mr. Lust's aim is to prove Naturopathy a logical and exact science; to make this book worthy of the profession it is devoted to and to make the drugless doctor a bigger and better doctor, and the patient more appreciative of the merits of natural healing. Partial Contents- how does disease arise? nature, origin, purpose and cure of diseases of children; measles; disease a transmission; rheumatism, gout, sciatica their cause and cure; science of facial expression; what shall we eat, drink? digestive process; beneficial value of vegetable diet; nervous and mental diseases; sleeplessness; pulmonary affections; sexual diseases; heart disease; poverty of the blood; disease of the eye, ear, teeth; migraine; cancer; diseases of women; reports of cures


In Naturopathy, Prevention is preferable to cure.

The Healing Power of Nature

The body can heal itself, given the right condition and treatment. There is a ‘Vital Force’ which is stimulated to promote health.

Treat the Cause, not a symptom

Identify the underlying cause of illness rather than eliminating (suppressing) symptoms.

Treat the Whole Person

Recognise a patient’s individuality by taking into account individual physical, mental, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors.

Food is only the Medicine

According to Naturopathy, “Food is only the Medicine”, no external medications are used.

Diagnosis & Treatment

The diagnosis and treatment of the disease are as follows:


A naturopathic diagnosis can be identified using one or more of the following- A patient’s health history, The findings of an objective patient evaluation, including a physical examination. The results of any relevant tests or investigations. A good therapist will always use more than one diagnostic tool. It includes medical and laboratory tests. The advantage of Naturopathic Diagnostics is, that constitutional weaknesses can be seen and a link between a symptom and an underlying cause reviled. Most common used Naturopathic diagnostic tools are- TCM, Traditional Chinese medicine (pulse, face, tongue), Reflex zones of the body (Feet, hands, ear, back), Iridology, Kinesiology testing and Bio resonance etc.


In attempting to restore health, the ND follows a specific, yet adaptable, therapeutic order that begins with minimal interventions and proceeds to higher level interventions as necessary. The order begins with reestablishing the conditions of health, such as developing a more healthful dietary and lifestyle regime. Next, the body's natural healing mechanisms may be stimulated through techniques such as hydrotherapy, which can increase the circulation of blood and lymph. The third step is to support weakened or damaged systems with homeopathy, botanical medicines, or specific exercises, such as yoga. The fourth step is to correct structural integrity, which is typically done with physical medicine techniques including massage and naturopathic manipulation. The fifth step is to address pathology using specific natural substances, such as dietary supplements. The sixth step is to address pathology using pharmaceutical or synthetic substances. Surgical correction is reserved for the final therapeutic step.

Types of Treatment

The types of treatment can broadly be classified as:

Diet Therapy

According to this therapy, the food must be taken in natural form. Fresh seasonal fruits, fresh green leafy vegetables and sprouts are excellent. These diets are broadly classified into three types, i.e. 1. Eliminative Diet- Liquids-Lemon, Citric juices, Tender Coconut water, Vegetable soups, Butter milk, Wheat Grass juices etc. 2. Soothing Diet- Fruits, Salads, Boiled/Steamed Vegetables, Sprouts, Vegetable chutney etc. 3. Constructive Diet- Wholesome flour, Unpolished rice, little pulses, Sprouts, Curd etc. Being alkaline, these diets help in improving health, purifying the body and rendering it immune to disease. To this end, a proper combination of food is necessary. Our diet should consist of 20% acidic and 80% alkaline food for maintaining health. A balanced food is a must for any individual seeking good health. Food is regarded as Medicine in Naturopathy.

Mud Therapy

Mud therapy is very simple and effective treatment modality. The mud used for this should be clean and taken from 3 to 4 ft. depth from the surface of the ground. There should be no contamination of stone pieces or chemical manures etc. in the mud. Mud is one of five elements of nature having immense impact on the body both in health and sickness. Advantages of using mud- Its black color absorbs all the colors of the Sun and conveys them to the body. Mud retains moisture for a long time, when applied over the body part it causes cooling. Its shape and consistency can be changed easily by adding water. It is cheap and easily available. Before using, mud should be dried, powdered and sieved to separate stones, grass particles and other impurities.

