Frequesntly Asked Questions
1. What kind of education do Naturopaths receive?
Naturopathy education varies widely across the country. However, most all
Naturopaths regardless of which school or college they choose, receive from 2500 to
4100 hours (2-4 years) of education in traditional naturopathic modalities before
graduation. Educational courses range from a minimum of Anatomy and Physiology,
Herbalism, Homeopathy, Naturopathic bodywork, physical and holistic exam to
pharmacology and drug interactions. The CNCB requires 500 hours of clinical internship
and passing of a proctored exam called the California Naturopathic Board Exam (CNBE)
with a grade of 80 percent or higher to be certified to practice.
2. Is Naturopathy the same as Naturopathic Medicine?
No, Naturopathy and Naturopathic Medicine are two distinct healing arts, both
focus on healing the individual with as natural the means as possible. Naturopaths
Traditional Naturopaths and Naturopathic Practitioners do not practice Naturopathic
Medicine, they practice Naturopathy. The biggest difference is in philosophy,
Naturopathy holds a non-invasive and non-surgical philosophy . Practitioners of
Naturopathic Medicine, (Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine -NMDs) may prescribe some
legend drugs when they deem necessary depending on state by state laws. Naturopathy
uses no drugs or surgery in practice.
3. Are Naturopaths, Traditional Naturopaths and Naturopathic Practitioners doctors?
Though many Naturopathic Practitioners have Doctoral Degrees in Traditional
Naturopathy (Ph.D), we do not pertain to be primary care physicians. The terms
Naturopath, Traditional Naturopath and Naturopathic Practitioner are usually used
interchangeably between practitioners of Naturopathy to differentiate between those
who practice Naturopathic Medicine.
Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine differ from those practitioners who practice
Traditional Naturopathy. Practitioners of Naturopathic Medicine may use the term “Dr.”
and “ND”, Naturopathic Practitioners do not use these terms nor do they practice
4. Can anyone practice naturopathy?
No, according to the Naturopathic Doctors Act (Senate Bill 796) you must be educated and
trained to claim to practice naturopathy.
Section 3645 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:
(a) This chapter permits, and does not restrict, the use of the following titles by persons who
are educated and trained as any of the following:
(2) “Naturopathic practitioner.”
(3) “Traditional naturopathic practitioner.”
(b) This chapter permits, and does not restrict, the education of persons as described in
paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (a). Those persons are not required to be licensed
under this chapter.
The CNCB was created to provide the public with educated and trained
practitioners in naturopathy. A California Certified Naturopath is an individual who has
shown competency through practicum and testing in the practice of naturopathy.