top of page

Meet Dr. Dorothea Cist

Naturopathic Physician

“Watching miracles unfold.”  That is how Dr. Dorothea Cist would describe her nearly 20 years of practicing naturopathic medicine.  Naturopathic medicine is an absolute joy for Dr. Cist.  Being a naturopathic physician means figuring out the continuous puzzle of interplay between the body, mind and spirit, and how it was all designed for healing.  Dr. Cist is a specialist in holistic medicine who dedicates her life to helping her patients find profound and lasting healing – almost always without pharmaceutical drugs.
Growing up, Dr. Cist lived in a pharmaceutical-drug-free home.  Her mother always had several natural health books on her bedside table, ready for any medical situation.  Dr. Cist credits her mother with setting a wonderful example, beginning with her courage in standing against the medical establishment of the 1950’s by bringing her first child (later to become Dr. Cist) into the world by natural childbirth.
Dr. Cist graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Civil and Geological engineering.  After that, came a wide range of work experience – as a deckhand on a square-rigged oceanic research ship, as the assistant unit manager for a shelter for runaway children in New York City, as an engineering researcher at a Wall Street Law firm.  Then, when she was 27, Dr. Cist founded and – for 11 years – ran her own development and construction company restoring historic buildings.  It wasn’t until her late thirties that Dr. Cist discovered her passion for holistic medicine.  After 5 years of medical school, she has been practicing since with great success.
Dr. Cist graduated from Bastyr University with a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and completed a two-year Residency at the Brain Therapeutics Medical Center.  She practiced in Southern California for the following 10 years.  She, then, spent eight years treating patients in Santiago, Chile and is now back in Southern California – practicing at The Dorothea Clinic in San Clemente, California.  In her two-decade career, Dr. Cist has seen the miraculous functioning of natural medicine in healing such medically incurable conditions Bipolar Disease, Macular Degeneration, Bulimia, Ulcerative colitis, Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease – among many other conditions most people would think were too serious for holistic medicine to handle.  The many patients who have walked through her door each had their own unique cases that called out specifically for an answer not found in conventional medicine.  Luckily, with Dr. Cist’s persistent care and years of training under some world-class doctors, she has provided those seeking treatment and cures with profound healing.  Dr. Cist practices medicine based on the premise that the body is designed to heal itself – with testimonials from ecstatic patients describing their recoveries as being nothing short of miraculous.
Dr. Dorothea Cist’s clinic is located at 183 Avenida La Pata, San Clemente, CA 92673. 

Why Naturopathic Medicine?

It can help with

Dr. Dorothea Cist

The Dorothea Clinic
Naturopathic Medicine
Meet Amelia
Why Naturopathy

The health of the digestion is, after a thorough detoxification, the next most important component of fundamental healing. Not only is the digestive tract responsible for the processing of foods for use in the body; but, also, this essential tube has integral connections with our immune systems and our brains.

Obviously, the fuel one puts in one's body is essential for running it well. But, not every optimal fuel is the same. An important part of deep and lasting healing involves determining, for each person, which foods and which families of foods – or elimination(s) thereof – create a happy, energetic and symptom-free life. This process is often more complicated than it might seem on its face. So, the help of a knowledgeable, well-trained “sleuth” in this effort can often surface “food culprits” that a patient would never have suspected.

Usually, the foods that are damaging the lining of the intestinal wall and, thereby, creating problems in other health systems have to be eliminated for only a relatively short while (like six months). After the inflammation and damage have been healed, people can usually return to eating all the whole and healthy foods they enjoy.

Most people don’t realize that the digestive system is not responsible solely for creating the environment for assimilating the nutrients which provide the raw materials and the energy needed in maintaining a healthy body and a happy life. The intestinal tract is also the home of between 70-80% of the body’s immune system. So, unexpectedly, the first step in creating a healthy immune system is creating and maintaining a healthy digestive tract.

As if the assimilation of nutrients and the housing of the largest part of the immune system did not give enough importance to the digestive tract, medical science is now corroborating that there is a profound and essential connection between mental health and intestinal health. In the past, Naturopathic Medicine has been derided for claiming success in treating mental disorders – like schizophrenia, bipolar disease, addiction, and autism. Recently, medical science has begun to discover what Naturopathic medicine has known for at least a century - that healing the intestinal tract can also heal a variety of mental disorders.

