Herbal Cures from the 1930s
In the 1920s and 30s the Nature Cure was booming in America. A German immigrant, Benedict Lust, who founded the Naturopathy (nature cure) movement in New York at the turn of the 20th century, was pushing for formal recognition of Naturopathy, alongside allopathic medicine.
In 1919, Dr Lust founded the American Naturopathic Association. Under Lust’s leadership, naturopaths become licensed under naturopathic or drugless practitioner laws in twenty-five states of the United States in the first three decades of the twentieth century (Puls, 2017). In 1929 and Act Congress established Naturopathy as a branch of the healing arts in the same manner of osteopathy, chiropractic medicine.
This ‘Herbal Cures’ map from 1932 details the medicinal plants commonly used by pharmacists and the public less than 100 years ago. Alice Caporn, the mentor and trainer of Australian naturopath Dorothea Snook, lived and trained alongside Dr Lust and his student Frederick W Collins during this period.
Under the heading of ‘The Service of Pharmacy’, the map states:
“Few people realize the extent to which plants and minerals enter into the practice of pharmacy, and how vital they are to the maintenance of the public health. It has been stated that upwards of 70 percent of all medicines employed are plant products.”