The Beauty and Benefits of Naturopathy

2 years ago / by KT Hall
Image credits: Shutterstock

If you ever did a search online and asked “what is naturopathy?” you might have come across the word Ayurveda. Ayurveda is both similar to and different from naturopathy. They both use natural and holistic healing approaches to treat ailments. They both also explore ways to heal the body naturally with herbs and nature to bring it back into alignment. Let’s break down both types of healing methods.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda has been around much longer than naturopathy. It’s an ancient healing system from India that dates back to 1700-1100 BC. The name is derived from the words ayur (life) and veda (knowledge) as a way to balance health and life with spirituality, emotions and one’s physical wellbeing. The basis is fixing imbalances in the doshas which include the Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

Ayurveda Vs. Naturopathy

Both Ayurveda and naturopathy use yoga, homeopathy, meditation and massage. These all work to bring the body back to a more balanced state. Naturopathic healing works to promote self-healing and removes toxins. Diet is something else they have in common. However, naturopathic remedies uses organic meats and raw foods while Ayurveda is mostly a vegetarian diet. They both avoid processed foods but Ayurveda relies heavily on natural spices to ward off illnesses. ,

Hence if you’re unsure which approach is best, Ayurveda promotes balance while Naturopathy treatment focuses on nature’s healing powers.

What is Naturopathy?

Naturopathy treatment dates back to Ancient Greece and natura is a Latin word for birth. This alternative form of medicine was used for centuries and naturopaths focus on holistic health. Eliminating negative foods and changes to diet and exercise can help change the body’s spirit and make the necessary corrections that promote healing.

Naturopathic healing doesn’t include the use of drugs but ways to reduce stress, increase motion and lifestyle changes.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopaths are sometimes licensed doctors or physicians but training for naturopathic medicine is different. While a naturopathic doctor went to a school similar to MDs, they studied philosophy, botanical and Chinese medicine, acupuncture techniques and nutrition.

Taking a more holistic approach, naturopaths look for the underlying causes of symptoms. Naturopathic medicine includes coursework like homeopathy, mind-body medicine and psychotherapy. Naturopaths may also study areas like neurofeedback and biofeedback.

Exploring Naturopathy with Diet

A naturopathic diet is a life change that promotes eating foods in their more natural state. That means avoiding processed foods and fast foods. With a preference for uncooked and raw foods, the diet should include 80% alkalinity (foods that aren’t cooked) and 20% acidity (foods that are cooked).

The Naturopathic Medicine Diet

To rid the body of its toxins, the naturopathic diet is divided into 3 sections. These include eliminative diets, soothing diets and constructive diets.

Eliminative Diets

Eliminative diets are the initial cleansing phase to naturopathic health. It removes all the toxins in our digestive systems. Included with these diets are lime juice and coconut water. Organs like the liver and kidneys are cleansed and this is a time of limited physical exertion. Light stretching is fine but this is similar to fasting where rest can help the body adjust and recover.

Soothing Diets

Soothing diets are the next phase to revitalize your system after the shock from the first stage. In this section, you’ll introduce traditional naturopath nutrients like salads, fruit and soups to heal the gastrointestinal tract. Eating steamed or boiled vegetables and juicing are also allowed.

Constrictive Diets

Constructive diets are the last phase to introduce more solid foods. However, this isn’t about reverting back to processed foods or fast foods. The body needs complete meals and the emphasis is nourishment. Items in this category include pulses, sprouts, wholesome flour and items like unpolished rice.

Benefits of Naturopathy

As you work to improve your eating habits, it’s important to avoid coffee, tobacco products, refined foods and canned foods.

The benefits of naturopathy are that these sustainable lifestyle changes can help protect you from unnecessary illnesses and diseases. With a more holistic approach to your diet that fuels and protects it. It’s one that your naturopath can walk you through as you work to heal the whole body and mind.

Talk to your naturopath about naturopathy remedies to treat the root causes of your illnesses. These are natural choices that can help cleanse your body and provide the nutrients it needs.


Is a Naturopath a Real Doctor?

Yes, naturopathic doctors are real doctors but their teachings are different. Naturopathic doctors have a medical doctorate and went to school for several years. However, they differ from naturopaths who may hold a certification. Naturopathic doctors and naturopaths are not conventional doctors and what differentiates them is how they treat the underlying medical conditions or symptoms a person might have.

What Exactly Does a Naturopath Do?

Naturopaths are sometimes licensed doctors and may recommend changes to your exercise regimen and diet. They may suggest acupuncture, stretching and injections to help resolve your symptoms and underlying causes.

Similar to physicians, naturopaths studied biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology and other core subjects. However, naturopathic medicine also includes coursework and clinical work in making medical diagnoses, minor surgeries, pathophysiology and medical imaging interpretations.    

Does Naturopathic Medicine Really Work?

Naturopathic doctors don’t rush to write prescriptions. They address any underlying areas with exercise and diet changes, herbs, nutrition, supplements and acupuncture. These are preferred treatment plans in some cases because you’re not immediately taking prescription drugs that can have side effects (and may require additional medications). 

Which is Better Ayurveda or Naturopathic Healing?

They both use holistic and natural approaches to healing and they incorporate nature and herbs to resolve ailments. However, deciding which is better is likely a personal preference.

What is a Naturopathic Diet?

A naturopathic diet includes eating natural foods while avoiding fast food and processed foods.  The diet consists mostly of raw and uncooked foods with about 80% alkalinity (foods that aren’t cooked) and 20% acidity (foods that are cooked).