Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine that employs an array of pseudoscientific practices branded as “natural”, “non-invasive”, and as promoting “self-healing”. The ideology and methods of naturopathy are based on vitalism and folk medicine, rather than evidence-based medicine. Naturopathic practitioners generally recommend against following modern medical practices, including but not limited to medical testing, drugs, vaccinations, and surgery. Instead, naturopathic study and practice rely on unscientific notions, often leading naturopaths to diagnoses and treatments that have no factual merit.
Naturopathy is considered by the medical profession to be ineffective and possibly harmful, raising ethical issues about its practice. In addition to accusations from the medical community, such as the American Cancer Society, naturopaths have repeatedly been accused of being charlatans and practicing quackery. Over the years, many practitioners of naturopathy have been found criminally liable in the courts of law around the world. In some countries, it is a criminal offense for naturopaths to label themselves as medical professionals.
Naturopaths are campaigning for more recognition in the United States.