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    Nature Cure or Naturopathy - An Introduction

    Nature cure or naturopathy is one among the several alternative medicine fields, such as naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic, Ayurveda, Siddha, energy therapies, etc. The modern allopathic medicine, its inventors, advocates and practitioners normally do not accept naturopathy or other alternative medicines, stating that the healing effects from such alternative medicinal practices are not based on evidences collected through the use of accepted scientific methods and principles.

    Hence, the practices of medical diagnosis and treatment methods of alternative medicines have been excluded from the educational courses or curriculum of majority of the established medical schools, colleges and other higher education institutions in the field of conventional medicine. Very few practitioners of conventional medicines accept or recommend the principles and practices of alternative medicines. Still, the alternative medicines consist of a wide range of principles, practices, therapies and products in the field of health care. The most prominent among them is naturopathy, an alternative medicine that has been grossly misunderstood or even rejected as dangerous by people ignorant of its true meaning and value.

    The truth is that nature cure or naturopathy is exactly what its name indicates, using nature to cure all types of bodily disorders, ailments and diseases. The history of naturopathy is as old as the origin of humanity. Nature cure is not a mere healing system, it is a also a way of healthy life and a constructive treatment method. The aim of nature cure is to remove the underlying or fundamental cause of any disease by using the various elements available freely in nature. This is achieved through a rational approach that is in perfect tuning with internal vital forces present in the human body or the other natural elements that comprise the human body. Nature cure is not even an alternative medicine but a complete revolution in human life. It is both a science and an art that has been perfected over several millennia.

    The term ‘naturopathy’ may be of recent origin, coined by John Scheel in 1895 and Benedict Lust, considered the father of naturopathy in the United States popularised it even further in the West. However, the philosophical basis of nature cure and the various treatment methods are very ancient. Historical and anthropological evidences clearly suggest that nature cure principles and treatment practices were practised widely in Greece, Rome, and Egypt in their ancient periods of glory. Hippocrates (460-357 B.C.), accepted as the father of Western medicine, was a strong advocate of nature cure and he has emphatically stated that ‘Nature Cures, not the Physician’.

    Historians and anthropologists also unanimously agree that natural healing system was in a very advanced stage in India in the most ancient times, even before other countries of the world obtained any knowledge of medicine. The scriptures and other sacred books of India, especially the medical treatises, such as Charaka Samhita (a text on Indian medicine), Sushruta Samhita (a text on Indian surgery), Ashtanga Hridaya ( a text on Indian medicine and surgery), Ashtanga Samgraha, Kashyapa Samhita ( a text on gynaecology, obstetrics and child health) and other innumerable ancient text books in Sanskrit and other regional languages are evidences of the level of advancement that India has achieved in the field of medicine even before several millennia. Several references are available in the four Vedas of Hindu philosophy, namely, Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda about natural cure medicinal practices, especially the methods of using the excellent healing agents of nature, such as earth, water, air and sun. In fact, Ayurveda is considered as the fifth Veda in Indian medical practice.

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