Fasting Therapy

Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. A fast may be total or partial concerning that from which one fasts, and may be prolonged or intermittent as to the period of fasting. Fasting is an important treatment modality for health preservation. Prolonged fasting should be done only under the supervision of a competent Naturopath. Methods of fasting are water, juices or raw vegetable juices. The best, safest and most effective method is lime juice fasting. During fasting, the body burns up and excretes huge amounts of accumulated wastes. We can help this cleansing process by drinking alkaline juices. Sugars in juices will strengthen the heart, juice fasting is therefore the best form of fasting. All juices should be prepared from fresh fruit immediately before drinking. Canned or frozen juices should not be used. A precautionary measure, which must be observed in all cases of fasting, is the complete emptying of the bowels at the beginning of the fast by enema so that the patient is not bothered by gas or decomposing matter formed from the excrements remaining in the body. Enemas should be used at least every alternate day during the fasting period. The total liquid intake should be approximately six to eight glasses. A lot of energy is spent during the fast in the process of eliminating accumulated poisons and toxic waste materials. It is therefore, of utmost importance that the patient gets as much physical rest and mental relaxation as possible during the fast.


Hydrotherapy is a branch of Nature Cure. It is the treatment of disorders using different forms of water. These forms of water application are in practice since age-old days. Hydrothermal therapy additionally uses its temperature effects, as in hot & cold baths, saunas, wraps, etc and in all its forms-solid, fluid, vapour, ice and steam, internally and externally. Water is without doubt the most ancient of all remedial agents for disease. This great healing agent has now been systematized and made into a science. Hydriatic applications are generally given in different temperatures. Taking bath properly with clean cold water is an excellent form of Hydrotherapy. Such baths open up all the pores of the skin and make the body light and fresh. In the cold bath all systems and muscles of body get activated and the blood circulation improves after bath. The old tradition of taking bath in rivers, ponds or waterfalls on specific occasions is virtually a natural form of Hydrotherapy only. Being a universal solvent, its use internally, in the form of Enema or Colonic Irrigation or Water drinking aid greatly in the elimination of uric acid, urea, salts, excessive sugar, and many other blood and food chemicals that are waste products.

Masso Therapy

Massage is an excellent form of passive exercise. Massage is the practice of soft tissue manipulation with physical (anatomical), functional (physiological), and in some cases psychological purposes and goals. If correctly done on a bare body, it can be highly stimulating and invigorating. Massage is also a modality of Naturopathy and quite essential for maintaining good health. Massage involves acting on and manipulating the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, and feet. There are over eighty different recognized massage modalities. It aims at improving blood circulation and strengthening bodily organs. In winter season, sun bath after massaging the whole body is well known practice of preserving health and strength. Various oils are used as lubricants like mustard oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, olive oil, aroma oils etc. which also have therapeutic effects. There are seven fundamental modes of manipulation in massage and these are- Touch, effleurage (stroking), friction (rubbing), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (percussion), vibration (shaking or trembling) and Joint movement. Movements vary according to disease condition and parts applied.


Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers or any blunted objects to press key points called as ‘Acu Points’ (Energy stored points) on the surface rhythmically on the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body’s life force to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, while acupressure uses the gentle but firm pressure of hands or any blunted objects, but acupuncture employs needles, Acupressure has been practiced as a healing art for at least 5,000 years. Acupressure can be effective in helping relieve headaches, eyestrain, sinus problems, neck pain, backaches, arthritis, muscle aches, and tension due to stress, ulcer pain, menstrual cramps, lower back aches, constipation, and indigestion, anxiety, insomnia. The healing touch of acupressure reduces tension, increases circulation, and enables the body to relax deeply. By relieving stress, acupressure strengthens resistance to disease and promotes wellness.


