naturopathy

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naturopathy

or

naturopathic medicine,

branch of alternative medicinealternative medicine,
the treatment and prevention of disease by techniques that are regarded by modern Western medicine as scientifically unproven or unorthodox. The term alternative medicine
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 concerned with holistic and noninvasive methods of treating illness and maintaining health. Centered on the use of natural substances such as vitamins and herbs, naturopathy can also include homeopathyhomeopathy
, system of medicine whose fundamental principle is the law of similars—that like is cured by like. It was first given practical application by Samuel Hahnemann of Leipzig, Germany, in the early 19th cent.
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, manipulation of the body, and other approaches. Naturopathy also emphasizes the importance of a healthful diet and lifestyle in the prevention of disease. Licensed naturopaths, who are trained at accredited schools, are not physicians; they do not prescribe pharmaceutical drugs or perform surgeries. Embodying some principles dating to the Greek physician HippocratesHippocrates
, c.460–c.370 B.C., Greek physician, recognized as the father of medicine. He is believed to have been born on the island of Cos, to have studied under his father, a physician, to have traveled for some time, perhaps studying in Athens, and to have then
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, modern naturopathy arose in Europe in the 1880s. It became extremely popular in the United States in the 1890s and the early 20th cent., and has experienced a resurgence in the early 21st cent.