Auto-Immune Disease

Closely related to the healing of the lining of the digestive tract is the treatment (and, often, the healing) of autoimmune disease. “Modern” medicine postulates that autoimmune disease derives from defects in the immune system. So, the approach of conventional doctors to this complex of diseases is to suppress the immune system in order to dampen the effects of the inflammation and cellular damage that it causes.

Naturopathic medicine, by contrast, sees autoimmune disease as a process secondary to an inflammation of – and an associated microscopic damage to – the lining of the intestinal wall. Due to this damage, small protein fragments can cross from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. From there – depending on heredity, among other factors – those tiny protein fragments join with the endogenous proteins in a person’s body (in the thyroid, in the case of Hashimoto’s; in the cartilage of the joint capsules, in the case of Rheumatoid Arthritis; in the Schwann cells of the insulation of your nerve fibers, in the case of Multiple Sclerosis; etc.) This combination protein, or “hapten,” rings an alarm for your immune system, which is – most likely – working perfectly.  

Since birth, your immune system has been trained to memorize every single protein in your body. In this way, your immune system won’t attack your proteins – only proteins from foreign invaders. When your immune system encounters combination proteins created by the permeability in your intestinal wall, it doesn’t recognize this amalgam protein. So, it attacks it, not realizing that – in doing so – it is attacking, inflaming, and destroying an important component of the body.


So, from the Naturopathic perspective, which - as turns out - is quite successful in completely resolving many and varied cases of autoimmune disease, the problems come from a permeability in the intestine creating unrecognizable proteins in different parts of the body, proteins that a healthy immune system - mistaking those unrecognizable combination proteins for foreign invaders - will attack and try to destroy.  Once the intestinal permeability is healed, the above described inflammatory processes cease and the symptoms of the autoimmune disease "miraculously" disappear.


Detoxification is the very most important first step in holistic healing – other than summoning the will to begin.

You would not paint a dirty room. And, no matter how beautifully you detail your car or how often you put high-test gas in the tank, if your engine is full of sand and your spark plugs are grimy, your car won’t run well and won’t last as long as it otherwise might.

The same is true – only more so – with your body, mind and spirit. These components of each person need to be cleaned and purified in order to pave the way for a long, healthy and happy life. For this reason, Dr. Cist begins the process of healing in nearly every patient by giving a detoxification protocol – freeing the physical, mental and spiritual faculties of each patient in order to optimize the self-healing processes which are innate in every person. The “cleaner” the person, the better they thrive.

Weight Loss

Naturopathic medicine has magnificent tools for achieving weight loss and for resetting the
metabolism so that your weight loss can be maintained. Everyone knows some workable method for losing weight. Many times, though, we find that – especially with weight loss – we have emotional processes that work at cross-purposes to our stated and intellectual goals.

Again, naturopathic medicine has wonderful ways of healing the emotional wounds that can lead to an inability to lose, and maintain the loss of, excess weight. Within naturopathic medicine, both homeopathy and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) provide means of eliminating the emotional and mental blockages which can cause us to work at cross-purposes to our best interests.


Stress, insomnia – and the resultant fatigue – may feel like arcs of a seemingly insoluble vicious cycle. You’re stressed. So, you can’t sleep. You wake fatigued, which creates more.  And so, it goes. The keys to exiting this seemingly inescapable quagmire lie in the two adrenal glands sitting on top of your kidneys. After an extended period of stress (or a great and sudden shock), these glands can become exhausted. And, this exhaustion can affect your sleep, your blood pressure, your metabolism, your sex-drive, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly – among other important functions of daily life.


Naturopathic medicine contains wonderful tools for rebuilding exhausted adrenal glands and restoring the function and the great night's sleep that one, previously, feared had been permanently lost.


Endometriosis & Cystitis

“I have so much more joy in my life now, and can honestly say that I have my life back. I am free from antibiotics I have blessedly NOT had to use a catheter in over six months, and I can drive, walk the beach trail and enjoy my life and my family with normal function. I am so very, very grateful to you and I feel blessed to be in your excellent care.”

— B.M.



Your Health Starts Here

Thanks for submitting!

Contact Info



33533 Vista Colina, Dana Point, CA 92629

bottom of page