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Home > History of Naturopathy > Indian Naturopathy > Origin and Development
Origin and Development of Naturopathy
Origin and Development
The origin of Naturopathy could be traced right to Vedic period wherein
1. Dietary discipline (Pathya & Ahara)
2. The principles of Health (Swastha Vurtha) described in Ayurveda have branched out and developed in the form of todays Naturopathy.

During the later part of 19th century and early part of 20th century, some of the modern medicine practitioners of west, who were unhappy with the toxic effects of medication, developed certain physical treatment methods like spinal bath, sitz baths, solarium, colour treatments and so on, to assist the body in symptomatic relief and to eliminate the disease process process. Some of the prominent names mentioned here are Dr. Louis Kuhne, Dr. Hendry Lindlhar, Dr. Babitt, Dr. Kellogg, and Dr. Herbert M. Shelton.

During the last few decades, Naturopathy gained its importance in India and the prominent contributors being Shri Venkata Chalapathi Sharma, who translated Dr. Luis Kuhnes book in Telugu and practiced in early 20s of last century in A.P. Dr. Vegiraju Krishnam Raju managed a 150 bedded hospital in Bhimavaram (A.P.) from 1930 to 1956 successfully and trained number of Naturopaths. Dr. Jussawala of Mumbai, Dr. Vitthal Das Modi of Gorakhpur, Late Dr. Hira Lal of UP, Dr. S. J. Singh and Dr. Dilkush of Lucknow have been some of the well known Practitioners in the field of Naturopathy between 1940 to 1980 in northern India.

Late Dr. B. Venkat Rao and late Dr. (Mrs.) B. Vijaya Lakshmi, parents of Dr. Bapuji, the disciples of Dr. Krishnam Raju of Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh, a southern state in India, came down to Hyderabad in 1949 and started a small unit with a mere enema can and a sitzbath tub. They used to give domiciliary treatments. As the efficacy of Naturopathy was recognized, with the help of philanthropists and the Health Minister of the erstwhile Nizam State, a public institution was established in Hyderabad known as Nature Cure Hospital developed by Dr. Rao and his wife. The couple being staunch Gandhians, they dedicated and sacrificed themselves for developing this system during 1950-90. They could introduce a Diploma course in Naturopathy (ND) recognized by Osmania University in 1978 and a Degree course i.e., Bachelor or Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences (BNYS) in 1989.

Light TherapyThe idea was to bring in uniformity of approach in the treatment, on scientific basis amongst the future practitioners of Naturopathy. This also helped in delineating the scope and limitations of the system of Naturopathy. Since Naturopathy was an off shoot from Ayurveda, it has been a truncated system without a fool - proof diagnostic method. In fact the earlier practitioners of Naturopathy did not insist for diagnosis based on their firm belief in "Unity of Disease, Unity of Cure" meaning that "there is only one cause of any disease, that is accumulation of foreign matter and there can be only one cure by eliminating it". This approach had a pitfall where serious communicable diseases, metabolic disorders could not be recognized and resulted in morbidity and mortality. They were also ignorant about Genetic abnormalities and Hereditary diseases.

Hence the credit goes to Late Dr. B. Venkata Rao and his wife late Dr. (Mrs.) Vijaya Lakshmi, who had introduced clinical and diagnostic methods of modern medicine into the system of Naturopathy in the diploma as well as in the degree course at Gandhi Nature cure college, Ameerpet, Hyderabad, INDIA.

Vinconz Priessnitz (1799-1851) was the man who first started a nature cure clinic in Grafenburg over a hundred years ago. Dr. Henry Lindlahr is one who devoted his life and started to spread nature cure. He established Lindlahr Institutions, and under these he conducted two nature cure sanatoriums for the treatment of patients. His leading motto is "Natures remedies are the best".

While the originators of this new idea were ordinary persons having no scientific medical training, its future exponents were prominent physicians of old medical school who had become extremely dissatisfied, as a result of observations extending over a number of years, with drugging methods.

They claimed that drugs possessed very little power to cure disease, that they suppressed the symptoms of disease, which in itself was an attempt on the part of living organism to set attempt of the organism by natural means such as Air Water, Light, Food Exercise, etc. This new method became known by various names, such as Nature Cure, Natural Therapeutics, Naturopathy, Hygiene Therapy, Drugless Medicine, Rational Medicine, etc. Thanks to the painstaking researchers of a number of eminent physicians and health-reformers in this branch of healing art, this new medical doctrine has become a science like any other medical system claiming to have a scientific base.
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