The Old Schools

Naturopathy is perhaps the least understood alternative or complementary medical profession.  Invented around 1895 by Benjamin Lust in New York, education in naturopathy was first promoted as a home schooling education series.  This program quickly underwent some improvements, and for much of the early 20th century was in competition with its closest precursor Eclectic Medicine.  During the 1930s, as Eclectic Medicine began to fade in popularity, most of its teachings from the philosophy of Thomsonianism to water cure or hydrotherapy became a part of naturopathy.  During the 1940s, some of the practices of naturopathy became popular as a special type of alternative medicine called Drugless medicine, for which one or two schools were established. 

Very quickly, these drugless medical schools became a part of the chiropractic programs.  They emphasized such topics as exercise, hygiene and foodways as important health promoting topics and were pretty much responsible for the modern controversies related to the definition of herbal medicine as a “drug” thereby not abiding by the “drugless” nature of the profession or as a source of nutrition thereby making it a “food” and its use a practice in par with the expectations of drugless medicine. 

One of the most important controversies to impact drugless medicine came in 1945 with the creation of a broadly applicable and very effective polio vaccine.  The creation of this vaccine and its heavy promotion and success redefined the issues related to non-allopathic medicine.  The first issue that came to be due to the creation of this vaccine was the question “is a polio vaccine a drug?”   The second was the reaffirmation of an old ongoing debate in “natural medicine” teachings, is the use of a vaccine “natural” or not?

The overall opinion of nearly every legal group or agency involved in promoting the use of the polio vaccine was that the use of a vaccine does constitute the use of a drug, since it has to be injected or otherwise introduced into the body, in such a way that drugless physicians are neither approved of for the practice of or adequately trained in.  The injection process itself could be considered a form of minor surgery due to the penetration of the body, contact with body fluids accomplished as a part of this process, and the involvement of blood and skin incision or puncturing as a part of this process.   Whereas oral methods of immunizing someone against polio were effectively argued to be processes of immunization that were not invasive, the method of immunization requiring a needle puncture was considered invasive.  As a result of this dilemma in preventive medicine, and the much stronger relationship between naturopathy philosophy and prevention versus allopathy and prevention, the decision to disallow naturopaths to engage in the polio immunization process effectively removed from the drugless physician’s methods of practice one of the most potential means of obtaining patient populations during the 1940s and 1950s. They could no longer immunize someone against polio.   This problem with drugless medicine then took its next steps required to split up the professions of naturopathy and chiropractic further from one each at the licensure and accredited educational level.  As these arguments were applied to other parts of each of the two discipline’s methods of practice, two distinct schools of medicine had to be produced with separate degrees–chiropractics and naturopathy.

During the late 1930s and early 1940s, some schools offered degrees in two or more fields of alternative medical practice besides chiropractics. By the mid 1940s, as federal and state regulators questioned the inclusion of drugless medicine and the ability to prescribe “vital amines” (vitamins) by chiropractics, this led to a forced split between these two professions beginning around 1947, a process taking about ten years to complete.  To retain its authority to accredit and license its schools, the National associations related to Chiropractics had to pretty much remove drugless medicine programs from its class schedules and retain its focus on the mechanotherapeutic profession that Chiropractics had become.   This pretty much forced the closure of the drugless medicine programs for the time, and in some cases supporting and other cases complicating the other natural medicine programs already out there in the professional and academic settings.

By now, Eclectic Medicine was pretty much a deceased profession, with the accredited, licensed homeopathy practice closely following in its footsteps.  By the mid 1950s, enough interest in Naturopathy remained long enough for several states to begin promoting the practice of Naturopathy as the new alternative to the old Eclectic school of practice.  In the State of Utah, this resulted in an inquiry into the Naturopathic schools in order to determine their skill set, methods of practice, and legal and professional credentials.  This study was carried out by members of the State of Utah’s Congress and was a direct result of both American Medical Association pressure promoted primarily by Morris Fishbein, and the growing public concerns that existed about these natural healing practices.  As a result of the Utah study, a significant amount of background on these schools was produced and subsequently published by Utah as a state government document.

From the Utah document we learn that several attempts to open schools in Naturopathy were made since the 1920s.  The initial attempts were often hindered by legal and financial problems.  In a number of locations, schools that were opened were around just a few years before being accused and convicted of fraudulent practices and then closed.  This problem persisted well into the 1970s when some naturopaths were found to possess fake graduation certificates, and even in recent years, the failure of people claiming to practice “naturopathy” to differentiate their training from accredited classroom and lab versus non-accredited home-training has left the licensed practitioners of this profession who learned from accredited programs with a political “black eye.”  Even though both accredited and non-accredited naturopaths have been found to be comparably guilty of such practices as fraud and lack of valid licensure and training over the past several decades, the more reliable of the two types of naturopaths are those who suffer the most from this institutional, administrative, legal and social problem regarding the peer monitoring process for this profession.

The most obvious difference between the accredited and non-accredited programs in naturopathy to this day remains whether or not an individual naturopathy degree is a result of an unaccredited, unlicensed version of naturopathy that could be obtained through home schooling, taking about two years to complete but sometimes as many as four, versus the four-year ND school-based program that require bachelor’s education equivalents in order to apply, and complete your four-year program on campus, within a clinical teaching setting, before receiving your degree. To date, the numbers of unaccredited naturopathy-trained individuals out there is uncertain, and it is often these “unofficially” licensed individuals who obtained their degrees from non-accredited programs who are typically performing the malpractice noted in news stories about this profession.

