Benedict Lust

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Benedict Lust

Benedict Lust (February 3, 1872 – September 5, 1945) was one of the founders of naturopathic medicine in the first decade of the twentieth century.


Benedict Lust was a pioneer in what has come to be called Classical Naturopathy and a facilitator of holistic methods in the United States. Lust was born in Michlebach, Baden, Germany. As a youth, he became ill and was cured by Fr. Sebastian Kneipp, a famous advocate of the water cure, a popular form of healing in the 19th century. He eventually traveled to the United States as Kneipp's official representative and in the late 1890s organized the water cure movement, especially among the many first-generation German Americans.

Meanwhile, Lust studied osteopathy and various schools of healing that eschewed the use of drugs and surgery. By 1900, Lust was looking toward a new synthesis of nonintrusive healing arts, which he termed naturopathy (a name he actually purchased from a colleague: Dr John Scheel).

After opening an early health food store, he began publishing several German and English language magazines advocating hydrotherapy and natural cure. One of his regular customers at the time was Bernarr Macfadden, the popularizer of physical fitness and natural medicine. He married Louise Stroebel on June 11, 1901. He attended and graduated from the New York Homeopathic Medical College in 1901. He obtained his osteopathic degree in 1902 from the Universal College of Osteopathy in New York.

Benedict Lust was a disciple of Adolf Just [1], a German naturopath. Lust established a branch of Just‘s „Jungborn“ in the Ramapo Mountains of New Jersey [2] and translated in 1903 Adolf Just‘s book „Kehrt zur Natur zurück!“ into English under the title Return to Nature; the True Natural Method of Living and Healing and the True Salvation of the Soul: Paradise Regained.[3]

He soon opened the American School of Naturopathy in New York City, the first naturopathic medical school in the world. He went on to establish health resorts known as Yungborn in Butler, New Jersey and Tangerine, Florida which acted as the Winter Campus for the American School of Naturopathy until 2001. He also founded the American Naturopathic Association, the first national professional organization of naturopathic physicians. In 1918 he published the Universal Naturopathic Encyclopedia for drugless therapy, and also published Nature’s Path magazine.

He became known as the "Father of Naturopathy" in America, and his writings and magazines introduced Americans not only to German methods, but also Indian concepts of Ayurveda and Yoga. Paramahansa Yogananda was one of several Indians who wrote articles for Nature’s Path in the 1920s, gaining wide exposure to a large American audience.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ June O. Leavitt: The Mystical Life of Franz Kafka: Theosophy, Cabala, and the Modern Spiritual Revival, Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 158f., ISBN 978-0-19-982783-1
  2. ^ June O. Leavitt, p. 159
  3. ^ June O. Leavitt, p. 159
  • Lust, Benedict Yungborn: The Life and Times of Dr. Benedict Lust and Pilgrimages to the Great Masters, Healing Mountain Publishing, reprinted 2006. ISBN 1-933350-04-0 [1]
  • Boyle, Wade, Kirchfield, Friedhelm Nature Doctors Medicina Biologica, 1994, ISBN 0-9623518-5-7
  • Wassamer & Payne Butler New Jersey In Story and Pictures Butler Argus, 1951.

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