Naturopathic Medicine: Everything You Need to Know About Seeing a Naturopathic Doctor

The Aurum Naturopathic Doctor Toronto Downtown is licensed, regulated and works holistically to help you get to your health goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are setting out to answer the top questions what is a naturopathic doctor in Canada.

What Is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a regulated and licensed health profession that is premised on integrating primary systems of medicine for the reestablishment of a person’s ability to live well and in optimal health. A Naturopathic Doctor’s practice is one rooted in the principles of naturopathic medicine – do no harm, consider the whole person, address the root cause, “doctor as teacher”, respect for the healing power of nature and all this while prioritizing prevention. 

The licensed naturopathic doctor combines an evidence-informed approach, leaning on diagnostic information provided from physical examination, blood work and sometimes advanced functional diagnostic testing. By incorporating this information with a thorough timeline and story of the patient experience, alongside considering the mental emotional health of the patient, the naturopathic doctor can work with their patients to find simple, natural solutions to help reestablish the conditions of healthy living. The naturopathic doctor can also serve to help coordinate their patient’s holistic care with other practitioners of complementary care. 

The Naturopathic doctor can chart a roadmap for their patients premised on the therapeutic order, focusing on the least invasive and most effective treatments. Instead of using suppressive solutions that only focus on the symptomatic approach, working with a naturopathic doctor can help combine acute relief therapies that can further move towards the restoration of health. 

How long does it take to become a naturopath in Canada?

To become a licensed and regulated Naturopathic Doctor in Ontario it takes 7-8 years of post-secondary education, requiring a bachelor’s degree, premedical pre-requisite basic science courses, and a 4-year ND degree at an AANMC-accredited university such as the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). To be permitted to practice naturopathic medicine in Ontario, ND graduates must then pass a licensing examination (either NABNE-administered NPLEX I & II valid across North America, or the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO)’s licensing examination), as well as practical board examinations for entry-to-practice, administered by CONO.

How do I find a naturopath?

We recommend booking free 15-minute consults or “Meet & Greet” appointments/Discovery calls with any naturopathic doctor that you might be interested in seeing as a patient to make sure the approach of the ND is what you’re looking for and a good fit for your health needs. Use our list of questions to consider asking when choosing your Naturopathic Doctor below. Ontario (CONO)-regulated Naturopathic doctors are not permitted to post testimonials on their websites from patients, so this is why we recommend booking consults those naturopathic doctors you are considering to support your individual needs and health care. 

Book with someone on Aurum’s team of naturopathic doctors at this link here

How To Choose A Naturopathic Doctor

  • Do they focus on your health issue?
  • Are they licensed?
  • What is their other background?
  • Do they lead a healthy lifestyle?
  • Will they work with your conventional doctor?
  • Do you trust them and feel comfortable with them

The clinical focus of a naturopathic doctor depends on their experience and interest. Our diverse team of naturopathic doctors have a broad range of interests and experiences to support your health and wellness needs.

This team supports patients with conditions including digestive concerns & hormonal issues (Dr. Tabar), eczema, migraines & seizure disorders (Dr. Hwang), pregnancy, fertility & paediatrics (Dr. Krishnamurti) and chronic infections such as lyme & cancer (Dr. Kwan). Read more about each provider individually in their personal biographies.

Naturopathic Medicine Vs. Conventional Medicine

How To Choose Conventional Vs. Natural?

n short, our answer is: don’t.

You don’t have to choose between approaches. Naturopathic doctors can complement a conventional medicine approach with natural remedies. In Ontario and many licensed states and provinces Naturopathic Doctors are trained to practice primary care from a patient-centred approach. Through our family medicine providers, we have access to diagnostic testing, scans and network of specialists and physicians that are OHIP-covered services. This is a huge advantage for those who wish to leverage all kinds of health care support already provided to Canadians by the public health system. Additionally, many medical doctors are growing interested in natural nutritional ways of supporting their patients and can be helpful collaborators with your naturopathic doctor. See Functional Medicine Practitioners as an example. 

Working with Naturopathic doctors can help you learn about your personal health and the principles of healthy living, and specifically how to take a natural approach first based on the therapeutic order. Naturopathic doctors can also help you identify potential missed diagnoses, and will look at environmental and other unconventional causes of chronic and complex health conditions that require more time and a different “toolbox” in order to take the whole-systems approach to investigating the case. 

Sometimes people may ask, are naturopathic doctors real doctors? 

Historically, the use of “doctor” is derived from the Latin “docere” which means “to teach”. “Doctor” was used as an academic title in the 13th century Europe. The use of the title “Dr.” then began to morph depending on different parts of the world, extending to physicians (apparently used by general practitioners and not by surgeons for many years according to Wikipedia). In Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors have the ability to use the title of doctor before their name, similar to Dentists, Chiropractors, Psychologists, Physicians and Optometrists and those with doctoral degrees (PhDs). In terms of training, Ontario’s Naturopathic doctors (NDs) have training in primary care – which means they can perform physical examinations and requisition blood work – liken to Naturopathic Physicians in British Columbia and the United States (NABNE). Please see the following point about OHIP coverage for services.  

