top of page
  • Dr. Kate Henry

Does Naturopathic Medicine Include Pharmaceuticals?

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

I'll get straight to the point :) Pharmaceuticals ARE definitely included in the therapeutic order of naturopathic approaches to medical care.

They're classified as "synthetic symptom relief" and some are among our "higher force interventions".

Naturopathic doctors receive over 3 years of training in pharmacy during medical school, and they can prescribe most medications except for opiates in many states in the country (WA, OR, CA, VT, etc.). This is precisely because pharmaceutical medications can be vital and lifesaving for many conditions including

  • Type 1 Diabetes

  • Thyroid replacement post thyroid-removal

  • Familial hypercholesterolemia

and more.

Additionally, you can use natural medicine to help make pharmaceuticals more effective at a lower dose with less side effects. Take this study that shows that supplementing zinc in zinc-deficient people with ADHD can reduce the amount of medications needed to control their symptoms by 37%.

So, yes, your blood pressure med, your thyroid meds, your antibiotics, antidepressants, chemo and more are ALSO part of the therapeutic order that naturopathic doctors use to help your body restore itself to optimal health.

Your naturopathic doctor understands how pharmaceutical medications work, what they interact with, what nutrients you need to help them work optimally, and how to use natural medicine to reduce side effects and optimize their efficacy.

If this surprises you, you're not alone. Many folks assume that naturopathic doctors are only trained / interested in helping their clients fix problems with food and herbs, and that they can't or won't recommend pharmaceuticals or surgery at any point. But NDs are trained in the physiology and biochemistry of human body, as well as ALL of the latest advances in medicine that we can use to fix or correct problems when we encounter them.