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In Colombia, South America we have a long tradition of practioners and doctors. Homeopathy arrived to our country around 1830. Some, few doctors start it to practice in those early years, but most of the medical community was hostile to the new medical doctrine. Many priests during the second half of the XIX century practiced homeopathy. Some of them even up to the sixties of the 20th century were involved in homeopathy. We even had a bishop practicicing homeopathy. I have seen nuns at Homeopathic Congresses. For practitioners subsistence is not easy. Most laws in the last 40 years are not very favourable for what I call pure homeopaths. In the last years, the practice of homeopathy has become very eclectic among doctors. Most doctors combine everything with homeopathy. There is a small community of medical doctors who practice homeopathy. Any way, I think that in recent years, most doctors are going to the terrains of biomedicine, which has an attractive technological paraphernalia that gives them the idea of control and wisdom. Practitioners work in illegality and are not recognized by the State. Some estimates say that we have about 5,000 to 10,000 practioners. Nobody really knows the exact number. I combine my practice with my other profession; I am an anthropologist and I work with a private University doing research and teaching. I have to hid myself and I can’t openly express my self as a homeopath at the University campus in which a teach. It’s dangerous to say that you practice homeopathy. I was expelled in one occasion from a Jesuit University (Universidad Javeriana), because my Marxist “friends” considered me a dangerous person. I know a couple of persons, practioners, which earn their living and subsistence mainly working with homeopathy. It is not easy for them. The State is looking, under a recent law, to identify and regulate the practice of all alternative medicines. But the spirit of the LAW is to give the monopoly of alternative medicines to the allopathic community. I have been a great promoter of homeopathy in Colombia. Four years ago I was the Vicepresidential formula of the Greens of Colombia (2006). We where censured by the press, but I used the few spaces given by the media, to promote and defend homeopathy. I couple of years ago we had a clinic for street inhabitants, but Red Cross, which gave us the initial support, discovered that it was very risky –for the Institutional image- to give first aids –on a homeopathic basis- without the approval of the sanitary authorities, so they retired the support. As you can imagine, the results were outstanding, thousands of street inhabitants received homeopathy treatment with excellent results. The future of homeopathy. I hope I am wrong: stormy. Especially because of two main issues: i) Eclecticism in the medical practice of homeopathy and ii) the World wide tendency to monopolice all alternative medicines by the allopathic community.

Views: 202

Comment by Katja Schütt on March 28, 2010 at 3:04pm
Thank you for your interesting contribution, Felipe, even if it seems to be almost everywhere the same sad story. I'm very much interested in the history and status of homeopathy in all countries all over the world, and especially in Latin and South America. But my fear is too, if homeopathy will ever be recognized fully then allopath, and especially big pharma, will "swallow" it and contribute to the final decline of homeopathy. Let's hope that its advocates, patients, and all those who have placed it in their heart will be able to win the battle, David against Goliath...

Greetings from Germany,
Katja
Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on March 29, 2010 at 11:55pm
Thanks for the information. We all hope for a development of homeopathy in Colombia. Wish u all success.
Comment by Dana Ullman, MPH on March 30, 2010 at 9:27am
I had heard that the doctor to the President of Columbia uses various alternative therapies, including homeopathy. Is this true? Can someone ask this doctor what can and should be done?
Comment by Felipe Cardenas on March 30, 2010 at 9:35am
Well, mainly he uses bach flowers. The presidente of COLOMBIA was the promoter of the law 1164 which is looking to regulate alternative medicines in our country. The positive aspect of the law is that it recognizes Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, homeopathy and herbology at the same level and status. The indigenous medical systems are recognized by other laws and in the spirit of our Constitution. The problem, with the spirit of the law is that in order to practice any of those medical "systems" you will have to be an allopatic doctor.

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