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Fundamentals of Naturopathic Medicine

Master the basics of naturopathy as you discover the value of this integrative approach and the career paths it presents.

467 enrolled on this course

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Fundamentals of Naturopathic Medicine

467 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Gain an introduction to naturopathic medicine with Southern Cross University.

Naturopathic medicine is a growing field involving the use of natural remedies to help the body heal itself.

This four-week course from Southern Cross University will help you gain a solid understanding of naturopathic medicine and practice.

You’ll delve into its fascinating history, the value of its applications, and the interesting career paths of naturopathic medicine.

Explore the history of naturopathic medicine

In the first week, you’ll explore the origins and core philosophies of naturopathic medicine.

Examine naturopathic principles in care

Learn how approaches like ‘first, do no harm’ and ‘treating the whole person’ distinguish naturopathic medicine from other health disciplines during the second week of this course. By examining the foundations of naturopathy, you’ll gain insight into what makes this field unique.

Unpack contemporary naturopathic medicine

Next, you’ll discover how contemporary naturopathic medicine delivers personalised, holistic care. You’ll explore the various career paths available – from working in clinics to research. You’ll also learn about the scope of naturopathic practice.

Understand the value of naturopathic medicine approaches to health

Finally, you’ll uncover the value of naturopathic principles in everyday life such as exposure to green spaces for healing. This will help you understand how aligning naturopathic principles to the everyday world can enhance patient outcomes.

By the end of the course, you’ll have a strong foundation to pursue this expanding field. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be set up for a rewarding career in naturopathic medicine.


  • Week 1

    The definition and history of naturopathic medicine

    • Defining naturopathic medicine

      What is naturopathic medicine? Naturopathic medicine is defined by its approach rather than by the treatments used in clinical practice.

    • The historical roots of naturopathic medicine

      Is naturopathic medicine a new health care profession or has it been around for centuries? Find out more by unpacking the historical roots of naturopathic medicine.

    • Key contributors to contemporary naturopathic medicine

      The origins of naturopathic medicine can be traced back to a founding moment during the 1840's with the establishment of water cure.

    • Week 1: Quiz

      This short quiz will ask you 10 multiple choice or true/false questions based on the content covered in Week 1.

  • Week 2

    Introduction to naturopathic principles

    • What are the naturopathic principles?

      As a primary health care profession, naturopathic medicine is practised from the perspective of its naturopathic principles rather than by the treatments naturopaths use. This week's content will describe naturopathic principles.

    • First, do no harm (Primum non nocere)

      Naturopathic principles are the foundations of naturopathic care and are embedded and intertwined in naturopathic philosophies.

    • The healing power of nature (Vis Medicatrix naturae)

      The healing power of nature has a long history in both naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine. But its approach is mainly only applied in contemporary naturopathic practice.

    • Treat the whole person (Tolle totum)

      People have different backgrounds and health journeys that can impact their health and well being. Treat the whole person is a core naturopathic principle that recognises various determinants to health.

    • Treat the cause (Tolle causam)

      Identify and treat the cause *Tolle causam* is an important naturopathic principle that distinguishes the profession from other primary health care practices.

    • Doctor as teacher (Docere)

      Naturopaths have a vital role in educating and empowering patients to advocate and self-mange their health and wellbeing through Doctor as teacher *Docere*

    • Prevention (Preventare)

      Prevention is recognised as both a naturopathic principle and an approach to care that focuses on preventing disease and illness and modifiable risk factors to disease development.

    • Wellness

      What does wellness look like? This naturopathic principle aligns with the philosophical thoughts of holism but is a multidimensional concept.

    • Critically analyse accumulated knowledge (Scientia critica)

      Scientia critica is a new principle that is being considered by the naturopathic profession. This principle brings further the value of scientific research in naturopathic care.

    • Week 2: Quiz

      This short quiz will ask you 10 multiple choice or true/false questions based on the content covered in Week 2.

  • Week 3

    Contemporary naturopathic medicine

    • Delivery of naturopathic care through person-centred care model

      Several aspects of person-centred care are a vital component to the delivery of safe and effective naturopathic care. But what does this mean in the context of naturopathic medicine?

    • Scope of naturopathic practice

      The naturopathic scope of practice can vary depending on training and qualifications. However, in Australian naturopaths focus on five core disciplines.

    • Careers in naturopathic medicine

      Do you want to begin a career in naturopathic medicine? If clinical naturopathic training several different career pathways can be rewarding opportunities.

    • Week 3: Quiz

      This short quiz will ask you 10 multiple choice or true/false questions based on the content covered in Week 3.

  • Week 4

    Value and use of naturopathic principles in professional and everyday life

    • The value of naturopathic principles

      While naturopathic principles are used by naturopaths in clinical practice every day, these principles can be applied to self-management strategies to improve health and well-being.

    • Using green spaces for healing

      There are numerous health benefits to engaging with the healing power of nature through the outdoor environment.

    • Whole person health and wellbeing

      Using the naturopathic principle - treat the whole person, naturopaths support patients to receive whole or person-centred care to encourage patient wellbeing. So how can you have this approach in your life?

    • Awareness of prevention through lifestyle approaches

      Through the naturopathic principles - prevention and doctor as teacher - naturopaths encourage and educate patients to eat a variety of whole foods and incorporate healthy lifestyles to support healthy living.

    • Week 4: Quiz

      This short quiz will ask you 10 multiple choice or true/false questions based on the content covered in Week 4.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the field, and historical aspects of naturopathic medicine
  • Explain the fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine
  • Describe contemporary naturopathic medicine
  • Identify the value of naturopathic principles in health

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in naturopathic medicine. You may be considering a career in naturopathy or you could be a healthcare practitioner wanting to expand your scope of practice or collaborate with naturopaths.

This knowledge you gain on this course will also set you up for continuing education in naturopathic medicine. You could further your knowledge with Southern Cross University with:

  • Diploma of Health (Naturopathic Studies specialisation)
  • Bachelor of Health Science (Health and Lifestyle)
  • Master of Naturopathic Medicine

Upon successful completion of the course and quizzes, you’ll receive credit for Assessment 1, and partial contribution of marks to Assessment 3, in the ‘Professional Contexts in Naturopathic Medicine 1: Foundations [NATM2004]’ unit offered by Southern Cross University. This is a core unit in the Diploma of Health (Naturopathic Studies specialisation) and Bachelor of Health Science (Health and Lifestyle) degrees delivered through Southern Cross University.


You’ll receive credit for Assessment 1, and partial contribution of marks to Assessment 3, in the ‘Professional Contexts in Naturopathic Medicine 1 and 2: Foundations and Conduct [NATM5010]’ unit offered by Southern Cross University. This is a core unit in the Master of Naturopathic Medicine degree delivered through Southern Cross University.

Who will you learn with?

Rebecca is a qualified naturopath,
researcher, and academic who
is dedicated to supporting the
naturopathic research evidence
base and women's health.

Who developed the course?

Southern Cross University

Southern Cross University is a dynamic university with a vibrant and innovative research program that focuses on issues that are both regionally relevant and globally significant. We work closely with industry, the government sectors, and our community to fulfil this program.

  • Established

  • Location

    New South Wales, Australia

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Subscribe & save


For the first two months. Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$129/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 28 Dec 2023

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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