The Founding of the Association
The South African Association of Herbal Practitioners (SAAHP) was founded in October 1997. For 3 years, SAAHP liaised with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa (AHPCSA) regarding all aspects of the profession in preparation for the re-opening of the register for Phytotherapy.
A Regulated Profession
In 2000 the AHPCSA decided that to distinguish Professional Herbalists from Traditional Herbalists, the profession 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 Phytotherapy became a regulated profession.
Dr titles and practice numbers
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 fiveyear-term. SAAHP was also elected as the officially recognized body representing Phytotherapy in South Africa.
Name change and a Finalised Constitution
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 the 2-year post-graduate degree at the University of Johannesburg. In 2020, our constitution was finalized, and our name was changed to the South African Association of Registered Phytotherapists.