Naturopathy is a set of treatment methods that aim at reinforcing the body’s defences with solutions considered to be natural and organic. It is mostly preventative, with a focus on education in order to develop healthy habits and improve our state of health:

  • By considering the person as a whole
  • By suggesting solutions that target the cause of imbalance
  • By using self-defence, self-regulation and self-repair processes of the body
  • By using natural factors of health and biotherapies as means of action, namely nutrition medicinal herbs, hydrotherapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy and manual techniques.

Naturopaths can address several health problems. Their skills allow them to intervene at the three following levels:

  • Preventing diseases
  • Offering alternative solutions in the treatment of functional health disorders, such as hypercholesterolemia, hypoglycemia, migraine, rhinitis, irritable bowel, digestive difficulties, weight management, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, benign prostatic hyperplasia, etc.
  • Working along with modern medicine in cases of chronic and degenerative health problems such as cancer, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, autoimmune disease, etc.

Naturopathy applies biological principles in order to improve health and prevent the occurrence of disorders. It is suitable for people of all generations and all walks of life.


Phytotherapy is the naturopathy discipline which has been the subject of the greatest number of scientific studies. Here are two examples:

Herbs for serum cholesterol reduction: a systematic view1, 2003. This review of literature shows that, in 25 studies analyzed, the use of 11 medicinal herbs brought a reduction of 10% to 33% in the level of serum cholesterol.

St-John’s Wort for major depression2, 2008. A total of 29 studies (5,489 patients) were analyzed. Data suggests that, in patients suffering from depression, St. John’s Wort extract is superior to placebo and is as efficacious as classic antidepressants. Moreover, compared to classic antidepressants, fewer side effects were observed. However, St. John’s Wort could have potentially harmful interactions with certain medications.

Martin Moisan, M.D.
Kanesatake Health Center
12, Joseph Swan
Kanesatake (Québec)

1. Thompson, J.S., Ernst, E. "Herbs for serum cholesterol reduction", J Fam Pract., 2003.

2. Linde, K., Berner, M.M., Kriston, L. "St-John's wort for major depression", Cochrane Database Syst Rev., 2008.

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