The New Schools

The first successful attempt to open a school in Naturopathy and have this school accredited in order to qualify for student loans involves the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, Oregon.  Due to NCNM, the field of naturopathy underwent several growth spurts between 1956 and 1984, its peak years of growth were 1984 and the late 1990s.  One of the earliest growth spurts came during the early 1970s, a generation known for its post-hippies back-to-nature movement during which time the first naturalists, environmentalists, popular cultural ecologists and anti-pollution activists formed their major non-profit programs.

The success of naturopathy during the early to mid-1970s enabled the Portland school to operate two branches at the time, providing its programs in two urban settings.  The original school was in Portland, Oregon, and its satellite in Seattle, Washington.   This method of administering the naturopathic program along with several interesting interstate, political actions taken between the Portland School and a pro-naturopathic school administrator in Kansas enabled several other avenues to be developed for NCNM, allowing it to maintain control of its profession and to be able to remain alive by pulling potential students from other parts of the United States.  These maneuvers work in terms of keeping NCNM and the accredited version of the naturopathy profession alive, by managing to avoid any outstanding bills.  In due time, this ultimately led to the start of a separation of the Seattle naturopathy program from the Portland naturopathy program, but this split wasn’t just an overnight process.

 During the mid to late 1970s, some of the NCNM administrative practices took place in Seattle.  In 1974 (as well as around 1960), Seattle was pretty much the only place where the administration and the promoting of this program was taking place.  From 1975 to 1978, the satellite program in Seattle was no longer promoted by the Portland School.  This enabled plans to begin for the opening of a new school in Seattle, which led to the opening of the currently more popular and better known Bastyr College in Seattle, Washington in 1979.  Since then, due to the growing popularity of several parts of the naturopathic training programs–herbalism, acupuncture and homeopathy–both of these schools have continued to grow throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, this growth typically fed by an internal competition prevailing in this teaching industry ever since.

According to several conversations I had with political leaders and published economists focusing on this profession back in the 1990s, many people felt the school in Seattle had benefited greatly in recent years for a variety of reasons.   First and obvious, Seattle is a larger urban setting.  Second, the proximity of Seattle to Vancouver played an important role in both the profession’s and the professional schools’ growth.  NDs can only practice in several states as physicians; there is a more open venue for them to pursue in the large urban setting of Vancouver.  With Vancouver to the north and California to the south, these new doctors has some leeway as to where to move to “locally” once they completed their training.  Third, Seattle had a more rapidly developing medical profession both socioculturally and professionally, with the first major economic change taking place in Seattle when a major grant was awarded to the Bastyr College to research the various forms of clinical practice this institution was engaged in.  Whereas for Bastyr College, location was its chief reason for success in the 1980s and especially the 1990s, for NCNM, the age of the teaching facility had become its major Achille’s heel.   When NCNM first opened, it was the only school to remain alive in just a few years due to the modern state of its teaching settings, in comparison with all other schools profiled as part of the 1957 Utah Study.  By the late 1990s, NCNM had to find a new facility to reside in, and so moved to an old campus closer to the regular medical school in Portland, Oregon, the Oregon Medical School.

Currently Accredited Schools

In recent years, both the Bastyr and NCNM schools have continued to remain active and, in general, this profession has begun to demonstrate a little more spatial stability population wise.  A number of other schools in naturopathy were also opened and accredited, and by becoming accredited have begun to form clusters of naturopathy program teachers, practitioners, promoters and supporters in regions where people’s’ attitudes have begun to impact the growth of this profession more than just the state laws and American Medical Association related events.  This has enabled this profession to establish the strong foundation of support economically and politically that it needed to begin to demonstrate academic, economic, popular culture, and medical profession growth. 

Unlike the early 1900s, when financial losses and legal actions often were capable of closing the few schools that existed in this profession, there is a little more solidarity amongst the different political and professional leaders, institutions and non-profit groups that are up and running as a whole.  Were this profession to expand, the past history of other school-related growths and success (i.e. homeopathy and eclectic) suggest that this solidarity has to improve even more.  In recent years, the development of schools in this profession had transformed from a fairly random looking process on the maps to a more hierarchical diffusion process.  Several “nests” have developed for this profession.  The first is the Pacific Northwest, the second the upper midwest in Canada, and the third is somewhere in the Bible Belt states where some of the first naturopathy schools of the twentieth century were opened.  

Remaining Problems

In spite of these improvements, a number of the older problems still remain in this profession.  

The  most important problem the study and practice of naturopathy has to face pertains to the association of this profession’s name to the nature and content of its practice and the credibility, credentials and official nomenclature for the profession.  This is due to the “naturopathy” programs that exist which are not accredited and have not been required to remove the term “naturopathy” from their professional title.   Generally speaking, this is not the case for the other medical professions.  On occasion there are schools that claim to be medical schools outside the US setting that lack US-sponsored support or US-acceptible “MD” credentials.  But the presence of such a school in the United States would no doubt be for a very short period of time due to the initiation of a legal case.  The same is pretty much true for other professions with specific names and nomenclature associated with specific skills and methods of practice–these schools include those devoted to osteopathy, podiatry and chiropractics.  The same association between licensure and accreditation and the use of a trade skill name is also related to acupuncture and homeopathy.  You cannot claim to be a homeopath and use that claim to practice non-homoeopathic “medicine”, unless you have some other form of accreditation supporting that form of practice.

With naturopathy that is not the case, and this problem is only complicated further by the various forms of alternative or complementary healing that utilize the term nature as a part of their defining feature.  During the 1950s there were several professions that resembled the term naturopathy, but most importantly natripathy (sp?), a profession initiated by a loner in the Illinois-Indiana region, which had a small, informal school setting established during the years of the Utah 1957/8 study,  and as a result was reviewed by the Utah State Senate Committee.  The founder of this school was adamantly against the possible mistaken identity of his energy-movement therapeutic form of practice with the various difference practices associated with naturopathy, and so states this personal dismay in the Utah study.  

