We're Currently Accepting New Patients!

What is the Difference Between Naturopathic and Homeopathic Medicine?

Written by Portland Clinic of Natural Health on September 18, 2023

Naturopathic and homeopathic medicine are both branches of alternative medicine. Despite their popularity, many people confuse the two. However, their foundations, principles, and practices differ substantially. Let's explore these differences by drawing on insights from the AANP, DHANP, AANMC, and other reputable sources.

1. Foundational Philosophy

Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic medicine emphasizes prevention, treatment, and promoting optimal health. It operates on the principle that the body has an inherent ability to heal itself when given the right environment and resources.

Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathy, on the other hand, is based on the principle of "like cures like." In essence, a substance causing symptoms in a healthy individual can be used to treat similar symptoms in a sick person when provided in minute quantities.

2. Training and Education

Naturopathic Medicine

NDs undergo a robust 4-year, graduate-level program. This training encompasses biomedical sciences, diagnostics, therapeutic sciences, and more. Furthermore, they gain hands-on experience in natural therapies.

Homeopathic Medicine

Training for homeopaths varies, with some being MDs or NDs specializing in homeopathy. The DHANP ensures its members possess advanced skills and knowledge in homeopathy through its rigorous certification process.

3. Treatment Modalities

Naturopathic Medicine

NDs utilize diverse treatments, including nutrition, botanical medicine, physical medicine, and lifestyle counseling. The primary goal is to employ the least invasive methods initially, respecting the body's natural processes.

Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopaths primarily use homeopathic remedies, which are individualized after a comprehensive consultation, taking into account physical, emotional, and mental states.

4. Scope and Application

Naturopathic Medicine

NDs can manage a range of conditions, both acute and chronic, sometimes serving as primary care providers depending on the jurisdiction.

Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathy has a more targeted scope, focusing on the unique manifestations of disease in each individual.

5. Regulation and Recognition

Both professions have varying degrees of regulation, contingent on location. It's essential to consult with reputable associations like the AANP, DHANP, and AANMC to verify a practitioner's credentials.

Naturopathic and homeopathic medicines offer unique perspectives and treatments within holistic health. Recognizing their differences is crucial for informed health decisions.

Similarities and Historical Ties

Both homeopathy and naturopathic medicine share foundational beliefs in harnessing the body's innate healing capabilities. They recognize and work with the vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature, which is an inherent, self-corrective response of the organism to heal itself. This profound respect for the body's innate wisdom and ability to heal underscores both modalities.

Historically, many early pioneers of naturopathic medicine were also practitioners of homeopathy. Their deep understanding of the body's natural healing processes allowed them to integrate homeopathic principles seamlessly into their broader therapeutic toolkit. Fast forward to today, and the connection persists. Homeopathy is a significant component of the naturopathic curriculum in accredited institutions. Students of naturopathic medicine receive training in homeopathic principles and application, ensuring they are well-equipped with this tool upon entering practice. However, it's important to note that while it's a part of their training, not every naturopathic doctor (ND) chooses to incorporate homeopathy as a primary modality in their clinical practice. The choice often stems from individual preferences, specific clinical experiences, or the particular needs of their patient population.

Portland Clinic of Natural Health and Homeopathy

At the Portland Clinic of Natural Health, the dedication to holistic healing is evident in the breadth and depth of modalities the doctors employ. Homeopathy, with its rich history and evidence-backed applications, is unquestionably a valued tool in their repertoire. When indicated and based on a patient's unique needs and presentation, doctors at the clinic won't hesitate to leverage the potent benefits of homeopathic remedies. However, it's essential to recognize that homeopathy is but one of the myriad tools available to them. The clinic prides itself on offering a multifaceted approach to health, drawing from a vast array of therapeutic options. This ensures that every patient receives a truly individualized treatment plan, combining the best of natural medicine practices for optimal health and wellbeing.

The Right to Choose and Individualized Treatment

It's crucial to acknowledge that while homeopathy offers numerous benefits, it might not resonate or be suitable for everyone. Just as each individual is unique, so too are their health needs and preferences. At the Portland Clinic of Natural Health, we deeply respect and uphold the principle of patient autonomy. We believe that every person has the right to make informed choices about their health and the treatments they pursue. Our primary commitment is to provide education, resources, and guidance, empowering patients to make decisions that align with their personal beliefs and health goals. The journey to wellness is deeply personal, and we honor and support each individual's right to navigate it in a way that feels most authentic and beneficial to them.

Diverse Perspectives within Homeopathy

Within the realm of homeopathy itself, there exists a rich tapestry of methodologies, philosophies, and schools of thought. It's fascinating, yet also important to note, that homeopaths may not always arrive at a consensus on how the medicine operates or its optimal application. Some practitioners may adhere to classical methods established during homeopathy's inception, while others may lean towards more contemporary or specialized approaches. Furthermore, the mechanism by which homeopathic remedies exert their effect remains a topic of debate and research, leading to diverse interpretations. This variability underscores the depth and dynamism of homeopathy as a field. Patients and practitioners alike benefit from being informed and open-minded, recognizing that the journey with homeopathy is as much about personal resonance and experience as it is about the vast body of knowledge that has been accumulated over the centuries.


  1. American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). Retrieved from https://www.naturopathic.org.
  2. Diplomates of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (DHANP). Retrieved from https://www.dhanp.org.
  3. Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC). Retrieved from https://www.aanmc.org.

Our Newsletter

Experience a New Level of Wellness - Sign Up for the Portland Clinic of Natural Health Newsletter Today!

Related Posts

What our Patients say about us