Volume 31 Issue 1

Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia – 100 years old and stronger than ever

Susan Arentz



Welcome to the 100-year-old NHAA: you are now part of a leading community of naturopaths and herbalists with far-sighted wisdom, connecting traditional naturopathy and herbalism to state-of-the-art Western science, health and medicine, from the ground up. Thank you all who participated and contributed to this landmark centenary volume. You are there in the abstracts, some louder than others and all contributing, supporting and leading. It exemplifies our consensus-driven profession, and celebrates naturopathy and herbal medicine as transparent, viable, credible and authoritative. In the words of Hope Foley: it signifies an “accomplished, replete health profession on the contemporary world stage”. How exciting is that!

Find evidence for traditional practice, illustrations of our shifting culture and inspiration for the future in the pages henceforth. It’s all here, in this NHAA 2019 Conference Abstracts edition. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the collaborative leaders of our naturopathic and herbal medicine community, including the NHAA board and executive, and the academic practitioners driven by the need to know truth for the sake of knowledge in itself, their leadership facilitates progress so necessary for our success.

This edition obviously demonstrates our growth and maturity. It includes nearly 80 original abstracts, competitively selected following peer review. Themes include Traditional Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine; Public Health and Community Healthcare; Philosophy and Principles of Naturopathic Practice; Education; Herbal Pharmacology and a very hearty volume of clinically relevant Naturopathic and Herbal Clinical Practice, including abstracts of case taking and clinical assessment, clinical treatments and clinical practice management. Many authors are clinicians, undergraduates, higher degree candidates and early career researchers — they epitomise multi-skilled and concurrent roles and characterise the drive forward, doing whatever it takes for us to carve out our own profession, on our own terms and exactly how we need it to be. What an enormous privilege it is to be a part of this profession at this time.

At the risk of sounding cliché, we stand on the shoulders of giants; our success is due to the inspiration we inherit from those before. They taught us to be generous, to nurture philosophy, to nourish ourselves, to grow and flourish, and to seek and be excellent. Sadly, on the summer solstice of 2018, we lost one of our elders: Helen Stevensen, a dedicated and passionate NHAA advocate who contributed enormously to our profession. This edition begins with a poignant tribute to Helen by John Baxter; thank you John.

This issue includes a compelling argument for the removal of naturopathy and herbal medicine from the Private Health Insurance rebate removal list before 1 April 2019. An executive summary, titled ‘Naturopathic medicine in Australia: A brief overview of the effectiveness, utility, cost, safety and contribution to healthcare’ represents a coming together of super-bright minds, representing us and producing a sophisticated, strong, rational and defendable submission to the Australian Minister for Health. It is an example of excellence and a milestone testament. On behalf of our members, thank you to the authors; you really do us proud.

Our MedPlant and MedJourn author Wendy Maclean found sufficient CPE questions in the abstracts. We had enough original peer-reviewed research to support our own continuing education, which is yet another a hallmark of a sustainable and viable profession, holding its own. Many thanks, Wendy.

Thank you so much for your manuscript submissions to this journal; we currently have a backlog ready to go for next issue. Please continue to observe and research, write and submit your work. Our capacity for research communicates who we are and what we do, which is illuminated in your articles and great to have in print.

I look forward to seeing you, or feeling your spirit at the NHAA Centenary Conference, with the World Naturopathic Federation in-the-house and with this mountainous abstract contribution, it will truly be a historical event.


Susan Arentz PhD, BHSc(Hons)
Editor, Australian Journal of Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine
PO Box 696, Ashfield, NSW 2131