Healthcare Choices on the Hill

Naturopathy and Homeopathy Physicians Practice at Lavender Retreat

Dr. Dornazamini

When was the last time one of your physicians spent an hour or two talking to you? How often during a physical does your doctor tell you about ways you can stay well and prevent disease? When was the last time a doctor prescribed a treatment that was custom-designed to fit the unique characteristics of you and your illness and its cause? How often do you leave your doctor’s office feeling empowered that you can feel better?

Dornaz Amini, a homeopathic doctor, and Natalie Boulware, a naturopathic doctor, look at their patients as a whole – their mental, emotional, physical, social, and environmental states. They spend up to two hours with a patient, getting to know everything about them such as health history, stress level, lifestyle, family life, sleep patterns, and nutrition. They treat acute to chronic ailments in children and adults. They search for the reason of the illness, not just treat the symptom, and treat a patient with remedies that will bring the body, mind, and spirit back into balance and allow the body to heal itself. Amini and Boulware are both part of the wellness team that practices at Lavender Retreat on Capitol Hill.

Homeopathy and naturopathy are systems of medicine that started in Europe about 200 years ago. Practiced worldwide as effective and gentle healing modalities for almost every medical condition, they may be called “functional medicine.” Amini and Boulware look at what a body should be doing in everyday life, then develop a customized, individualized treatment to get the body back to that state of optimal function.

One doesn’t need to have an illness to see these doctors. It can be anything from a desire to lose weight to relieving allergies or balancing hormones. “Even the odd peculiar symptoms that can’t be diagnosed by a conventional western medical doctor are important to me,” said Dr. Amini.


In conventional or Western medical practice the aim of treatment is to eliminate the external cause (like bacteria) and eliminate the body’s natural response (like swelling) that leads to healing. In contrast, homeopathy looks at the symptom as a defense mechanism the body is using to restore order. Homeopathy strengthens bodily defenses and the ability to heal naturally.

“I grew up in a family of allopathic doctors. But I was a trendsetter. I was fascinated with natural medicine,” said Dr. Amini, who studied in Canada. “I knew I wanted to be in medicine and I wanted to help people heal, but I didn’t want to go to medical school.” Dr. Amini said she met some who had extreme chronic conditions, had tried everything, and turned to homeopathy as a last resort. When she sought information on homeopathy 10 years ago, information was scarce. Then she became very sick during final exams. “I was on three antibiotics, not getting better, and a friend said, ‘Why don’t you try homeopathy?’ It absolutely changed my life!”

Homeopathic medicine views symptoms of illness as normal responses as the body attempts to regain health. It is based on the idea that like cures like. If a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person a very small amount of the same substance may cure the illness. A homeopathic dose enhances the body's normal healing and self-regulatory processes. Dr. Amini uses remedies from diluted natural substances that come from the environment. The remedies are mostly from plants, minerals, noble gases, and animal products.

Dr. Amini has a diverse academic background. Not only is she a homeopathic doctor but she is trained in solution-focused counseling, has psychotherapy training, studied acupuncture, is a practitioner of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and studied health coaching at Harvard University. “I am fascinated how it all works together,” she said.

Homeopathy allows Dr. Amini to go to the core of an issue. During the often two-hour initial appointment she asks a variety of questions. “It’s like peeling the layers of an onion.”


Naturopathic doctors are commonly referred to as general practitioners of alternative medicine. “We can bring together traditional and modern medicines,” said Dr. Boulware. Naturopathy is a medical system that takes a holistic approach to health and healing. The practice uses many modalities such as nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, massage, and herbal remedies (which may even include homeopathy) to optimize the body’s ability to heal. 

Dr. Boulware is a physician-level trained specialist in complementary and alternative medicine. She studied basic and medical science and pharmacology and can write prescriptions. “I hope not to prescribe but will if the body does not heal itself with other methods,” she explained.

Dr. Boulware was in her last year of pre-med undergraduate school and planned to be a pediatrician. A simple call home changed the course of her career. “I found out that my cousin had been prescribed Ritalin because of poor behavior in school. Her personality changed. She wasn’t herself. I went to the library to research the long-term effects of Ritalin on children. I couldn’t find any studies. This was a defining moment. I began to look for options. That’s how I came to study naturopathic medicine.”

“Naturopathy married both the medical science that I respect and the holistic way of taking good care of people,” she said. “Seeing a naturopath can diversify your healthcare team of physicians.” Dr. Boulware treats all kinds of issues – fertility support, reversal of type 2 diabetes, anxiety and depression, and people who want to just stay well. “I can also help people improve their nutritional deficiencies that often come as a result of a variety of medications.”

Working with Dr. Boulware can pull all a patient’s medical information together. “I can be a part of a person’s healthcare team and can bring clarity and focus to a story that is usually told as parts from different doctors.”

To contact Dr. Amini or Dr. Boulware call Lavender Retreat at 202-450-2329. For more information on homeopathy contact Dr. Amini at

For more information on naturopathy log onto

Dr. Natalie Boulware-Scott, Naturopathic Physician

Pattie Cinelli is a holistic personal trainer and health coach who has been writing her column about leading-edge health and fitness practices and people for more than 25 years. Email her with fitness questions or column ideas at