Introduction on Naturopathy

  History and definition

  • History
  • History of Naturopathy dates back to centuries ago when there were no drugs. It first originated in Germany and then spread to America in 1800. Naturopathy is an art and science of healthy living in harmony with Nature. Ancient Indian writings such as the Vedas, Upanishads, and epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata provide enough evidence for these claims. Nature cure as a system was widely propagated by Mahatma Gandhiji under the patronage of Dr Dinshaw Mehta in Pune before Independence. Gandhi’s Satyagraha encompassed principles of fasting, non-violence, inner transformation and minimalistic living and laid the foundation for naturopathy in the country through Gandhian way of life. Naturopathy Day is observed every year in the country on 18th November, the day on which Mahatma Gandhi become a Life Member of the Nature Cure Foundation Trust and signed the deed. Gandhiji is considered the founding figure of Naturopathy in India, as it was largely through his efforts that this practice which originated in Europe became popular in India.

      Definition & Principles

    A system of disease prevention and treatment that avoids drugs and surgery. Naturopathy is based on the use of natural agents such as air, water, light, heat, and massage to help the body heal itself. It also uses herbal products, nutrition, acupuncture, and aromatherapy as forms of treatment. Naturopathy is a rational and evidence based system of medicine imparting treatments with natural elements based on the Theory of Vitality, Theory of Toxaemia, Theory of Self-Healing Capacity of the body and the principles of healthy living. Naturopathy believes in the principles of Unity of Disease and Unity of cure. It states that the germs are secondary cause of the disease and disease is caused due to lowered vitality or immunity. The aim of cure is to treat the cause and not the symptom. It lays emphasis of elimination of toxins, and foreign matter and improving one’s vitality. According to Naturopathy, Human body just like nature consists of 5 elements which need to be in balance.

  • Fire: Fire represents the digestive juices of the body
  • Water: Water represents all the fluids present in the body, such as blood and lymph
  • Ether: Ether represents the hollow organs such as oesophagus etc.
  • Air: Air represents the inflow and outflow of all the gaseous exchange happening in our body such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. It represents the energy and metabolic process in our body.
  • Earth: Earth represents the musculoskeletal system of the body.
The harmony of all these elements keeps the body healthy. Naturopathic techniques are simple to follow and may be easily incorporated into people's everyday routines as needed. As a result, the system gained a momentum and became popular globally. In India, it was known in Hindi as ‘Prakriti Chikitsa’ or ‘Nisargopachar’ or ‘Kudarati Ilaaz’ and many other names but the word ‘Prakritik Chikitsa’ gained wide popularity and as such it was adopted for Naturopathy or Nature Cure.

Treatment modalities in Naturopathy:

The following therapies are used in Naturopathy: -

  • Diet Therapy
  • Fasting therapy
  • Exercise therapy
  • Yoga
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Chromotherapy
  • Magnetotherapy
  • Acupressure and Acupuncture
  • Aroma therapy
  • Massage and Manipulative therapies

  • Education in Naturopathy

    Bachelor of Naturopathy & Yogic Sciences – (BNYS) a 5½ years degree course which is there since 1989 onwards. Today approximately 53 Colleges across 14 states are offering these courses. BNYS degree is considered on par with other AYUSH medical systems and there are registered medical practitioners registered in state AYUSH boards in 18 states. There are 5 Govt BNYS degree colleges across the country.

    MD Naturopathy Is a 3 years post-graduation course following BNYS. Currently MD courses are running in 5 colleges across the country. Globally Doctor in Naturopathic medicine (N.D) is popular in North America and Europe. Naturopathy has been regulated in various regions of Europe and North America since 1920s. The practice of naturopathy can vary widely, depending on the history of its evolution, the legislation affecting its practice, and the demands of the public for traditional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine (TM/CAM) in the relevant jurisdiction. Naturopathy is now acknowledged as a medical system in a number of nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Australia and India and doctors have license to practice the same in these countries. In India, there are around 10,000 BNYS graduates; while globally, there are over 1,00,000 Naturopathy Therapists practicing in over 30 countries.

    Regulatory status

    Eighteen State Governments like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar, U.P, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Nagaland, Manipur etc., have recognized Naturopathy system and offer state registration. Naturopathy Development Boards have also been established by some of the State Governments. The efforts are on for central regulation.

    Key Driver of Global Naturopathy Therapies Market:
    Increasing prevalence of lifestyle related diseases like Diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, cancer etc in our country and globally has led people to adopt non-conventional medicine like naturopathy. This High demand for non-conventional medicine to get better results compared to those received from conventional pharmaceutical medicines is a prime factor driving the global naturopathy therapies market. Wellness centers, Spas, Resorts and rejuvenation centers, detox centers, naturopathy hospitals, beauty clinics, nutraceuticals, aromatic oils, nutrition and dietary supplements make a large market size. Naturopathy treatments being drugless can be easily integrated into conventional care. The market size of each segments is given
    his sector is unregulated and regulation of training, education and practice will enhance confidence of citizens and improve the sector.
    Market Size
    The global complementary and alternative medicine market size was valued at USD 82.27 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.03% from 2021 to 2028. The nutrition space alone contributes $702 million. According, to EY and FICCI analysis, the segment is likely to experience faster growth compared to previous years—growing be a forecasted 12% CAGR for the next 5 years
    Some of the Leading Naturopathy Hospitals in the Country
  • Jindal Nature Cure Hospital
  • SDM Nature cure hospital, Shantivana, Parika, Dakshina Karnataka
  • MSR Aarogyalayam, Vijayawada
  • Nisargopchar Ashram, Urlikanchan
  • Bapu Nature cure hospital, New Delhi
  • Govt Naturopathic Medical college and hospital, Chennai
  • Govt Naturopathic medical college and hospital, Hyderabad
  • Govt Naturopathic medical college and Hospital, Mysuru
  • Balaji Norogdham, New Delhi
  • RK Nature cure Hospital, Coimbatore
  • The occupancy rates in these hospitals are above 90% round the year and people from around the globe flock to these centers.