top of page

Definition of Naturopathy

Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a natural health care profession, emphasizing prevention, support, and optimal health through the use of all natural, non-invasive therapies and natural substances that encourage an individuals’ inherent self-healing process. Naturopathy recognizes the body’s self healing abilities. The human body has the inherent ability to recover from the constant assaults by the environment, lifestyle, and improper or bad dietary habits. Taking into account an individuals’ physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, spirituality and other factors naturopathy encourages healthy choices and the elimination of underlying causes of illness. Clients are encouraged to take charge of their own well being. Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine never includes minor surgery or prescription drugs. Instead clients are advised to seek out properly trained professionals that provide such services. Naturopathy does not cure disease. Instead naturopathy supports the body while going through traditional medical treatment programs that may over stress the body.

   Doctor of Naturopathy Definition- A learned individual. Teacher, Restorer, Repairer, Rejuvenator.    One skilled or specializing in health arts. 

Since 1981, ANMA is dedicated to protect your right to practice as a Naturopath. ANMA believes, as the majority of practitioners believe, that Naturopathy is strictly noninvasive Natural Health Care Therapy and does not involve prescriptions, surgery, medical procedures or the claims to cure diseases.

We recommend you become familiar with your State Representatives. Connect by phone, email, social media and in person. Attend local events to meet your Representatives. Be ready for quick action to become involved at crucial legislation times. Discriminating legislation could deny you the right to practice as Naturopath.

Your Actions are needed to protect Your Right to Practice! 
Stand up in your state to protect Naturopathy!

Please contact us for sample letters and talking points, and more details for contacting your Representatives, and State Legislatures. Below highlights the Naturopathic Laws in the US. 

Naturopathic State Laws
ANMA US  legisilative map 2022 May
The Green States Do Not Require A License To Practice Naturopathy
Require a State License/Regisration to Practice
Practice with Restrictions

California- You can practice as a Naturopath. As well as other titles.  See California SB907 passed in 2003. SB577 Legislation allows the title use for Complementary & Alternative Health Care Practitioner, passed in 2002.

Colorado- SB13-215 Legislation allows the title use for Complementary & Alternative Health Care Practitioner. Contact us for title choices to practice. Restrictive titles include RND and ND. 

Minnesota- You can practice as a Complementary & Alternative Health Care Practitioner. See MN Statutes Chapter 146A, added in 2007-2008. For more details contact the office of Unlicensed Complementary Alternative Healthcare Practice 

New Mexico- Legislation passed in 2009, HB664, allows for the use of Complementary & Alternative Healthcare Practitioner, no license required. SB135 passed in 2019, requires a license for the use of Naturopathic Doctor title. However you may use the term Naturopath as long as you make it clear to your clients you are not a licensed Naturopathic Doctor.

Wisconsin- WI legislation permits the title Naturopath to practice. It regulates ND use. There are several titles available for use to practice as a Naturopath. Contact us to discuss title use options. 

​​Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, 

Washington DC, Hawaii, Kansas, 

​Maine, ​Maryland, Massachusetts,
Montana, New Hampshire,

North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, ​Vermont, Washington

Licensed/Registered States have Naturopathic Licensing/Registration Boards regulating Naturopathic legislated titles. Contact us for practice guidelines and title choices for these States. You can still practice in these States, however, you need to be aware of the restrictive legislated titles. 




​​Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee
In these states, it is Unlawful to practice Naturopathy. It is a felony or a misdemeanor subject to fines or imprisonment or both.

Practicing Naturopathy without a license is described by Florida Legislation as a Felony - Florida Statute 432.176rd. Florida no longer issues a Naturopathic license and states it is illegal to practice. 


Naturopathic Practitioners were first licensed in Florida in 1927. In 1957, the legislation abolished the licensing authority for Naturopathy. Those holding licenses at that time continue to be licensed and no new licenses are issued. Doing anything that requires a license without a license is illegal. 


