Homeopathy has become a popular system of complementary medicine in South Africa as the number of practicing homeopaths have increased in the past decade. The field of homeopathic medicine has seen significant growth due to the increase in the number of homeopathy graduates from two leading universities within South Africa. Unlike other complementary therapies, homeopathy has enjoyed the benefits of mainstream medical aid recognition which has contributed significantly to its popularity.
Homeopaths that graduate within South African have a firm medical grounding before studying homeopathic practices and principles at a Master’s level. The profession is monitored and regulated by the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) in conjunction with the Department of Health.
What is homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a system of medicine based on the principle of ‘like cures like’. By utilizing minute doses of naturally occurring substances that are specially prepared by the process of homeopathic potentization, a person is treated at a bio-energetic level with the aim of restoring health. Simply, homeopathy treats the person, not the disease. Homeopathic medicines aim to stimulate the body’s innate healing ability to restore health rather than palliating the signs and symptoms of a disease.
Many adherents to the homeopathic system of medicine will swear by the effectiveness and safety of homeopathic medicines. It is believed that the non-toxic, low dose medicines are unlikely to have any side effects while healing the body at a deeper level than conventional pharmaceuticals.
However homeopathy has come under much criticism from many quarters of the allopathic medical fraternity. While this debate continues to rage on, the reality is that homeopathy is used on a daily basis by tens of millions of people across the globe. Well established in primary health care in countries like India, Mexico and Brazil, homeopathy continues to provide a cost effective form of therapy to all sectors of society.
Homeopathy’s greatest achievements as reported by millions of patients is in the sphere of chronic diseases, often where allopathic medicine has proved to be ineffective. As in any highly specialized therapy, success usually depends on the ability and clinical accumen of the supervising practitioner and it is advisable that you consult with a homeopathic practitioner before using any homeopathic medicine.
How can I find a homeopath in South Africa?
Homeopaths are accessible throughout South Africa but it is important that you verify the individual practitioner’s legitimacy. You can contact the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa to verify the practitioner’s professional registration or visit their website for further details.
Most medical aids now pay for homeopathic consultations and medicines and there is many homeopaths that are contracted into most medical aids. In these cases, the homeopath will deal directly with your medical aid to be reimbursed for their services. If your homeopath is not contracted into a medical aid, you will have to pay for the treatment and claim back the cost from your medical aid.
If you require any further information on homeopathy in South Africa, please refer to the Homeopathic Association of South Africa website which is a professional body that promotes the field of homeopathy. For a complete list of registered homeopaths within South Africa, you can refer to the Allied Health Professions Council of S.A. website.