A quick audio-based interpretation of the words nutrition therapy and naturopathy could also result in the confusion, but for the latter more than the former.  This problem is further complicated by the fact that in some states, naturopathy isn’t taught, but is allowed to be practiced.  In Texas for example, naturopaths can be hired as nutritionists or nutrition therapists so long as they pass the right exams and have the right credentials for this claim.  For some naturopathy ND graduates, this provides them with another means for becoming involved with other allopathy-related professions.  One graduate of the NCNM profession I was in contact with used this process to become part of a highly respected cancer treatment unit in Texas, serving as an expert in both nutrition therapy and the interaction of other OTC [herbal] remedies with cancer treatment protocols.

Currently, there are at least three types of “naturopaths” out there in the regular, complementary and integrative medical community.  There are the true naturopaths or NDs from licensed, accredited schools in the US or Canada.  Secondly, there are ND naturopaths who obtained their degree and status from a non-accredited program, usually one that is self-taught and home-schooled but on occasion with a few days to weeks of intensive training  in some professional teaching setting, such as in the form of a professional conference or a small summer school-like program in a vacation type mountain setting.  Thirdly, there are self-proclaimed “naturopaths or natural healers” who recovered some form of pre-defined official or unofficial home training in just a portion of the traditional naturopathic college professional career program, these people are often trained mostly in herbal medicine and nutrition therapy; some als received training in homeopathy, or midwifery, and/or a variety of other atypical, non-allopathic skills such as crystal healing, aromatherapy, etc. 

This lack of homogeneity for naturopathy makes naturopathy and the ND a difficult profession to established a single definition and professional reputation for.  Naturopaths as a whole remain at threat legally and politically due to this incongruity within their profession.  back in the 1950s and 1960s, there was a profession known as physiotherapy that was practiced in Portland, Oregon.  This physiotherapy was an alternative profession, and to some extent was a smaller, much simpler version of the chiropractic profession, applied to the body as a whole.  At the same time, regular medicine had its own equivalents to these healers developed, and allowed to practice in the teaching hospital setting, a provision and clinical right not forwarded to physiotherapists.  Once the physiotherapy profession died out (the late 1970s), and no longer appeared under this title in the business directories, its value to the social setting was replaced by the practicing physical therapists regular medicine.  A few years later, by the mid to late 1980s, they took on the name and association of this nomenclature–physiotherapy–to their profession and for themselves. 

The meaning and ideology of what “naturopathy” is as a medical profession is what we make of it.  Currently we allow this profession to have multiple definitions, and have not defined the legal means to prevent others from making similar professional claims.  This is not only a product of society in general, but also a consequence of the political instability that still exists at the licensure-accreditation level for this medical profession.  If the numbers of schools producing licensed “naturopathy” graduates trained by accredited programs continues to grow, the other non-accredited schools will probably suffer the same outcomes as the schools of “Eclectic medicine” during the mid-1900s.   Their methods of practice will still exist, but become skills that are taught in a more professional manner, in a more politically, legally and publically respectable way.


The following chronology details the important events in the history of Naturopathy and its licensed accredited degree programs for the Naturopathae Doctorae (ND) degree (and its similar for most recent programs). 

Note: This chronology does not include the practice of naturopathy promoted solely as home schooling programs since 1960.  These unaccredited programs are not at all comparable with the more full-time accredited medical school programs for the same degree.  Whereas the ND degree produced by Bastyr and NCNM is approved in six states, the home trained naturopathy certificate is not promoted in these states.  Naturopathy is the only medical degree with this duality in specialty.  Both types of NDs are very popular, with only one of these two (or three) professions serving as a four-year medical science degree still honored by several states.





Northern Illinois College. This school was originally chartered as Illinois Soldiers College in 1867.  In 1900, it underwent its name change to this 1958 Utah Study name.  The organization was dissolved in 1926. The Utah report adds: “The records disclose a number of old corporations entitled “northern Illinois’ College of various kinds.”   This suggests the possibility that several kinds of “Northern Illinois” vocational schools existed, perhaps for similar purposes.


MISSOURI [St. Louis]

St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons.  Chartered in 1879; charter was revoked on June 7, 1927.  The education program was in operation until about 1920.  The institution opted to close its school due to overwhelming competition with the two local allopathic schools: St. Louis University and Washington University.


NEW JERSEY [Yungborn, Butler]  Benedict Lust.


NEW YORK [New York City]  Benedict Lust.

“New York School of Massage,” “Training School for Physiotherapy,” “American School of Naturopathy” (later?).

      Also Mt. Dora, Orange County, [NJ?] resort established.

100 lessons in Naturopathy.  $100.00.

Teaching: Naturopathy, Hydropathy, Osteopathy, Electrotherapy, Massage, Spinal manipulation, Short Wave Radiation, Colonic Therapy, and Scientific Fasting & Dietetics.


NEW YORK [New York City]  Benedict Lust.

American School of Naturopathy.”  First year of graduation.



      Western Chiropractic School



Naturopathic Institute and Sanitorium of California, Los Angeles, chartered on October 30, 1905; charter suspended for failure to pay taxes on January 9, 1951. [Utah study]

NEW YORK [New York City]

American School of Naturopathy. A September 16, 1958, letter from the Department of State of New York to the Utah Bureau indicated this school was chartered as a corporation on March 2, 1905, and that it was dissolved by proclamation of the Governor on March 13, 1926.  Another letter dated September 18, 1942, from Benjamin Lust to Dr. R.C. Allred denies the existence of such a charter.  See 1898 entry for Dr. Lust.



Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. Chartered on October 18, 1911.   In Good Standing in 1958 study.  ‘D.C.’ degrees only were granted according to Utah Study. [Utah study]



Emerson University, Los Angeles, Chartered on May 18, 1913; the school’s Charter remained in Good Standing as of September 22, 1958, although the school was by then no longer in existence. [Utah study]


ILLINOIS [Chicago Schools]

Chicago College of Naturopathy. Chartered on April 23, 1917.  Charter absolved by legal action on May 24, 1937 for failure to file an annual report for 1936.


MISSOURI [St. Louis]

St. Louis College of Physicians and SurgeonsCharter lasted 1879-1927.  The education program was in operation until about 1920.  Closes due to competition with St. Louis University and Washington University.


ILLINOIS [Chicago Schools]

Lindlahr College of Natural Therapeutics.  Chartered on August 11, 1921.  Charter absolved by legal action on May 23, 1930, for failure to file an annual report in 1929, and failure to pay franchise taxes for the same year. [Utah Study]



College of Naturopathic Physicians and Surgeons, Los Angeles, Chartered on March 2nd.  Charter suspended for failure to pay taxes on January 25, 1955. [Utah Study]


University of Natural healing Arts. 1923. 

  •       College of Naturopathy
  •       College of Physical Therapy
  •       College of Chiropractic

Founded 1923.  Re-organized in 1934 to become a non-profit institution, “free from commercialism, profit, taxation, and individual control.”  The Chiropractic Profession of Colorado owned the charter, building and equipment at the time of the publication of the 1955-56 Catalog.  Address:  1075 Logan Street, Denver 3, Colorado.  Closed 1956.


PENNSYLVANIA (Philadelphia)

Philadelphia College of Naturopathy. File for a college by this name does not appear in the state records according to the Utah Study.  “Philadelphia College of Neuropathy” was registered on August 27, 1924, “under our Fictitious Act of 1945 (which does not include corporations)” according to the State Attorney General.


IOWA [Cedar Rapids]

National School of Naturopathy.  No record of incorporation could be found.  The Utah study revealed one graduate from this school, who graduated in 1925.  In the 1958 Utah study, this school was considered to be no longer in existence.


National University of Therapeutics. Opening date for this school was undisclosed.  Earliest graduate residing in Utah graduated in 1925.  This school closed its doors in 1943.


ILLINOIS [Chicago Schools]

Northern Illinois College. This school was originally chartered as Illinois Soldiers College in 1867.  In 1900, it underwent its name change to this 1958 Utah Study name.  The organization was dissolved in 1926. 

NEW YORK [New York City]

American School of Naturopathy, chartered on March 2, 1905, was dissolved by proclamation of the Governor on March 13, 1926. 



California College of Natural Healing Arts. Los Angeles, Chartered.  Also called “Cale College of Naturopathy” and “California College of Naturopathy.” Closed for failure to pay taxes on January 2, 1953. [Utah Study]


OHIO [Akron]

Standard College of Chiropractic, Inc.  Chartered as a corporation on October 4, 1928; this charter was later cancelled on January 30, 1958. [Utah Study]


COLORADO [Denver Schools]

Western College of Chiropractic, non-profit, chartered on October 14, 1931.  Hearsay from a professional from another school stated that this school discontinued its program about 1943. [Utah Study]

ILLINOIS [Chicago Schools]

Lindlahr College of Natural Therapeutics absolved by legal action on May 23, 1930, for failure to file an annual report in 1929, and failure to pay franchise taxes for the same year. [Utah Study]

National College of Chiropractic. Also known as the National College of Drugless Medicine. Chartered on November 30, 1930, charter was absolved voluntarily by the corporation by filing “Articles of Dissolution pursuant to Section 80 of the Business Corporation Act.”  This Corporation was still in good standing in 1958.

Offered Doctor of Naturopathy programs until 1948.


COLORADO [Denver Schools]

University of Natural Healing Arts, non-profit, chartered on November 13, 1934.  Offered D.C. and N.D. until 1956.


ILLINOIS [Chicago Schools]

Chicago College of NaturopathyCharter absolved by legal action on May 24, 1937 for failure to file an annual report for 1936.



1939-1955, Utah.

      Naturopaths received two types of licenses (p.3):

“1.  To practice without the use of drugs, medicine and surgery.”

“2.  To practice with the use of drugs, medicine and minor surgery including the practice of obstetrics.”

From:  A Study of the Healing Arts with Emphasis upon Naturopathy.  A Report to the Utah Legislative Council by the Legislative Council Staff.  November 1958.

Exams offered by the naturopathic examining committee had to be passed for the applicant to receive the appropriate licensure.

TENNESSEE (Nashville)

Nashville College of Naturopathy, or, Nashville College of Naturopathic Medicine.  The 1958 Utah study revealed no charter for this school.  The earliest graduate was licensed in Utah in 1939-1.  Graduates extended into 1945-2, and 1947-1.


      See Effect of World War II recruitment on the schools.

COLORADO [Denver Schools]

Western College of Chiropractic, non-profit, chartered on October 14, 1931.  Hearsay from a professional from another school stated that this school discontinued its program about 1943. [Utah Study]


National University of Therapeutics. Opening date for this school was undisclosed.  Earliest graduate residing in Utah graduated in 1925.  This school closed its doors in 1943.


TENNESSEE (Nashville)

Nashville College of Naturopathy, or, Nashville College of Naturopathic Medicine.  The earliest graduate was licensed in Utah in 1939-1.  Graduates extended into 1945-2, and 1947-1. In the 1958 Utah study, this school was considered to be no longer in existence.


