Naturopathic medicine in North America can be traced back to Dr. Benedict Lust, who used the term "naturopathy" to describe the integrated practice of botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, nutritional and lifestyle counselling, manipulative therapy and acupuncture.
Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York, which graduated its first class of naturopathic practitioners in 1902. These practitioners went on to form the Naturopathic Society of America and established naturopathic medical colleges throughout North America.
By 1920, naturopathic medical practice was established in Canada, with laws regulating the practice enacted in Ontario in 1925, British Columbia in 1936, Manitoba in 1943 and Saskatchewan in 1952.
Naturopathic medical education within Canada began in 1978 with the founding of the post-graduate Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine (now the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine) in Toronto.
In 2000 the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine opened in British Columbia to further support the growing demand for naturopathic medical education in Canada.
Adapted from the History of Naturopathic Medicine: A Canadian Perspective (2009)
More on the history of naturopathic medicine in North America:
- The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors
- The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges