Bernard Jensen: A Historical Figure in Natural Medicine

 In Naturopathic News

Shawn Peters, Naturopathic Medical Student

Dr. Bernard Jensen was a truly historical figure within in the realm of nutrition and naturopathic medicine. Dr. Jensen was born in the early 1900’s and was primarily both a chiropractor (D.C.) and a Nutritionist. He graduated from the West Coast Chiropractic College and the Pacific College of Naturopathic Physicians, making him a naturopathic doctor (ND) as well. In fact, he studied with Dr. Benedict Lust, who is considered the father of naturopathic medicine.

He ran multiple sanitariums in California, where he emphasized tissue and bowel cleansing, botanical medicine, nutrition, and achieving balance within different parts of a person (spiritual, mental, and physical). Like in many sanitariums in his time, he was said to promote a healthy diet, good exercise, stress reduction, and adequate rest as key elements to good health. Dr. Jensen emphasized treatment of the whole person and not simply that of the disease. In this emphasis, he lived what has become two of the core principles of naturopathic medicine, to identify and treat the cause, and to treat the whole person.

The Practice and Use of Iridology

Dr. Jensen was also fundamental in pioneering Iridology in the United States. Iridology is the study of the iris of the eye to determine a person’s health and disease status. He practised and taught Iridology as part of a plan to understand the health status of a patient. By observing the various marks, colours, layers, and regions in an individual’s eye, he declared that the iris of the eye is like a TV of the body, revealing the relevant conditions, such as inflammation.

An Iridology chart is a tool used that displays an arrangement of various organs and tissues overlaid onto a picture of the individual’s eye. The combination of what is looked for in the eye, the regions that various marks are found in, and the layers in which they appear, help a practitioner determine what information is relevant and the subsequent health status of the patient. Dr. Jensen developed the most widely used Iridology chart from over 50 years of experience.

HeadshotWith an interest in nutrition, I both attended and instructed at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in Calgary.  I practiced natural nutrition and worked in health food stores for the better part of a decade before I decided to actively pursue naturopathic medicine. The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine was a natural choice for me and I am loving it.  I am deeply passionate about environmental stewardship, intentional communities, and philosophy, including animal rights. Visit me at:


  1. Bernard Jensen International. (2012). Bernard Jensen . Retrieved February 7, 2016, from Bernard Jensen International:
  2. Jensen, B. (1952). The science and practise of Iridology. Escondido, CA: Bernard Jensen, C., N.D.
  3. Jensen, B. (1980). Iridology simplified. Escondido, CA: Dr. Bernard Jensen, D.C.
  4. Weidow, B. M. (2015). Bernard Jensen. In salem press encyclopedia of h Salem Press.
  5. Lloyd, I. (2009). History of naturopathic medicine: A Canadian perspective. Toronto: McArthur &. Co.
Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search