Allopathy is a type of medical practice that focuses on treating diseases with drugs, says MedicineNet.com. Naturopathy is a practice that focuses on treating illness through dietary and lifestyle changes, according to WebMD.
In allopathy, doctors use drugs to produce effects that are different than the effects caused by the illness. C.F.S. Hahnemann coined the label "allopathy" in 1842 to differentiate this type of medical practice from homeopathy, states MedicineNet.com.
In the 1800s allopathy was a derogatory term that referred to radical treatments for simple ailments such as bleeding people in order to reduce a fever. However, in modern times, allopathy is a term that is interchangeable with conventional or mainstream medicine, explains About.com.
While allopathy relies on drugs and surgical treatments, naturopathy treats patients with organic food, exercise programs and other types of complementary medicine. Examples of complementary medicines used by naturopathic doctors include herbal or nutritional supplements and homeopathic distillations, says WebMD. Naturopathy emphasizes finding and treating the direct cause of the illness instead of treating the symptoms of the illness. Other treatment methods used by naturopathic doctors are acupuncture and bodywork.
Some naturopathic practitioners are able to perform small surgeries when needed. However, the focus remains on treating the cause of the disease with nutritional and lifestyle counseling, states WebMD.