Naturopathy is a natural therapeutic system of medicine, focusing on the holistic approach to health and wellness. Naturopathy is based on the belief that the human body has the innate ability to heal itself and that it can be supported through the use of natural therapies such as nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, massage, exercise, and lifestyle counseling. Naturopathy is often referred to as a form of alternative medicine or holistic medicine.

Important figures

Naturopathy is a holistic system of healing that emphasizes the use of natural therapies to promote health and wellness. It has been practiced for centuries, with many notable historical figures helping to shape the discipline. These individuals are responsible for many of the treatments and philosophies used today.


Hippocrates of Kos is known as the father of medicine and is one of the most influential figures in naturopathy. He is credited with the Hippocratic Oath, a code of ethics for medical practitioners, and believed in the importance of diet and lifestyle in treating disease. Hippocrates (460-370 BC) is widely considered the father of naturopathy and the first major figure in the history of natural medicine. He is renowned for his famous dictum, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food," which emphasizes the importance of nutrition in health and healing. Hippocrates was a Greek physician and is known for his pioneering work in the fields of anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology. He is also credited with the development of the Hippocratic Oath and the concept of Evidence-Based Medicine. Hippocrates believed that the body had four humors – black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood – and that illness was the result of an imbalance in these humors. He recommended a regimen of lifestyle changes and natural therapies, including diet, exercise, massage, and herbal remedies, to restore balance and health. He also believed that the environment, particularly air and water, had a significant impact on health. Hippocrates' legacy is still present today in naturopathic medicine, a holistic approach that emphasizes the use of natural therapies to treat illness and promote wellbeing. Naturopathy's core principles of prevention, self-care, and the use of natural therapies continues to be increasingly popular, and Hippocrates' influence can still be felt in modern medicine.


Paracelsus was a Swiss physician and alchemist who is credited with developing the concept of “similia similibus curantur”, or “like cures like”. This is the basis of homeopathy, one of the most popular forms of naturopathy. Paracelsus (1493-1541) was a natural philosopher of the Renaissance period. His works, which greatly influenced the development of modern medicine, are still studied in medical schools today. He was a key figure in the development of naturopathy, a holistic approach to healing that uses natural remedies to promote health and well-being. Paracelsus is credited with introducing the concept of the “doctrine of signatures”, which states that the shape and appearance of a plant can indicate its healing properties. He also developed the use of herbal remedies for treating illnesses, emphasizing the importance of understanding the properties of plants, minerals, and other natural substances. His works also suggest that physical and mental health are closely related, and that the environment can have a profound impact on an individual’s health. Paracelsus is widely considered to be one of the most important historical figures of naturopathy, and his discoveries and theories continue to shape the practice today.

Sebastian Kneipp

Sebastian Kneipp (1821–1897) was a Bavarian priest who is considered a major figure in the history of naturopathy. He was an early advocate of hydrotherapy and other natural treatments, and is known for his book, My Water Cure, which popularized his theories. Kneipp's methods and lifestyle became popular in the late 19th century, and he inspired many other naturopaths and alternative medicine practitioners. He was also influential in the development of modern naturopathic medicine. Kneipp was born in Bavaria and studied philosophy and theology at the University of Dillingen. After graduating, he became a priest in his hometown of Stephansried. In 1849 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and, in an effort to cure himself, began experimenting with natural treatments. He read widely, attending lectures on botany and natural medicine, and developed a system of hydrotherapy and nutrition that he believed to be beneficial. Kneipp's theories spread throughout Europe and into the United States, where he was invited to lecture in 1891. His book, My Water Cure, was translated into English in 1895, and quickly became popular. He also wrote several other books, including The Holistic Way of Life, which outlined his natural methods of healing. Kneipp's influence can still be seen today in the field of naturopathy. His teachings have been adopted by many practitioners and are still used in some form in many health clinics. He was an early advocate of natural and holistic healing, and his theories have helped shape the modern naturopathic movement.

Benedict Lust

Benedict Lust (1872-1945) was an important historical figure of Naturopathy, a medical system based on the belief that the body has the innate capacity to heal itself. Lust was born in Germany, where he received his medical training. He moved to the United States in 1896 and opened the first school of Naturopathy in 1902. Lust was a pioneer in the field of natural medicine, advocating for the use of herbal remedies, hydrotherapy, physical exercise, and diet to treat diseases. He is credited with popularizing Naturopathy in the United States and was instrumental in its development. He wrote numerous articles and books about Naturopathy, founded the American Naturopathic Association, and established several naturopathic clinics throughout the country. His work helped to legitimize Naturopathy, and he is recognized as one of the most important figures in the history of this alternative medical system.

Hildegard von Bingen

Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, and polymath who is considered one of the most important figures in the history of naturopathy. She was a prolific author of books on natural healing, herbal medicine, and nutrition, as well as a visionary who wrote extensively about the spiritual aspects of health and healing. Her writings on natural healing and medicine have been studied and used as a foundation for modern naturopathy. She was among the first to recognize the body's need for clean air, sunlight, and exercise, and advocated for a healthy diet, balanced nutrition, and "natural" remedies. She believed in the importance of treating the mind, body, and spirit, and was a proponent of treating diseases with natural remedies and lifestyle changes. Hildegard's influence on modern naturopathy has been immense. Her writings have been translated into many languages and her ideas are still studied, discussed, and implemented today. She was a pioneer in the field of naturopathy and her influence is still felt in the modern naturopathic movement.