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What is naturopathy?

The Australian Naturopathic Council represents the Australian members of the World Naturopathic Federation, and through lobbying and stakeholder engagement, promotes the profession of naturopath. It is important to define what naturopathy is for these purposes.

Naturopathy is a system of health care which is based on traditional philosophies and principles, and utilises a wide variety of tools and techniques to achieve health for a patient.

These principles are:

  • First, Do No Harm (primum non nocere)
  • Healing Power of Nature (vis medicatrixnaturae)
  • Treat the Cause (tollecausam)
  • Treat The Whole Person (tolletotum)
  • Doctor as Teacher (docere)
  • Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
  • Wellness

These principles are taken from the World Naturopathic Website and degree education in Australia teaches these philosophies to students of naturopathy.

There are many tools and techniques that a naturopath may use to treat a patient, but the four most common ones are nutritional supplements, herbal medicine, dietary advice and lifestyle change (Steel, Schloss, Leach, Adams, 2020).

A naturopath is defined not necessarily by what they use to bring about wellness, but the principles they follow.