Category Archives: Obituaries

A Celebration of the life of Janine Leach ND, DO

A MEMORIAL Service to celebrate the life of Janine Leach, a former President of the British Naturopathic Association (BNA), who has died at the age of 68, was held at St Dunstan’s Parish Church, Ashurst Wood, Sussex, on Friday, July 1, 2016.

Janine, a Naturopath and Osteopath, graduated from the College of Osteopathy, in London, in 1989, after studying there for five years.

The church was packed with more than 100 people to hear Tributes from her husband Martin, and daughters Rebecca and Francesca.

There was indeed a lot to celebrate, as Janine was involved with a wide variety of local and national organisations, holding office in many of them, as well as running her own private practice, in which she helped numerous patients, many with chronic and complex symptoms. ‘Jan’, who was born in Walls End on Tyne in 1947, excelled in all her school subjects as well as being a games captain, being proficient at hockey and tennis.

She went on to read Physics at Birmingham University, which in itself was unusual for a female student in those days, but topped it by becoming the first woman to graduate there with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Physics.

After teaching science at several schools, she returned to Birmingham to study for a PhD in the medical applications of nuclear physics – and it was here that she met Martin, her future husband.

After gaining her PhD Jan decided to move into epidemiological research and secured a post at the Institute of Cancer at Sutton, in Surrey. It was at this time that she also began her studies in Naturopathy and Osteopathy.

Jan, who became President of the BNA in 2004, taking over from Michael Spenceley, was also an active member of many other professional and scientific organisations. She was an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, Secretary of the International Cranial Association, and council member of the College of Medicine. She contributed to the regulation of, or improvements in regulation of osteopaths, naturopaths, acupuncturists and complementary therapies. She has also been a trustee of the Research Council for Complementary Medicines and a working group member for the British Society of Integrative Oncology. In addition, she was Senior Research Fellow in Osteopathy at the University of Brighton, and has contributed to teaching and examining at a number of universities, including Brighton, Westminster and Thames Valley.

It was a special interest of hers that complementary health should have a regulatory framework equivalent to other health professions.

She focussed on improving the standing of complementary health professions, and advancing research and evidence base, particularly in relation to cancer, where she put much effort into developing a project to investigate the potential of mushroom therapy in reducing the adverse effects of cancer treatment.

As well as all this, and having a family to look after, Jan enjoyed singing with local choirs, developing her expression in art with art groups and artists and exploring her family history. She also continued to explore the spiritual side of life.

Cancer cells were detected in the fluid surrounding her heart early in 2015, and the prognosis was said to be serious, her cancer specialists giving her only a few months to live. She adopted both conventional and complementary approaches to the disease.

Martin said: “She was inspirational throughout, maintaining a sense of balance and humour, finding things to look forward to and helping her family to achieve their goals. We will all miss her terribly, but have been so lucky to have known someone so special.”


The above photograph was taken at a BNA conference, and features from left to right: Roger Newman Turner, Joe Goodman, Edzard Ernst, Janine Leach and David Potterton.

Obituary: Jan de Vries


Jan de Vries was born in Holland in 1937 and grew up during the Second World War. He said on many occasions that it was these difficult years of his childhood that instilled in him a strong desire to dedicate his life to helping other people. He graduated in the field of pharmacy in 1958 and two years later met the famous Swiss naturopath, Alfred Vogel.

In 1960, Jan married a Scottish girl and together they had four daughters. In the same year, together with Alfred Vogel, he started the very first naturopathic clinic in Holland along with the company Biohorma. Both of these ventures expanded rapidly and helped thousands of people.However Jan’s desire to study and learn more of his field led him to travel to many parts of the world. During these travels he came in contact with many practitioners of complementary and traditional medicines. Jan truly became an expert in his field and this enabled him to help the many people who sought his care and advice. 

In 1971, Jan moved his family to the UK to set up a clinic in the seaside town of Troon on the west coast of Scotland. The clinic flourished and he soon had to move to larger premises, Auchenkyle, where he continued his work. Jan opened a number of other clinics as well as health food stores across Britain and Ireland, all of which he visited regularly to consult with patients. 

Throughout his life Jan put a great deal of work into several projects which brought alternative and orthodox medicine together. He believed that a combination of these two, known as ‘complementary medicine’, was the correct approach for many people suffering ill health.

His great love for people and passion for complementary medicine drove him to accomplish some amazing achievements throughout his life. He helped develop natural medicine in India, Canada, Australia, America and Scandinavia, and was also involved in research work.

Jan began broadcasting in 1982 on Gloria Hunniford’s Radio 2 programme and remained a regular guest for 10 years. He moved to television in the 1990s and was a contributor to The Good Morning Show with Richard and Judy, and RTE1’s  Afternoon Show. He was also a well-known voice on a variety of radio stations throughout the UK. 

A keen author, Jan wrote 40 books on a host of health problems and was a feature writer in many magazines and newspapers such as Belfast Telegraph, Sunday Post and Ayrshire Post

He was a man who loved to share his knowledge and teach others, and was in constant demand as a popular and insightful lecturer. In 2002 Jan de Vries was appointed Honorary Professor of Complementary Medicine at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University College.  

His work throughout the world has been greatly appreciated and recognition of his efforts came in the form of many accolades, including The Dag Hammarskjold Award from the United Nations, as well as several honours from his own profession.

Jan was a man full of love, passion and an unrelenting need to help others. There are many whose lives were enhanced by his positive and uplifting spirit. Helping people to get better, and renewing their hope and enjoyment of life, he had a profound influence and will be greatly missed. 

Jan was a long-time member of the BNA /GCRN. His legacy will live on in all that he taught and wrote.


The BNJ publishes obituaries of GCRN members and of other naturopaths. If any member would like to submit an obituary, please ask an editor for author privileges on this site. If any non-member would like to submit an article or link, please send it to the editorial board. The BNJ does not guarantee to publish all submissions, or they may be edited for content, grammar and spelling.