UTAH (Salt Lake City)

Utah Chiropractic College. Non-Profit.  Chartered December 8, 1948.  Utah had no graduates from this school, only students who attended it during their initial training programs.  This charter was still in existence as of 1958.  The 1958 Utah study led this school to be considered no longer in existence.



American College of Physicians and Surgeons, California (1949-?); Chartered September 28, 1949. [1958 Utah Study]

Standard Institute of Naturopathic Therapy, Los Angeles. (In Utah study, this school had several 1949-1958 graduates or students.)  First year?


ILLINOIS [Chicago Schools]

National College of Chiropractic. Also known as the National College of Drugless Medicine. Chartered on November 30, 1930; offered Doctor of Naturopathy programs until 1948; offered Doctor of Naturopathy programs until 1948 and awarded its last Doctor of Naturopathy (N.D.) degree in 1950.   

MISSOURI [St. Louis]

Missouri Chiropractic College. Previously known as Missouri Chiropractic College and Institute of Naturopathy.  Retitled after the study of naturopathy was dropped from the program.  Only degree grants: Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.). Chartered as a non-profit institution on May 22, 1950 and was still in existence and operation as of the date of the Utah study.


TEXAS SCHOOL [Brownsville]

The Southern College of Naturopathic MedicineBulletin 1951-52. Brownsville, Texas, was published.  (vi, 59pp, 5 1/2″ X 7″).

      Establishment of the School:

“By arrangement, the Texas Southmost College is assisting the Southern College of Naturopathy in the furtherance of its educational aims by making the facilities of the Southernmost plant available until such time as the Southern College of Naturopathic Medicine can complete its own building and educational program.”  [Catalog, vi]

Accredited and Approved by Council on Education of the Texas Naturopathic Physicians Association.

Application for Approval has been made to Council on Education of the American Naturopathic Association.

The post-1952 history of this school has not been uncovered.


Naturopathic Institute and Sanitorium of California, Los Angeles, chartered on October 30, 1905; charter suspended for failure to pay taxes on January 9, 1951.



California College of Natural Healing Arts closed for failure to pay taxes on January 2, 1953.

Standard Institute of Naturopathic Therapy, Los Angeles. (In Utah study, this school had several 1949-1958 graduates or students.)


Santa Fe Academy of Massage and Natural Healing.  (Reviewed 1979-1980 Catalog.)  Address:  1590 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM, 87501.  Awards a 4-year N.D. degree. 

Note: “dr. jay victor scherer’s academy of natural healing,” in a 1981-1982 catalogue, notes its existence since 1953.  This school is possibly a splinter group from the main college in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in existence beginning 1979.



In September 1955, John J. Nugent published “Educational Standards for Chiropractic Schools” (National Council on Education, National Chiropractic Association, Webster City, Iowa) published the NCA requisites of accreditation of the chiropractic schools, which eliminated the naturopathy from its curriculum and disallowed the licensure of naturopaths by accredited chiropractic schools.


College of Naturopathic Physicians and Surgeons has its Charter suspended for failure to pay taxes on January 25, 1955.


The availability of the Polio Vaccine by mid 1950s put the question of naturopathy back up front.   The Attorney General concluded “a naturopath cannot prescribe drugs or perform surgery as part of the practice of naturopathy.”  [See Attorney General’s Opinion, 55-101, pp. 191-195, Biennial Report Atty. General, June 30, 1956.]

COLORADO [Denver Schools]

University of Natural Healing Arts, originated 1923.  Non-profit version was chartered on November 13, 1934.  Offered D.C. and N.D. until 1956. [Utah study]

“In the past war, our students and graduates were practically all recognized leaders.  This is rather definite proof of the type of students attending here, as well as of their education, because no military recognition was given for Chiropractic training.  They proved themselves leaders of men because of their thinking ability and their ability to get the jobs done.” [Catalog, p. 5]

The absence of recruitable veterans possibly led to the closure of this school soon after this year’s Catalog was distributed.


      NCNM School forms. 

“The National College of Naturopathic Medicine was founded in 1956 in Portland, Oregon as the means of preserving naturopathic education in the Pacific Northwest and ultimately in North America.  In response to the elimination of the Faculty of Naturopathic Medicine in Western States Chiropractice College, a group of doctors from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia met to organize and build an independent institution owned by the naturopathic medical profession.  The College was incorporated in Oregon in May 1956, with Dr. Charles Stone, Frank Spaulding, and W. Martin Bleything as the first trustees.”  [1981-82 NCNM Bulletin, p. 12.]

Schooling requirements are defined as 2 years in Basic Science and 2 years in Clinical Science.

1956-57, 1957-58


Address: 1931 S.E. Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR

Attendance: four undergraduate and sixty graduate students. [1958 Utah Study]



Accreditation Standards

Taken from Accredited Higher Institutions. 1956. (U.S. Department of Health, Education, & Welfare; Office of Education; Washington, D.C.), p. 29 (Utah Council Study, p. 24-5):

“The voluntary accreditating organizations, regional and nation-wide, have no legal control over institutions of higher education.  They merely promulgate standards of quality of criteria of institutional excellence and approve or admit to membership the institutions that meet those standards or criteria.  The only power that the accrediting organizations have is that of giving publicity to the lists  of institutions they have accredited.  Inclusion on the list of a nationally recognized accrediting organization is generally accepted as the most significant available indication of institutional quality.” [p. 25]

[See “Medical Education in the United States and Canada” JAMA, Vol. 165, no. 11, 1956-7, pp. 1427-1428.]


Western States College, Portland, Oregon, retitled “Western States College, School of Chiropractic.” [Utah Study]


Chiropody/Podiatry Schools opened:

  • California College of Chiropody, SF
  • Chicago College of Podiatry
  • New York College of Podiatry, NYC
  • Temple University of Chiropody, Philadelphia
  • Illinois College of Chiropody, Chicago
  • Ohio College of Podiatry, Cleveland
  • Osteopathy Schools opened:
  • Philadelphia College
  • Des Moine Still College
  • Kirksville College, Mo.
  • Kansas City College, Mo.
  • Chicago College
  • College of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons, LA

Chiropractic Schools opened:

  • Logan Basic Chiropractic, St. Louis
  • Chiropractic Institute of New York, NYC
  • Carver College of Chiropractic, Oklahoma City
  • Texas Chiropractic College, San Antonio
  • Lincoln Chiropractic College, Indianapolis
  • Palmer School of Chiropractic, Davenport, IA
  • Columbia Institute of Chiropractic, Baltimore

Naturopathy Schools opened:

  • NCNM, Portland, OR
  • Sierra State University, LA
  • Western States College, Portland, OR
  • Central State College of Physiatrics, Eaton, OH
  • University of Natural Healing Arts, Denver

Definition of Naturopathy

Dr. George Eason, President of the Utah Society of Naturopathic Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.

Defines Naturopathy (entered into the books by Utah’s Legislative Council, May 27, 1958):

“Naturopathic Medicine is that system of healing based upon the principles of promoting normal function, mentally and physically, for the restoration and maintenance of health.  This system is governed by four cardinal principles:

  • 1.  Cleanse the tissues.
  • 2.  Supply indicated nutrition.
  • 3.  Assist the recuperative efforts of the body and mind to regain their normal equilibrium.
  • 4.  Create a favorable mental attitude in the patient.

“In scope of practice it is a therapeutic system embracing a complete physianthropy employing nature’s agencies, forces, processes, and products.”

FROM: “A summary of comments made at the naturopath hearing before the welfare and education Standing Committee of the Legislative Council May 15, 1958 at 7:00 P.M. in the Senate Chamber, Salt Lake City, Utah.” (pp. 72-82, see p. 76-77)


The Welfare and Education Standing Committee and Utah Legislative Council, directed by the Utah Legislative Council Staff in November 1958, began a study of alternative medicines, especially naturopathy.

–letters were sent to the states asking if naturopaths are “licensed to practice”  and what studies if any were made of the profession?–letters to the healing art professions licensed by Utah

–letters to “all approved professional schools of osteopathy, chiropody, chiropractic, naturopathy, and five approved medical schools throughout the nation.”

–letters to each of the national professional accrediting agencies.

–a hearing of members these professions was set up with the Welfare and Education Standing Committee.

–professional schools were visited.

–interviews of the members of the naturopathic profession.   

–files in the Department of Registration were examined.

–the laws and regulations pertaining to this issue were reviewed.

Schools Recognized by Utah Examining Board in 1958, but since the 1958 interview have closed.

  • Central States College of Physiatrics, Eaton, Ohio.
  • American College of Physicians and Surgeons, California

            Also known as: The American College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Schools Not Recognized by Utah Examining Board in 1958

  • Sierra States University, California. 
  • University of Natural Healing Arts, Denver, Colorado.

Schools recognized by Utah Examining Board and still open in 1958:

  •   Western States College, Portland, Oregon
  •  NCNM, Portland, Oregon.

OHIO [Akron]

Standard College of Chiropractic, Inc.  Chartered October 4, 1928; charter cancelled on January 30, 1958. [Utah Study]


As of December 1958, Western States College “still grants a few N.D. degrees, although it is primarily Chiropractic.” [Utah Study]


1958-59, 1960-61


Address: 2625 S.E. Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR


The Bill to go through the state congress stated that “no additional naturopaths were to be licensed prior to May 1, 1959.”  It was later vetoed by the Governor.

September 1959 – June 1960


The 1959 opening of a branch campus for Portland’s NCNM school.  That branch, in Seattle, Washington, offered a program of study only to those students who completed their studies in the Basic Sciences. 

Seattle eventually became the main site for all undergraduate education, leaving the Portland campus to serve in providing other degrees of the healing arts in naturopathic education.



      Only an “extension division” was maintained in Portland     [NCNM Bulletin 1978-80, p. 12.]

“The continued survival of NCNM was due largely to the sacrifices of a small group of dedicated physicians who served as teachers, administrators and trustees during the early years of the College’s growth.” [p. 12]


      NCNM Classes removed to Seattle.



Only “Extension Division” of NCNM remains.



The Portland School (Administration Office:  2627 N. Lombard, Portland, OR) and the Seattle Branch (Academic and Clinical: 1327 N. 45th Street, Seattle, WA) operated.

1970s, early.

Interest in Naturopathy greatly expanded in the U.S., leading to plans to start other schools. 



Portland School

??? Administration: 1920 N. Kilpatrick, Portland, OR; no classes?) was operating with the Seattle Branch???


Seattle Branch of NCNM 

“In September 1971, 14 students entered the first year class of the Seattle campus of the (then) one remaining naturopathic college, the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM).”  [Northwest Academy of Preventive Medicine Newsletter, vol. 6, no. 4, (Nov. 1979)].  (See Sept. 1979 note from same source.) 


Dr. Robert Broadwell began plans to start a completely new program in naturopathic education, which began classes in 1973 at the College of Emporia, Kansas.

1972-3. 1974-5


Portland School (Administration: 1920 N. Kilpatrick, Portland, OR; no classes?) was operating with the Seattle Branch


Seattle Branch (Academic and Clinical Address: 1327 N. 45th Street, Seattle, WA).  Registrar address also in Seattle (Dr. George H. Rombough, N.D., 502 Second & Pine Building, Seattle, WA 98101) 


Kansas Branch: no Kansas School was mentioned in this “1972-3  1974-5” catalogue. 

