History of SAAHP
The South African Association of Herbal Practitioners was founded in October 1997. Dr Connie Meyer was elected chairperson and the first Journal was sent out that November with membership application forms.
Between the establishment of SAAHP in 1997, and the start of the new millennium, SAAHP liaised with the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPCSA) regarding all aspects of the profession in preparation for the re-opening of the register for Phytotherapy. This meant many flights to Pretoria for meetings and many hours of hard slog writing letters and providing the AHPCSA with documentation required. Members of SAAHP worked tirelessly to show that Phytotherapy was ready for professional status.
In 2000 the AHPCSA decided that in order to distinguish Professional Herbalists from Traditional Herbalists, the profession of Herbalism would be referred to as PHYTOTHERAPY. That year the Parliamentary Bill to re-open the Register for Phytotherapy was passed. This was a crucial event in the history of Phytotherapy in South Africa, because finally Phytotherapy became a regulated profession. Practitioners were given the title of doctor and would have registration numbers and practice numbers. This meant that Medical Schemes would refund members who opted to visit a Phytotherapist and a Phytotherapist would be able to request pathology tests and other tests or screenings. The AHPCSA had to establish a new Council with representatives from each profession and Dr Connie Meyer was elected to represent Phytotherapy for the first five-year-term. SAAHP was also elected as the officially recognized body representing Phytotherapy in South Africa.
Since then SAAHP has continued to represent the profession of Phytotherapy over the years. Its members have represented the profession on the AHPCSA Council and the professional board. Members have helped establish the 5 year degree course at the University of the Western Cape and continue to strive towards professionalism in all spheres.