National College of Natural Medicine Launches Historical Book Series

 In Naturopathic News

Writings of Naturopathic Pioneers Revive Clinical Wisdom for Modern Physicians
PORTLAND, Ore. (Oct. 23, 2013) — Naturopathic medicine has come a long way from its humble origins in New York City at the end of the 19th century. It is now licensed in 17 states, the District of Columbia, two U.S. territories, and recognized by the Affordable Care Act. As naturopathic medicine evolved in this country, much of its early history was lost. The release of Origins of Naturopathic Medicine, published by National College of Natural Medicine’s NCNM Press, is the first volume of a 12-volume series, The Hevert Collection: In their Own Words. The collection restores that lost heritage for naturopathic physicians and other healthcare professionals drawn to understand the simplicity of medical practices and tools that continue to successfully treat patients with conditions ranging from life-threatening illnesses to earaches.
Through the scholarly and painstaking efforts of Dr. Sussanna Czeranko, a naturopathic physician and NCNM Library’s rare book room curator, the words and wisdom of Benedict Lüst and his medical collaborators have been culled, edited and compiled into each of the 12 books of The Hevert Collection series, bringing the writings from the Gilded Age into the present. Publication of the series is being funded by Hevert Pharmaceuticals LLC, a leading herbal and homeopathic remedies manufacturer based in Germany.
Benedict Lüst, the foremost pioneer of naturopathy in the United States, is commonly acknowledged as the “father of naturopathic medicine” because of his efforts in the professional formation of naturopathic medicine, including establishing the first U.S. naturopathic college. From 1896 until his death in 1945, Lüst published professional medical journals in which he and his colleagues wrote extensively about the emerging profession. In 1986, NCNM received the entire historical collection through a bequest from the Lüst family.
The first book of the series, Origins of Naturopathic Medicine, is a historical overview of the formative years of the naturopathic profession drawn directly from the Lüst journals published from 1900-1923. Each chapter details key clinical and philosophical issues, and other developments of the time that propelled the early practitioners into their practice of medicine. A colorful but turbulent picture is painted of the challenges facing the early natural medicine practitioners as they struggled to gain a foothold within the conventional mainstream medical establishment. Other volumes in the Hevert collection will focus on topics as far-ranging as pioneering clinical practices, the development of naturopathic philosophy, dietetics and water therapies. The collected articles present the medicine as it was practiced a century ago, making the wisdom of the founding American naturopathic physicians accessible to today’s naturopathic practitioners.
NCNM President, David J. Schleich, PhD, said, “The Hevert series affirms NCNM’s enduring commitment to the roots of traditional naturopathic medicine by making the best of the early literature available again. NCNM has safeguarded the extraordinary Lüst legacy for years under lock and key in our library, where it gathered dust for 27 years. This is the right moment to re-introduce Lüst’s journals to a world now open and eager to receive the healing benefits that naturopathy brings to its patients.”
Schleich added that events have brought the German origins of Lüst’s work full circle. “It’s ironic indeed that the wealth of wisdom contained in these valuable publications is able to reach the world again with support coming from Lüst’s homeland,” he said.
“Benedict Lüst emigrated from Germany to America, where his life’s work was to establish the profession of natural medicine. NCNM is now able to publish the priceless wisdom within these many volumes through the partnership and support of Germany’s Hevert Pharmaceuticals, a family-run company dedicated to naturopathy and natural medicines. We are most grateful.”
Editor Czeranko admits the more time she spent locked away in NCNM’s Rare Book Room reading several thousand articles from the past, the more passionate she became about naturopathy’s roots and about the journal’s importance to practicing naturopathic doctors.
Czeranko says, “These books inform the practice of modern naturopathic medicine by taking its practitioners back to the origins of the medicine. We can learn from the early doctors as they convey their confidence and skill in treating many patients who came to them dangerously ill by using the simple tools they passed down to us. I’ve been practicing medicine for nearly 20 years and I’ve learned a tremendous amount from the pioneers of our profession.”
The remaining 11 books of the series will be published with an expected completion date by 2016.
Ordering information: Available now, published by NCNM Press, ISBN: 10-digit number, 0-9771435-2-X; 13-digit number, 978-0-9771435-2-8, 372 pages, softbound, $27.95, plus shipping and handling. To order, visit, call 503.552.1532; or email [email protected].

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