1973 Expansion in the profession occurs due to “a growing public awareness of the need to re-evaluate conventional health care approaches and an increasing demand for qualified naturopathic physicians.”


      This is an attempt to offer a four-year program to applicants upon acceptance by NCNM.  Kansas-Newman College (KNC) accepted these students so long as they met the requirements.  An agreement made in writing, on paper, symbolic, although no different from a student who just wished to go to the community college, get the needed NCNM prerequisities and the community college’s associate degree requirements, and then go to NCNM.  In writing, this represented a four year degree for achieving a doctorate level degree, but there remains little difference between this and a a Bachelor’s Degree in some form of Allied Health Sciences, such as in Physical Therapy or Nursing(?).  2/13/96 note.  Additional research note:  I had a discussion of the Kansas naturopathy school history with a Kansas Naturopath visiting NCNM to check the library for historical information.  This led to an interesting encounter.  Then President of his state’s medical society, he was not familiar with the Kansas-Newman College association.


Dr. Robert Broadwell’s school began classes at the College of Emporia, Kansas.  Portland and Kansas NCNM students were enrolled here as full-time residents students in a basic medical sciences curriculum, after which they would transfer to Portland to complete their clinical training.  This enabled students to qualify for Federal Student Loan grants during their stay at the Kansas school.  These first Kansas students transferred to Portland in 1975 for their clinical sciences studies and supervised clinical training. 

      The Basic Science requirement was changed to being offered by the Emporia College/Wichita, Kansas school, as part of a four-year program with NCNM.


NCNM began establishing a “collaborative program” with the College of Emporia in Kansas.  (Later moved to Wichita, Kansas)

Seeking approval from the Veteran’s Administration to enroll veterans.

Albina Health Care Center, an H.E.W.-funded Health Care facility, is available for Junior and Senior students during those clinics held by National College of Naturopathic Medicine faculty members who are on staff of Albina Health Care Center.” [p. 16, Catalog 75-76]


The Portland School was Closed, and no classes were offered.  Clinical activities were uncertain following investigation by self.  The “Administration” address was in Portland and remained as 1920 North Kilpatrick.


The “Kansas Branch” (Emporia Branch, College of Emporia, Emporia, Kansas) offered Basic Science portion only.


The “Seattle Branch” (NCNM, 1327 North 45th St.) handled Administration, and Basic and Clinical Science Portions of the curriculum.


The Veteran’s Administration approved NCNM for the enrollment of veterans.

      See 1972-3.


NCNM received its first Kansas students from the Wichita Campus, to attend the Portland school for education in the clinical sciences. 

“The states which license Naturopathy are: Arizona, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.  In addition Idaho provides for legal practice through a ruling of the State Supreme Court.  There are also states not listed here that make provisions for “Drugless” Physicians, “Other Practitioners” and/or Limited Practitioners” regulated by the State Medical Boards.” [NCNM Catalog 75-76, p. 17]


      The Clinical part of the N.D. Program was re-initiated in Portland.  NCNM accepted the Third Year students from Kansas.



Integrated National College of Naturopathic Medicine and Kansas-Newman or Warner-Pacific Basic Science Program on Naturopathic Medicine. [NCNM, 1975-76 Catalog, p. 19]

The Portland School had as its Administration address: NCNM-Warner-Pacific Campus, c/o Warner-Pacific College, 2219 S.E. 68th Avenue, Portland, OR  97215.

The Portland School had as its Basic Science (first two years) addresses: NCNM-Warner-Pacific Campus, c/o Warner-Pacific College, 2219 S.E. 68th Avenue, Portland, OR  97215, and a NCNM-Kansas-Newman Campus, c/o Kansas-Newman College, 3100 McCormick Avenue, Wichita, KS, 67214.

The Clinical Science Portion in Portland was carried out at private clinics and Albina Health Care Center.

“This commitment to Portland led to the closing of NCNM Seattle after the graduation of the Class of 1976, and to the expansion of the Portland campus.” [NCNM Bulletin, 1981-82, p. 12]


There was no longer a Seattle Branch.


NCNM closed its Seattle campus down following the graduation of the class of 1976.



Portland NCNM at 510 S.W. 3rd Avenue, Room 419.

Clinical Science Portion available at 510 S.W. 3rd, Room 415, Portland, OR, 97204.

Annual Cost for Basic Science–$2500; Clinical year annual cost–$2050 tuition.


Basic Science Portion given at Kansas address.


Mention of the VA-funding. [Catalog, p. 17]

The integrated new science program (Conjoint Basic Medical Sciences Course/Program) was started.

First mention of Medical College Admissions Test [MCAT] score; sending a copy of it for admission was not required. [Catalog, p. 17]

Three loan programs or scholarships available:

      Gray-Culbertson Student Loan Fund

      NCNM Student Loan Fund

      John W. Noble Scholarship.

For the first time, funding is available through the EOG, NDSL, and Federally-funded Student Loan Programs.


“In September 1978, NCNM accepted first-year students into a new integrated basic science program at the campus.  This program has been very successful, allowing NCNM to phase out the Kansas campus.  Beginning September 1980, all NCNM students will be together in Portland.” [NCNM Bulletin, 1981-82, p. 12]

      First year students are now able to take their Basic Science and Clinical requirements in the Portland facility located at 510 S.W. Third Avenue.

“The College will be moving to a new campus in the Portland Area by September 1980.  Students may attend the Portland Branch of NCNM for all four years of the ND program.”  [NCNM Catalog, 1978-80, p. 12]


Seattle NCNM Branch–None. 


