History - Naturopathy





History Principles Tools Naturopathy only for healthy people?
  • History
  • Principles
  • Tools
  • Naturopathy only for healthy people?


The term naturopathy is quite recent: the first to use it was John Sheel, a New York physician, but the most shared etymological interpretation is that provided by Benedict Lust (Michelbach, Germany 1872-1945) in 1902 and deriving from the English nature's path ("The path of nature"). Indeed, Lust believed that resorting to all that nature offers was the only way to embark on a path towards complete human health.

If the term is recent, the practices are very ancient and have been used since time immemorial both in the East and in the West.

The East has developed two great traditions, the Chinese one and the Indian one (known as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, both based on a strong holistic philosophical foundation and consisting of both practices for keeping in good health (dietetics, reflexology, sweet gymnastics etc.) and from strictly medical practices (acupuncture, phytotherapy etc.); for obvious reasons, naturopathy is only interested in pathological prevention practices and in particular in the vision of reality that underlies them, in which they consider themselves strictly interdependent the seasons, the colors, the flavors, the mental states, the organs, the tissues and every part of the body and nature: this concept becomes the fundamental cultural background of naturopathy.

In the Mediterranean area, similar approaches have been adopted in the Egyptian and Hippocratic traditions: man is part of the natural context that welcomes him and must be cared for in the relationship with him. The hippocratic doctrine was then taken up by the Salerno school, which developed in the ninth century in the monasteries in the area and had its peak in the twelfth century, characterized by the care not only of the sick but also of healthy subjects, precisely according to the Hippocratic motto " it is good to guide the healthy "; in the same period the Benedictine nun Hildegard von Bingen practiced naturopathy and wrote many works that today are the cornerstone of this training.

In more recent times, important personalities such as Sebastian Kneipp (1824-1897) operated, who devoted himself above all to the study and practice of the use of water through baths, showers, sponges and jets to tone and detoxify the body.

Go back to the menu