Are naturopathic doctors covered by OHIP? 

In the province of Ontario, services provided by naturopathic doctors are not covered by OHIP.  Services provided by our naturopathic doctors are often covered by private health insurance or extended health benefit insurance plans, or they are paid out-of-pocket. 
At Aurum Medicine and Wellness Clinic, we offer direct billing of insurance for most major insurance companies for naturopathic medicine services provided by our team of licensed naturopathic doctors. Please inquire at or call us at 416-531-0008 if you have any questions about how this works

What does a full visit with a Naturopathic doctor look like?

Your first appointment is called an “Initial” appointment will be anywhere from 60-90 minutes. 

During this time, your naturopathic doctor will bring you through your chief concerns and go through your past medical history and current review of systems of the body to get a personalized diagnosis and assessment. The idea is to figure out why what is going on is happening by looking for the root cause of the conditions, and to understand more holistically how the organ systems are functioning and relate to one another and the mental-emotional health. An integration of diagnoses from the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda perspectives can also be provided alongside the conventional western diagnoses. 

If blood work is required for a diagnosis, a requisition can be written for you to go to LifeLabs, or reports can be requested from your family doctor’s office if you have had testing recently enough. Advanced Functional Diagnostic test information and estimates can also be provided in the initial appointment. 

A preliminary treatment plan will be provided as well in the first appointment, and is updated in subsequent appointments. Treatment plans can include nutritional recommendations in the form of food, diet, vitamins or supplements, herbal medicine botanical prescriptions in the form of dried herbal teas or infusions, tinctures and encapsulated formulae, acupuncture from a traditional Chinese medicine perspective, physical medicine including rehabilitation exercises and naturopathic manipulations/adjustments, and soft tissue work and hydrotherapy. Lifestyle counselling techniques and working through mental-emotional blocks at a reasonable pace from a trauma-informed perspective can also be utilized to help you get your health goals supported in the way that works for you. 

Some Naturopathic doctors may also prescribe some medications, hormones and can provide injection micronutrient therapy in the form of intramuscular or intravenous administration in follow up appointments as needed. All Naturopathic doctors are trained to ensure there are no interactions with prescription medications and will perform the relevant physical examinations as needed to make sure nothing is overlooked.

Pricing for Naturopathic Appointments 

Initial appointments can range from $250-$305 depending on the duration and nature of the appointment. 

Follow-up appointments are available in the following time increments: 

15, 30, 45, 60 and 90 minute appointments, with the prices ranging from $65-$250 depending on the service.

How much do naturopathic doctors make in Canada?

Naturopathic doctors bill hourly like most other independent health care providers in private practice, so depending on the number of hours and days they practice on, and expenses of their practice or clinic, a naturopathic doctor can take home anywhere between $40,000 to $95,000 per year. 

The service fees a naturopathic doctor charges can vary depending on their location and the service types the provider offers, which ultimately impacts their overall practice income. For example, virtual naturopathic doctors who work in a part of Canada where they are unable to practice to the full scope of their training, may charge a lower hourly rate than those who are able to provide advanced functional medicine laboratory diagnostics, and can provide primary care through in-person physical examinations to complement their virtual work, or are able to perform acupuncture, injection vitamin therapy and offer individually compounded herbal prescriptions.

Naturopathic doctors may also receive income for other work relating to the field outside of their practice seeing patients and this can complement their practice income. These sources can include work such as book and educational course sales, lecturing and professorial work at universities, scientific research, product development and consulting fees.

What are your areas of expertise?

Our Naturopathic doctors provide naturopathic care and support for people with :

  • Hormone imbalance: PMS, Painful Periods, Acne, PCOS, Thyroid conditions, Infertility & Natural Fertility Support, Menopause, Low Sex Drive/Libido
  • Metabolic Conditions: Diabetes, Weight Management, Metabolic Syndrome, Obesity/Overweight
  • Digestive Concerns: People with Bloating, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Heartburn/Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD), Abdominal Pain, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis
  • Cardiovascular Health: Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  • Hair, Skin & Nails Health: Acne, Psoriasis, Eczema, Hair Loss, Alopecia, Brittle nails
  • Brain & Neurodevelopmental Health: People with nerve pain, Migraines & Headaches, Seizures disorders, Autism/ASD, ADD/ADHD
  • Pain: Fibromyalgia/ME, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Sciatica, Lower back pain
  • Allergies & Autoimmune Conditions: Seasonal Allergies, Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
  • Mental Health Conditions: Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks, Disordered Eating/Eating Disorders, Body Dysmorphia, Stress Management, Addictions
  • Chronic Infections: Lyme disease, Epstein-Barr virus/Mononucleosis, Parasites

What Naturopathic services do we offer?

  • Clinical Nutrition – Food recommendations and Supplements (Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients) and Injection Therapy
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine – Acupuncture and Food Recommendations
  • Herb and Botanical Medicines – Personalized dried herb and tincture prescriptions
  • Physical Medicine – Spinal Manipulation, Injury support – soft tissue work, Acupuncture
  • Lifestyle Counselling & Coaching
  • Ayurveda
  • Homeopathic Medicine