Kansas NCNM Branch–Kansas-Newman College (3100 McCormick Avenue, Wichita, KS, 67214) only for Basic Science Portion.


JBCNM Address: 518-1st Avenue North, Suite 28-29, Seattle, WA.  This College was founded by the Naturopathic Doctors Les Griffith and William Mitchell.  whose efforts were soon supported by Joseph E. Pizorno, Jr., and Ms. Sheila Quinn as well.  This school was named after John Bastyr, D.C., N.D. 

CANADA [Ontario]

Ontario Naturopathic Association began operation.  Inception of Accelerated Undergraduate Program, to form “the only college of naturopathy and drugless therapy in Canada.”



“In September 1979, 180 students entered NCNM and the two new naturopathic colleges: The John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine (Seattle, WA) and the Pacific College of Naturopathic Medicine, (Monte Rio, CA).”  [Northwest Academy of Preventive Medicine Newsletter, vol. 6, no. 4, (Nov. 1979)].


Santa Fe Academy of Massage and Natural Healing.  (Reviewed 1979-1980 Catalog.)  Address:  1590 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM, 87501.  Awards a 4-year N.D. degree. 

dr. jay victor scherer’s academy of natural healing,” 1981-1982 Catalog.  Possibly a splinter group from the main Massage School in Santa Fe.  Includes religious and spirtiual healing trainings.


Dr. John Christopher’s School of Natural Healing. [Home-study–Lecture program.  Unlicensed, Personal Business of David Christopher, later with M.H., D.H. degrees (unofficial, non-college, unlicensed vocational school, offering M.H., D.H. degrees)].



      2121 Lancaster Drive, Northeast, Salem, OR  97308 


Did this school close down once the facility for NCNM was found?  Any faculty-sharing take place?  The Dean of the school, Curtis D.W. Jasper, appears on a list of NCNM “Preceptors” for 1978. [NCNM Catalog 1978-80, p. 48]



      “The College will be moving to a new campus in the Portland Area by September 1980.”  [NCNM Catalog, 1978-80, p. 12]

      “Beginning September 1980, all NCNM students will be together in Portland.” [NCNM Bulletin, 1981-82, p. 12] (Note name change for Catalog.)



      “In September 1979, 180 students entered NCNM and the two new naturopathic colleges: The John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine (Seattle, WA) and the Pacific College of Naturopathic Medicine, (Monte Rio, CA).”  [Northwest Academy of Preventive Medicine Newsletter, vol. 6, no. 4, (Nov. 1979)].

NCNM was authorized under Federal Law to enroll non-immigrant alien students.


      Legal History [p.4, Santa Fe School of Massage Catalogue, 1978-80]:

Licensure is provided in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C.

Common Law-Based practice is allowed in Idaho, Kansas, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Allegal practice:

“Many of the states allow Naturopaths to practice allegally.  This means they can practice but without a license.”

The only state where it is illegal to practice naturopathy is Tennessee.

Accreditation Standards [From Northwest Academy of Preventive Medicine Newsletter, vol. 6, no. 4, (Nov. 1979)]: 

–by Naturopathic boards of those states which license naturopathic physicians.

–by the Council of Naturopathic Medicine Educ ation (CNME), from the early 20th Century; CNME is currently negotiating with the US Department of Education of the Department of Health, Educ ation and Welfare, for recognition as a nationally accredited body.

1980 (continued)


      no date. 

         Address:   American College of Naturopathic Medicine

                      421 N.E. Main St., Willamina, OR  97396.


1980 “The College will be moving to a new campus in the Portland Area by September 1980.”  [NCNM Catalog, 1978-80, p. 12]


1980 The school’s clinic was opened.


      no date.    Florida College of Naturopathic Medicine,

                  529 13th St, West, Bradenton, FL, 33505


      no date. 

            North American College of Natural Health Sciences

            c/o 150 Shoreline Highway

            Mill Valley, CA  94951.



1982 First JBC Graduates (in Nutrition therapy?)

1983  JBC recognized and accredited.                   US Department of Education approved funding for students interested in Federal Grant programs.

      [See Townsend Letter for Doctors, Sept. 1983, p. 14.]

      “[JBCNM was] granted Candidate for Accreditation status by the Commission of College and the Northwest Association of Schools and College.  Seattle now has the distinction of being the home of the first naturopathic college to ever receive such recognition…As a result of this accomplishment, JBCNM is now eligible to apply for federally-funded financial aid.”

      50 year anniversary for Dr. John Bastyr’s practice as an N.D.

CANADA [Toronto]

      Classes begin at Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine, Kichener, Ontario.  Later removed several times, finally to Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine, 60 Berl Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M8Y 3C7 (1991). 


NCNM’s puchases a new school facility with 7 acres of land.


NCNM’s new outpatient clinic is constructed at the new school.


1984 John Bastyr College as it exists today was born, offering a B.S. and M.S. in Nutrition, and the Doctor of Naturopathy (Naturopathae Doctorae) N.D. degree.

      Alumni association is formed.

      The First Foundation Grants are received by the students.

1985 Textbook

      1986 First B.S./M.S. graduation.

            144 N.E. 54th St., Seattle, WA 98105  206-523-9585 

      [Address is valid from 1986 to Present]


1990 Main programs noted are in Oriental Medicine,    Midwivery and Nutrition.

      Listing of Schools:

            OREGON SCHOOL [NCNM, Portland]

            WASHINGTON SCHOOL [JBCNM, Seattle]

            CANADA [OCNM, Toronto]

CANADA [OCNM, Toronto]

Classes still held at Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine, 60 Berl Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M8Y 3C7 (1991).