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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1901, a hybrid from comb. form of nature + -pathy. A correct formation from all-Greek elements would be *physiopathy. Related: Naturopath.


n. (context alternative medicine English) A system of therapy that avoids drugs and surgery and emphasizes the use of natural remedies (air, water, heat, sunshine) and physical means (massage, electrical treatment) to treat illness.


n. a method of treating disease using food and exercise and heat to assist the natural healing process


Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine employing a wide array of "natural" modalities, including homeopathy, herbalism, and acupuncture, as well as diet and lifestyle counseling. Naturopathic medicine contains many pseudoscientific concepts and is considered ineffective and can be harmful, which raises ethical issues. Naturopaths and naturopathic doctors have repeatedly been accused of being charlatans and practicing quackery.

The ideology and methods of naturopathy are based on vitalism and self-healing, rather than evidence-based medicine. Naturopathic education contains little of the established clinical training and curriculum completed by primary care doctors, as naturopaths mostly study unscientific notions and learn unproven diagnoses and treatments. Naturopaths generally recommend against modern medicine, including surgery, drugs, and vaccinations, in favor of methods claimed to be holistic and non-invasive. Naturopaths tend to oppose vaccines and teach their students anti- and alternative vaccine practices, resulting in lower vaccination rates. According to the American Cancer Society, "scientific evidence does not support claims that naturopathic medicine can cure cancer or any other disease."

The term "naturopathy" was created from "natura" ( Latin root for birth) and "pathos" (the Greek root for suffering) to suggest "natural healing". Modern naturopathy grew out of the Natural Cure movement of Europe. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the first known use of "naturopathy" in print is from 1901. The term was coined in 1895 by John Scheel and popularized by Benedict Lust, who is considered to be the "father of U.S. naturopathy". Beginning in the 1970s, there was a revival of interest in the United States and Canada, in conjunction with the "holistic health" movement.

Usage examples of "naturopathy".

Arabs in the past, a related race after all, hence the purely chemical tendency in medicine, whereas naturopathy, in the end it all boils down to the question of the organic and the inorganic as such: it was not without reason that Goethe identified the effort to make a homunculus not with Faust but with Wagner his famulus, because Wagner, it is safe to assume, represents the typically Jewish element, whereas Faust: because one thing is certain, they are without genius of any kind.