What are the Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine?

May 28, 20210 comments

Last week’s post discussed how ND’s are licensed. This week we will discuss the six principles of naturopathic medicine. Understanding these principles will help you work better with your ND.



Herbal medicine Naturopathic 

These six principles are universal fundamental truths that all naturopathic doctors adhere to. The principles are the focus of patient care, rather than treatment options. It is essential for patient care and promotes life-long health and wellness.

  1. First Do No Harm-(Primum non nocere) Naturopathic Doctors strive to find the least invasive, toxic therapies.
  2. The Healing Power of Nature-(Vis medicatrix naturae) NDs utilize substances that originate in nature. They recognize and harness the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself in order to guide patients to wellness and total health and  incorporate a healthy, natural environment as foundational to human health.
  3. Identify & Treat the Causes-(Tolle causam)The belief that most naturopathic patients benefit from identifying the root causes of illness and removing obstacles to cure.
  4. Doctor as Teacher-(Docere) ND’s educate their patients as to how to stay well and participate as part of a team in a patient’s care.
  5. Treat the Whole Person-(Tolle totum) ND’s seek to restore balance and health and treat patients based on the interconnectedness of their bodies,  environment and  lifestyles on total health. A naturopathic assessment addresses patient conditions such as the nutritional status, lifestyle, family history, physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental and social factors in a person’s life.
  6. Prevention-(Praevenic) Naturopathic doctors utilize all six of the principles and focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.

This graphic below from the AANMC helps you remember the principles. You can also download a PDF of the principles from the AANMC web site to help you discuss options with your naturopathic doctor. The principles stand as the basis as to how ND’s treat their patients.

Six principles of naturopathic medicine