The principle of natural medicine relies on naturally occurring and minimally invasive methods of treatment and prevention. Natural medicine trusts the healing power of nature and avoids synthetic treatments such as drugs, major surgery, biomedicine and modern science. Instead, it favors an intuitive formation of the body and nature.

Natural medicine advocates prevention through a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle, and through reducing stress. The philosophy behind natural medicine can be described in six core values:

1. Primum non nocere. First, do no harm. Provide the most effective health care that offers the least risk to the patient at al times.

2. Vis medicatrix naturae. Recognize, respect and promote the power of self healing inherent in each person.

3. Tolle Causam. Rather than eliminate or suppress symptoms, it is better to identify and remove the causes of illness.

4. Doctor as teacher. Educate and inspire rational hope. Encourage the responsibility each person has for their own health.

5. Treat as the whole person. Treat everyone by considering all the individual health factors and what influences health.

6. Promotion, the best prevention. Accentuate the condition that health has to promote well-being and its power to prevent disease for, not only the individual, but also for the community and the world.

There are multiple versions of these core values that exist in the naturopathic doctors’ oath, and various mission statements that change with professional associations and with ethical conduct guidelines.

Natural medicine classifications include:

• Whole medical systems
• Mind and body interventions
• Biologically bases therapies
• Manipulative therapy
• Energy therapies