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The History of Naturopathic Medicine

The History of Naturopathic Medicine, a Canadian perspective


Over 2400 years ago Hippocrates was the first to proclaim “the healing power of nature”. Known as the founder of medicine, he believed in the natural healing ability of rest, a good diet, fresh air and cleanliness.

Naturopathic medicine is based on this ancient philosophy. Early doctors such as Benedict Lust and Henry Lindlar were instrumental in bringing many of the healing practices from Europe to America in the late 1800s.

During the early 1900s naturopathic medicine enjoyed much growth and acceptance. The 1920s to the 1970s were a time of tremendous struggle for the naturopathic profession as the focus of health care shifted toward pharmaceutical medicine and medical institutions. Today, naturopathic medicine has established accredited institutions and programs, has strong national and provincial associations and, most importantly, it continues to graduate naturopathic doctors that embrace the principles of the healing power of the body – treating the root cause of disease and offering individualized treatment to each person.


Key features of the book:

  • Provides a detailed look at the philosophy and principles of naturopathic medicine

  • Explores the history of naturopathic modalities including hydrotherapy, hygiene, nutritional therapies, mind-body medicine, herbalism, homeopathy, physical medicine, acupuncture and others

  • Highlights the early founders of naturopathic medicine including Benedict Lust, Louisa Lust and Henry Lindlahr

  • Looks at the relationship and the influence of the chiropractic and conventional medical profession on the growth of naturopathic medicine

  • Explores the history of the CAND (originally named CNA) and the major achievements and focuses of the national organization

  • Explores the history of provincial formation and regulation, highlighting some of the naturopathic doctors that have played an instrumental role in the profession

  • Provides an overview of naturopathic education, the early naturopathic schools and the formation of Canadian naturopathic schools

  • Includes a number of the personal stories of “Champions” in the naturopathic profession 

  • Provides an overview of research and its role and history in naturopathic medicine

  • Reviews the factors that contributed to the struggle of naturopathic medicine in the 1920s to the 1970s and the factors that have contributed to its growth and increased acceptance in the last thirty years

  • Includes copies of all the graduation photos from OCNM, CCNM and BINM from 1981 until 2008

  • Includes the names of all the NDs that have practiced in Canada or have graduated from a Canadian naturopathic school

  • Provides a timeline starting at 400 BC that walks the reader through the key events and significant people in the history of naturopathic medicine

  • Provides the stats and details on the national association, provincial associations and schools, including regulatory history, chairs/presidents of the organizations and key points in their history

The book can be purchased for $39.95 plus taxes and shipping charges by contacting our clinic at or contacting the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors at

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