Deatherage Health Products

Deatherage Health Products was founded in 1986 by Dr. Christopher and Gloria Deatherage to provide the finest natural health products and natural foods to their patients and the public.

Dr. Deatherage realized that the quality of most nutritional herbal supplemnts sold to the public through health food stores and mail-order companies were low quality, only marginally effective, and lacked clinical data to support their use. Deatherage Health Products carries nutritional and herbal supplements that are manufactured to the highest quality standards and have solid clinical data to support their effectiveness.


by Dr. Christopher S. Deatherage, ND

It was said many years ago that, “A man who is his own doctor has a fool for a patient.” After 37 years of experience as a naturopathic physician I can see why this wisdom is often true as I encounter patients who harm themselves or others by self treating with natural medicine. Except for minor illness, self treating even with natural medicine isn’t wise for the following reasons:

  1. Self-treaters lack the knowledge and_experience in the art of diagnosis. Well trained naturopathic physicians have many years of training in the science and art of both medical diagnosis and functional diagnosis which the self treater (lay person) does not have. In my experience, self treaters also self diagnose but because they do not have the training and skill in diagnosis they often come up with off the wall diagnosis usually from the internet or other sources. The art of good diagnosis takes many years of experience and is very time consuming for a skilled naturopathic physician.

  2. Natural medicines also have side effects. The practice of natural medicine and the use of natural medicines require the same or more skill as the practice of western medicine. While it is true that natural medicines are generally safer than drugs, they can also have side effects and require skilled, careful use in harmony with the first principle of naturopathic medicine which is, first do no harm. Yes, the improper use of natural, traditional therapies can also cause harm when used improperly. Mrs. S. decided to treat her husband’s skin condition with crushed garlic held in place by adhesive tape. Even though garlic is a wonderful traditional and effective herbal remedy when used properly, used improperly in this manner caused second degree burns and a secondary staff infection for this woman’s husband. Thankfully, this gentleman responded well to naturopathic treatment for such.

  3. Self treaters don’t know what they don’t know. The greatest quality of a good physician, or any professional for that matter, is knowing what you do not know. Well trained naturopathic physicians do not claim to know everything about the art of healing. On the contrary, unlike the self treaters who think they know, yet do not, and often are a liability to themselves and others, a well trained and experienced naturopathic physician proceeds cautiously in making a correct diagnosis and prescribing a safe natural wellness program for their patient.

  4. Quackery exists in alternative medicine just as in western medicine. The term quackery is often used to describe medical practices that are untrue. Western doctors use it frequently against alternative medical practitioners, and believers in alternative medicine use it against the belief and practice of western medicine. This is unfortunate. Credibly trained naturopathic physicians are taught to value the best and proven aspects of both schools of medicine. It is my opinion, from experience, that well trained naturopathic physicians do a better job at treating most illnesses in primary care, and western medical doctors provide better care in the areas of trauma and surgery when needed. Many people believe that because a medicine or therapy is alternative it is automatically good. On the contrary, in my opinion, a large portion of alternative medicine, as well as a large portion of western medicine could properly be labeled quackery. In my naturopathic practice I am careful to use only those natural therapies and methods of health assessment that are proven both by tradition as well as science.

In conclusion, both medical doctors and naturopathic doctors encourage self treatment for a short period of time for those illnesses that are clearly minor encouraging their patients to consult with them if their condition does not quickly improve.

I often tell my patients that the secret to successful naturopathic treatment for acute illness is to begin aggressive natural treatment at the first sign of symptoms. Thus, many patients prefer to consult with us immediately when they feel the first signs of an acute illness like the flu, respiratory infection, urinary infection, etc.

For those patients who consult us for chronic illness, I often say to them, "If you are looking for a good doctor, I am looking for a good patient.” In other words, I am not going to compete with all the health and medical falsehoods circulated through the internet, the self treaters network, urban legends, etc.

Yet, if a prospective patient is looking for a naturopathic doctor who strives to perfect his skills daily, providing the best naturopathic services available to those who wish to take personal responsibility for their health, and practice the principles of naturopathic medicine (see “Having Faith in the Principles of Naturopathic Medicine”), I would be privileged to be their doctor.

For a telephone or personal consultation with Dr. Deatherage you may call (417) 683-1300.