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Naturopathy and the various Naturopathy Schools that train the professionals involved in the diversity of naturopathic practices is increasingly becoming a staple of the alternative medicine movement. The philosophy behind these movements is based on a sense of renewal connected both to the natural environment and to a revision of the historical perspective of the Western medical establishment. One important aspect of these disciplines is that they can be directly tied to more ancient practices amongst the indigenous populations all over the world, though more particularly in inaccessible areas or in those areas where they still practice forms of medicine that are not entirely understood to this day. Oftentimes these indigenous populations make use of a wide variety of local flora in the preparation of herbal treatments or remedies. What is especially important about cataloguing the knowledge of these peoples is that they possess a whole branch of pharmacological knowledge that has yet to be fully processed by the pharmaceutical industry. In the west, the momentum behind the naturopathic movement increased to the point that at this time naturopathic medicine is increasingly accepted as having some form of benefit by the medical establishment. Perhaps more importantly, it is western consumers who have increasingly embraced the philosophy and practices of naturopathic medicine and it is this increase in popularity that has eventually led to the medical and pharmaceutical establishment’s recognition that not only is this a viable and potentially very profitable market but that it poses a number of challenges to the existing industry and the practices of its regulatory bodies. These challenges include the need to catalogue and fully study the complex chemicals and interactions in the variety of plants in their various preparations that are used in some forms of naturopathic medicine. In addition, there are the difficulties posed by herbal treatments that accommodate an admixture of plants in various forms as it must be studied in a scientific manner just how these different chemicals and substances interact and function and, moreover, whether they in fact work as they say the do. If these complexities were not sufficiently daunting there is also the difficulty of assessing the potential interactions with other commercially available pharmaceuticals in order to determine what contraindications and warnings need to accompany the packaging of herbal treatments and, as they are incorporated in the pharmaceutical establishment, what new additions to extant warnings on already available drugs need to be considered. One should also note that although the focus of this article has been upon herbal treatments, as they are an important and at times controversial branch of naturopathic medicine, that there are many forms of naturopathy. Naturopathic Medicine is a separate form of healthcare profession that uses an admixture of both contemporary medical healthcare treatments and natural therapies. A Naturopathy Doctor is a primary care physician who offers treatment in a broad scope of naturopathic approaches that are individually adapted to patients by concentrating not on a particular disease but on the general welfare of the entire patient. According to the Alternative Medicine Foundation, the therapies used in naturopathic medicine may include: Clinical Nutrition, Homeopathy, Botanical Medicine, Physical Medicine, Natural Childbirth, Oriental Medicine, Counselling and Stress Management, Minor Surgery as well as Public Health Measures and Hygiene. However, not all those who practice naturopathy will focus on all of these areas and as such the form of naturopathy that a patient chooses will require the selection of a trained and qualified professional in that field. In cases such as acupuncture, as with herbal remedies, there have also been some regulatory challenges. One of which has been the adoption of a hygienic standard for the use of acupuncture needles. It has now been legislated in the United States that acupuncture needles must be sterile and can only be used once. It is through productive regulations such as this that naturopathic treatments are able to be modified to fit current regulatory standards of hygiene and proper labelling. However, at the same time, it is important that these regulatory bodies and the Western medical establishment in general remain sensitive and open to the desires of consumers who wish to practice naturopathic medicine and to those cultures that are being in some senses assimilated into a broader, renewed Western perspective with regard to traditional forms of treatment. In discussing the different forms of naturopathic medicine, in however a general form, it is also important to recognize that there is a global economic and cultural politics that is involved in many of these treatments and disciplines. This can include the importing of Chinese products and traditions into the United States, particularly at a time when an ascendant Chinese economy has allowed for the increased penetration of products made in China into Western markets. The result of this has been further regulatory challenges that both recognize the importance of trade with countries such as China and yet also take into consideration the necessity of upholding a strong and efficient regulatory regimen when it comes to taking new products to market. Other global consequences of the rise of naturopathic medicine include the raised awareness of the difficulties facing a number of indigenous populations around the world. Ironically, it can be the very botanical and medical knowledge that we hope to learn from them that, while it increases awareness of the fragility of their cultures, indirectly serves to potentially further weaken them as demand for certain botanical specimens leads to the danger of overexploiting the natural resources and disrupting the ecological balances in some rare and important regions of the globe. Despite the many challenges to traditional views of medicine, the increased treatment options offered by naturopathic treatments can only, in the long run, benefit consumers. Whether this is a result of increased competition, new regulatory challenges, the need for further scientific research or even simply the challenges posed to our conceptions of foreign cultures by exposing us to new ideas, naturopathic medicine is increasingly having a positive impact on Western culture and the culture of Western medicine.