John Bastyr

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Template:Third-party John Bartholomew Bastyr (May 16, 1912 – June 29, 1995) was a chiropractor, naturopath, homeopath, obstetrician and educator. He was an influential advocate of naturopathic medicine at a time when it faced political pressure in the United States,[1] and his leadership is often credited for popularizing naturopathic medicine.[2][1] Bastyr University, founded in 1978, was named in tribute to Bastyr's dedication to naturopathic medicine.[1]


John Bastyr was born May 16, 1912 in New Prague, Minnesota.[3] In 1928, Bastyr's family moved to Seattle, Washington.[1] His father opened a pharmacy at 23rd and Madison where Bastyr worked as at the soda fountain and as a delivery boy.

John Bastyr married Aletha Persis LaRoude in 1937. They met while she was an English professor at the University of Washington. The couple purchased land in Redondo Beach, in Kent, Washington, where they cleared the land and built a home on a four-acre farm. They raised goats and organic vegetables on the farm.[2][4]

Bastyr died on June 29, 1995, at the age of 83.[1]


Bastyr attended Seattle College High School, which is now known as Seattle Prep. He graduated in 1929 and then attended Seattle College of Chiropractic.[5] After his graduation in 1931, he studied at Northwest College of Chiropractic (graduation June 5, 1936) and began a residency with C.P. Bryant, MD, at Grace Hospital. He completed his internship in 1934 and obtained the license of Naturopathic Doctor. In 1944, he was awarded a degree in Surgery, Obstetrics and Internal Medicine from the University of Guadalajara.[2] Dr Bastyr was licensed as a sanipractic on October 30, 1957, and he received a naturopathic degree after completing his residency at Grace Hospital.[6]


Bastyr was President of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, now known as National University of Natural Medicine, (NUNM) from 1976-1979. He began his affiliation with the college shortly after its founding in Portland, Oregon in 1956.[1] He taught obstetrics and gynecology and became its president and later President Emeritus (1981).

Bastyr also served two terms as on the Washington State Department of Health Naturopathic Advisory Board starting in 1987. He maintained an honorary position on the board until his death.[2]

Bastyr practiced obstetrics at the Thompson Maternity Hospital from 1940 to 1968.[2] He also conducted many home births. Bastyr was licensed as a chiropractor and as a naturopath and claimed to use homeopathy in 90% of his cases. He studied homeopathy with C. P Bryant, MD. Bryant learned homeopathy from Adolph Lippe, who was a student of the founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann.[2]


Further reading

  • Grimes, Melanie. Dr. John Bastyr: Philosophy and Practice, Alethea Book Company, 2005. ISBN 0-9659550-4-4
  • Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, Volume 2, Number 1
  • Kirshfeld, Friedhelm; Boyle, Wade. Nature Doctors: Pioneers in Naturopathic Medicine. NCNM Press; 2nd edition (2005). ISBN 978-0-9771435-0-4