Naturopathic Medicine for Alcoholism: Effectiveness

Naturopathic medicine for alcoholism is a holistic approach. It deals with the whole person. (It’s also called naturopathy.) It may use massage, music, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and other therapies.


I.   Naturopathic Medicine.

II.  The Six Principlels.

III. Effectiveness

IV.  Resources

Naturopathic Medicine for Alcoholism

I. Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic (NAT) medicine tries to return the body to its natural state of health. It attempts to promote good health through good food, exercise, and avoiding harmful behavior. And it promotes self-healing through its therapies.

The Theory

The National Association of NAT Physicians explains Naturopathy.

The primary cause of disease is reaction to unnatural environment. When the body is weighted down by toxins in excess of the amount with which the vital force is able to cope, then enervation supervenes and there is a lag in the body’s power to expel the “ashes” of metabolism.  Enervation leads to the secondary cause of so-called disease — toxemia.

It describes toxemia.

Toxemia is the state of auto-intoxication resulting from the accumulation of poisons in the body. Poisons taken in from without in the form of incorrect food, impure water, vitiated air, etc. They are not thrown off by the body because of its enervated state. In addition the poisons formed within the body itself by the processes of metabolism. The presence of these poisons within the blood stream and tissues causes the vital force to make efforts to eradicate toxemia. These efforts are what is called “diseased crises.”

It asserts this.

Disease is not a hostile entity to be attacked. It is rather a manifestation of vital force in its efforts to continue to live and to remove anti-vital conditions caused by man’s breaking of the laws of health and life. Disease is the result of stagnation and accumulation of filth in the blood stream and tissues.1

The goal of naturopathy is to return the body to a natural state of good health.


A NAT medical school elaborates.

NAT medicine is a distinct system of primary health care. It emphasizes prevention and the self-healing. It use of natural therapies. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) blend centuries-old philosophy that nature is the most effective healer. They meld these with current research on health and human systems.2

II. The Six Principles

There are six principles of NAT medicine described by the Association of Accredited NAT Medical Colleges.

    1. naturopathic medicine for alcoholismFirst Do No Harm. Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
    2. The Healing Power of Nature. Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
    3. Identify and Treat the Causes. Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
    4. Doctor as Teacher. Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
    5. Treat the Whole Person. View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
    6. Prevention. Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.3

It would appear that NAT medicine for alcoholism might be effective.

III. Effectiveness of Naturopathic Medicine for Alcoholism

Scientific medical research has not found naturopathic medicine for alcoholism treatment to be effective. It’s no more effective for alcoholism than the use of a placebo (“sugar pill”).

The most popular approach to alcoholism is through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). Yet it has a success rate of only about 5%. That is, it has a failure rate of about 95%. This is a very large failure rate. If a medication or other therapy had no better success rate, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) would never approve its use. Indeed, those who seek no help have a much higher success rate.

Naturopathic medicine for alcoholism may be ineffective. And A.A. is only effective with a small minority. But there are many effective non-12-step programs. Some help people abstain. Others teach moderation techniques. They both help people live free of alcohol problems.

IV. Resources: Naturopathic Medicine for Alcoholism

Naturopathic Groups

NAT Diaries
Am NAT Med Assn.
Assn of Accredited NAT Med Colleges.
Canadian Assn of NAT Doctors.
Australian NAT Practitioners Assn.
Ame NAT Med Certification Board.
Assn of NAT Practitioners.
Am Assn of NAT Physicians.


1. Nat Assn NAT Phy (NANP). Outline for Study of Services of Practitioners Performing Health Services in Independent Practice. (Report submitted to the Public Health Service by NANP), pp. 3-4.

2. Bastyr U. What is NAT Medicine?

3. Assn Accred NAT Med Colleges. What is NAT Medicine?