The problem is that there is a wide range of practices here. Some naturopaths oppose surgery, vaccination, and medication on philosophical grounds while promoting treatments that have no scientific basis. Other naturopaths are more conventional physicians who use alternative medicine as an compliment to traditional medicine. There are certainly herbs that have medicinal properties but they are not necessarily safer or more effective than pharmaceutical medicines. There are herbal treatments that are reasonable options though. Some conditions do respond to acupuncture or chiropractic treatments but for reasons far different than the long discredited theories these branches of medicine were founded on. Homeopathy is the most far fetched and bizarre form of snakeoil I know of. It makes no sense what so ever in light of current medical knowledge and I do not believe it has ever demonstrated efficacy in any unbiased well controlled study.
My primary care doctor is pretty open minded about alternative medicine. In fact though her current specialty is family medicine she is working toward a specialty in complimentary and alternative medicine. I figure I can get the best of both worlds seeing her.
'A Naturopath is a health practitioner who applies natural therapies. Her/his spectrum comprises far more than fasting, nutrition, water, and exercise; it includes approved natural healing practices such as Homeopathy, Acupuncture, and Herbal Medicine, as well as the use of modern methods like Bio-Resonance, Ozone-Therapy, and Colon Hydrotherapy.
At a time when modern technology, environmental pollution, poor diet, and stress play a significant role in the degradation of health, a Naturopath’s ability to apply natural methods of healing is of considerable importance. By using natural therapies he or she is able to treat both acute and chronic ailments successfully. Frequently, a Naturopath is the last resort in a patient’s long search for health. Providing personalised care to each patient, the naturopath sees humankind as a holistic unity of body, mind, and spirit.'
Sorry I just copy and pasted that in case I can't post a link, but that seems to be the general idea from the website. [link removed]
This answer courtesy of external sources such as: