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Naturopathy is a drugless system of treatment which recognizes the existence of vital curative forces or the Panch Mahabhuta within the body. It believes in treating the human body as a whole and removing the root cause of the diseases rather than treating individual parts or offering symptomatic remedies. The revival of Naturopathy started in India by translation of Germany’s Louis Kuhne’s book “New Science of Healing”.

Gandhiji was influenced by the book “Return to Nature” written by Adolf Just and become a firm believer in Naturopathy. He not only wrote several articles in favour of Naturopathy in his newspaper “Harijan” but did its several experiments on himself too, on his family members and members of his Ashram. It may be noted here that Gandhiji used to stay at the Dr. Dinshaw Mehta’s Nature Cure Clinic, situated in Pune, between 1934 and1944. In his memory, the Government of India established the National Institute of Naturopathy in 1986 in the same location. Gandhiji included Naturopathy in his constructive programs, and due to his influence, several national leaders joined this minority health movement.

Naturopathy can, thus, be broadly defined as a system wherein human beings live in harmony with the principles of nature. These constructive principles are applicable on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes of living. Naturopathy has great health promotive, disease preventive, curative and restorative potential.

The Principles of Naturopathy

The main principles of Naturopathy are:

Panch mahabhuta

The concept of naturopathy finds its roots in ancient Indian wisdom where it speaks of the five great elements or the panch mahabhuta. These elements are present in the world in the form of prithvi (earth), jal (water), vayu (air), agni (fire) and akash (ether).

A harmony of these elements translates into health and wellbeing. Disease occurs when there’s a congestion or depletion of one or more elements, leading to an accumulation of morbid matter, further leading to the growth of bacteria or viruses. Naturopathy addresses the equilibrium of these elements and restores the ill body to health. Every element has a specific remedy and the degree of disbalance requires a combination of treatments.

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