Dr. Andrew Saul: Author And Doctor of Naturopathy

A Plowboy Interview with Dr. Andrew Saul who promotes natural healing and the medical self-care movement.

| January/February 1984

"If we learn more than the doctor in areas of value to our health, it is our duty to apply this knowledge to the betterment of ourselves and our families. We need total health more than medically approved health." 

So says 28-year-old Andrew Saul in the opening chapter of his manual Doctor Yourself. Saul is, it seems, engaged in a struggle to expand the frontiers of the medical self-care movement . . . taking the radical view—even in the eyes of some longtime self-help advocates—that a person who lives a truly healthful life should almost never need the services of medical professionals. In the process of spreading his message, Dr. Saul (he's not an M.D., but rather a doctor of naturopathy, a title recognized in several states and widely accepted in Europe) managed to become the first person certified by New York State to teach naturopathic healing and health-maintaining techniques . . . established the Ashwins Health Institute in Hamlin, New York . . . set up a charity vitamin dispensary for the poor in nearby Rochester. . . and published a shopper's guide to healthful supermarket foods, a how-to manual aimed at helping people through their first body-cleansing fast, and the book Doctor Yourself. Along with all that, he has still found time to teach classes at the State University of New York at Brockport, bombard local newspapers with alternative medical information and generally make every effort to bring his message of natural health care to as many people as he possibly can. 

In fact, Andrew Saul first came to the attention of MOTHER EARTH NEWS while he was teaching a series of courses at last summer's Community of Homesteaders' Good Life Get-Together in Naples, New York. Once the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staffer who visited the festival saw that Dr. Saul's presentations were progressively better attended as the days went on, he sat in on one himself . . . and quickly became convinced that the outspoken naturopath's ideas merited sharing with our readers.  

So MOTHER EARTH NEWS sent Bruce Woods to visit Dr. Saul at the Ashwins Health Institute for an in-depth discussion. Mind you, by presenting their conversation (in edited form), we are not necessarily endorsing Dr. Saul's ideas, and—more important—we're certainly not trying to convince anyone to avoid traditional medical care. However, we did indeed find Saul's words to be a stimulating challenge to our own ideas of self-health responsibility. And by sharing his thoughts and providing access information on pertinent books and medical studies, we hope to help you, our readers, to be better able to make wise decisions on questions pertaining to your own health and that of your families. After all, there are not many other situations in which finding the right answer can be so vital. 

PLOWBOY: Dr. Saul, you've made a name for yourself in the field of alternative medicine at a fairly tender age. That leads me to believe that your interest in medical alternatives goes back a goodly number of years.

SAUL: Well, in essence, I was drawn into natural healing because I found that regular healing didn't work. And I suppose the seeds of that realization were sown when I was a child. Like everybody else, I had the usual injections, and then I went overseas and had more shots, and I ate meals based on the so-called four basic food groups (again like everybody else), and I got sick like everybody else. Not all the time, of course, but often enough.

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