South Carolina- 
South Carolina Code of Laws States:

​It shall be unlawful for any person whether heretofore licensed or not under the laws of this or any other State to practice naturopathy in this State.



63-6-205. Practice of naturopathy.
(a)  It is unlawful for any person to practice naturopathy in this state.

(b) [Naturopathy] means nature cure or health by natural methods and is defined as the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human injuries, ailments and disease by the use of such physical forces, as air, light, water, vibration, heat, electricity, hydrotherapy, psychotherapy, dietetics or massage, and the administration of botanical and biological drugs. 

(c)     (1)  In no event shall naturopathy mean the sale of herbs or natural health information exchanges provided as a service so long as:
      (A)  The sale or provision of information exchanges is not conducted for the purpose of the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of any physical ailment or physical injury to or deformity of another; and

      (B)  In any instance involving natural health information exchanges, the seller obtains a signed acknowledgement from the buyer that the seller is neither a licensed practitioner of the healing arts in this state, nor meets the recognized qualification criteria that would allow the provision of any form of diagnosis, treatment recommendation or medical care in this state. For the purposes of meeting the requirements of this section, the seller shall keep the signed acknowledgement from the buyer on file for a period of three (3) years.

    (2)  [Deleted by 2012 amendment]
(d)  A violation of this section is a Class B misdemeanor.
(e)  This section does not apply to persons who comply with the regulatory laws of the state with respect to the practice of the various healing arts.

​​Contact ANMA To Discuss Other Titles Available To Practice In These States

*  Idaho  

In 2019, Idaho passed legislation H0244, requiring a license to use the titles - Licensed Naturopathic Physician, Physician of Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathic Doctor, or NMD. 

Those whose practice does not include minor surgery or prescription drugs will use the titles- Naturopath, Naturopathic Doctor or ND and are not required to be licensed. 


In 2016, PA passed Act 128, the Naturopathic Doctor Registration Act. The Act regulates Registered Naturopathic Doctors. There are no restrictions on using the initials ND nor are Unregistered Naturopaths regulated by the Act. Please contact us for practicing title use. 

DISCLAIMER: This map and the information on individual states is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

The following information is referenced by many Naturopaths today and is historical information. This bill never passed the Senate to become a law. It was laying the groundwork for Naturopaths’ right to practice as we know it today.


The U. S. House of Representatives discussed naturopathy in the 1929 Act of Congress dated February 27, 1929 and it’s clarifying amendment. This seems to have establish the “congressional intent” that naturopathy is a separate branch of the healing arts and should be on the same level as other forms including medicine, chiropractic, and osteopathic. The Act of Congress dated February 7, 1931 makes that fairly clear. (see Image 1)


In addition, the Congressional Record also dated February 7, 1931 contained the following comments on naturopathy by Katherine G. Langley who was a Congressional representative from Kentucky. (see Image 2)


What is interesting about Representative Langley’s comments is that even in 1931 there was a debate on whether or not naturopaths should administer medications or perform surgeries. Her conclusions are that essentially by definition, such interventions are not “naturopathic.”  Since Dr. Lust purchased rights to the term “naturopathy”, if he actually wanted the field of naturopathy to include the prescribing of drugs or the performance of surgeries, he probably would have had that added to either the Act of Congress or the Congressional Record. Instead, they declare the opposite view, “Naturopathy does not contemplate drugs and surgical operations, nor is it within the scope of the science of their practice” (Congresswomen Langley, 1931)


Thiel, R. J. (2000). Combining Old and New Naturopathy for the 21st Century. Warsaw, IN.: Whitman.

Actofcongress1931 21
congressional record 1931 21
Congressional_record_2 21

If you have any questions about practicing in your state, ANMA suggests that you seek legal advice. Contact us for sample letters to send to your State Representatives.

Legislation Alerts will be sent ANMA Members by Email and posted on our Facebook 

bottom of page