Acupuncture is the procedure of inserting and manipulating fine filiform needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain or for therapeutic purposes. According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture points are situated on meridians along which qi, the vital energy, flows. There is no known anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupuncture points or meridians. Most of the main acupuncture points are found on the "twelve main meridians" and two of the "eight extra meridians" (Du Mai and Ren Mai) a total of "fourteen channels", which are described in classical and traditional Chinese medical texts, as pathways through which Qi and "Blood" flow. Series of diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture has been demonstrated as an effective treatment- Allergic rhinitis, Depression, Headache, Nausea and vomiting including morning sickness, Pain in the epigastrium, face, neck, tennis elbow, lower back, knee, during dentistry and after operations, Primary dysmenorrhea, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sciatica, Cervical and Lumbar Sponsylosis, Bronchial Asthma, Insomnia.

Chromo Therapy

Seven colours of Sun rays have different therapeutic effects. These colours are-Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. For being healthy and in treatment of different diseases, these colours work effectively. Water and oil exposed to sun for specified hours in coloured bottles and coloured glasses, are used as devices of Chromo Therapy for treating different disorders. The simple methods of Chromo Therapy help in the process of recovery in a very effective manner.

Air Therapy

Fresh air is most essential for good health. The advantage of air therapy can be achieved by means of Air bath. Everybody should take an air bath daily for 20 minutes or longer if possible. It is more advantageous when combined with morning cold rub and exercises. In this process, one should walk daily after removing the clothes or wearing light clothes at a lonely clean place where adequate fresh air is available. Another alternate method is in a constructed room without roof and surrounded by shutter like walls so as to allow free passage of air but prevent any view of the interior. Air bath has soothing and tonic effect upon the millions of nerve endings all over the surface of the body. It has good results in cases of nervousness, neurasthenia, rheumatism, skin, mental and various other chronic disorders.

Magnet Therapy

Magnet therapy is a clinical system in which human ailments are treated and cured through the application of magnets to the body of the patients. It is the simplest, cheapest and entirely painless system of treatment with almost no side or after effects. The only tool used is the magnet. Magnetic treatment is applied directly to the body parts by the therapeutic magnets available in different powers or as general treatment to the body. Also magnetic belts are available for different parts e.g. Abdomen, knee, wrist etc. Magnetic necklaces, glasses and bracelets are also used for treatment. The benefits are- Helps in balancing the energy, Improves circulation to the applied area, Increases the warmth ness in the body.

Regulatory Authority

There is no regulatory authority in India

Although the central government established the Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy to facilitate research in yoga and naturopathy, but there is no regulatory authority yet. We need regulatory bodies governing the practice of naturopathy, much like the way the Indian Medical Council governs allopathic medicine.

In India, both naturopathy and yoga come under the umbrella of the AYUSH ministry. There are proper councils for all alternative systems of medicine except naturopathy and yoga, with extensive guidelines on medical education, code of professional conduct, as well as recognition of accredited institutions and hospitals.

Important Institutions


The regulatory authority as per the provisions introduced the following courses through Regulations.

Degree Course

Naturopathy Degree Course - The degree awarded is Bachelor of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences (B.N.Y.S.). The duration of Course is 5 years 6 months. The minimum amission qualification is 12th Standard.

PG Degree

Naturopathy Post Graduation Degree Course - The degree awarded is M.D (Doctor of Medicine) -Diet & Nutrition in Yoga & Naturopathy . The duration of Course is 3 years. The minimum amission qualification is Bachelor of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences (B.N.Y.S.).

PG Diploma

Naturopathy Post Graduation Diploma Course - Post Graduation Diploma in Yoga and Naturopathy (P.G.D.Y.N.). The duration of Course is 1 year. The minimum amission qualification is Graduation in any faculty of Medical science.

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