The term "naturopathy" was created from "natura" (Latin root for birth) and "pathos" (the Greek root for suffering) to suggest "treating suffering in accordance with nature's laws". Naturopaths claim the ancient Greek "Father of Medicine", Hippocrates, as the first advocate of naturopathic medicine, before the term existed. Naturopathy has its roots in the 19th-century Nature Cure movement of Europe. In Scotland, Thomas Allinson started advocating his "Hygienic Medicine" in the 1880s, promoting a natural diet and exercise with avoidance of tobacco and overwork.

The term naturopathy was coined in 1895 by John Scheel, and purchased by Dr. Benedict Lust, whom naturopaths consider to be the "Father of U.S. Naturopathy". Lust had been schooled in hydrotherapy and other natural health practices in Germany by Father Sebastian Kneipp; Kneipp sent Lust to the United States to spread his drugless methods. Dr. Lust defined naturopathy as a broad discipline rather than a particular method, and included such techniques as hydrotherapy (water therapy), herbal medicine, and homeopathy, as well as eliminating overeating, tea, coffee, and alcohol. He described the body in vitalistic terms.

From 1901, Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York. In 1902, the original North American Kneipp Societies were discontinued and renamed "Naturopathic Societies". In September 1919, the Naturopathic Society of America was dissolved and Benedict Lust founded the American Naturopathic Association to supplant it. Naturopaths became licensed under naturopathic or drugless practitioner laws in 25 states in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Naturopathy was adopted by many chiropractors, and several schools offered both Doctor of Naturopathy (ND) and Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degrees. Estimates of the number of naturopathic schools active in the United States during this period vary from about one to two dozen.

In 1921, Lust was elected president for life in the American Naturopathic Association (ANA). Shortly after Dr. Lust died in 1945, a combination of inter-personal and philosophical differences caused the organization to split in two, forming the Eastern ANA and the Western ANA, each with its own constitution, officers, programs and conventions. The Eastern naturopaths were determined to follow the example set forth by Father Kneipp and pioneers of the naturopathic profession, while those in the West seemed determined to "medicalize" the profession. "Each proclaiming their distinct perspectives, the two camps developed their own textbooks: Dr. Paul Wendel's Standardized Naturopathy (1951) (East ANA, now ANA & ANMA), and Dr. Harry Riley Spitler's Basic Naturopathy (1948) (West ANA, now AANP & CNME)."

First Graduating class of Doctor of Naturopathy diploma (ND) in the United States from the American School of Naturopathy, New York, New York (1902)

The Honorable

Katherine G. Langley

(pictured left)

"The situation covering the correct definition of Naturopathy comes down to this: there is in the archives of the United States, in the Congressional Record, a complete description of just what this healing art embraces. This definition was not thrown together for expediency—it was not conceived as a cloak to permit Naturopaths to be under-cover medical men and surgeons. It was carefully and painstakingly worked out by the Naturopathic pioneers of this country who had but one desire—to set forth the limits of Naturopath, based on its true principles and philosophy. These Naturopathic pioneers (Dr. Lust, Dr. Schippell & others) worked many weeks to bring the wording down to simple and understandable language, before the manuscript was finally turned over to the Honorable Katherine G. Langley, a member of the House of Representatives, to be presented to the people of the United States as a finished and complete pronouncement of the scope and limits of this centuries old healing art. That definition has never been improved— and it never will be."

- Teresa M. Schippell, ND (guardian of the Naturopathic “principle”) from the Herald of Health March 1953

Act of Congress, definition drafted by pioneers Dr. Benedict Lust, N.D., M.D. (U.S. Father of Naturopathy), and Dr. Teresa M. Schippell, N.D.

Dr. T. M. Schippell was Dr. Lust's right hand woman and legislative ambassador, and long time Secretary of the American Naturopathic Association.

1947 Golden Jubilee, The universal Code of Ethics for Naturopaths established. Naturopaths declared that Naturopathy doesn't employ synthetic nutrients, pharm. drugs, injected serums and surgery as modalities used by Naturopathic Physicians.

Dr. T. M. Schippell is pictured front row, seated left of middle picture, secretary of American Naturopathic Assocaiton for over 25 years, and "guardian of the Naturopathic Principle"

N.D. License/Registration, D.C. Law 6-99, District of Columbia Health Occupations Revision Act of 1985, as amended. (1985 -2009)

D.C. Law 6-99 Naturopathy Registration Act was written and established from H.R. 12169 Congressional Record definition dated February 7, 1931. This definition was written by pioneers of the naturopathic profession as the original and complete science and scope of the drugless healing art.