Doctor shares benefits of homeopathetic medicine and hopes to see it grow in South Africa

Dr Tharushka Naidoo. Picture: Supplied

Dr Tharushka Naidoo. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 4, 2024


Born and raised in Durban, Dr Tharushka Naidoo, 35, grew up in a family of doctors, pharmacists and surgeons.

With healthcare running in her blood, she chose to follow a simliar path but with a different approach: going into natural medicine or homeopathic treatment.

The mother of two runs her own practice in Umhlanga and also provides online consultations. She completed her Master’s in Homeopathic Medicine in 2017 and, since then, has opened her own practice and never looked back.

“Running my own private practice and having a family of my own can take up a lot of time, but I am blessed to say that my passion is my practice and my patients who I look forward to seeing every day,” said Naidoo.

We spoke to the doctor about homeopathetic medicine and how this approach to healing is important.

What is homeopathic medicine?

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that restores health by stimulating the body’s own mechanisms of defence and repair.

Utilising a holistic approach, a homeopath aims to treat the patient as an individual and thus incorporates a person’s mental, emotional and physical state into each consultation and prescription.

Homeopathy aims not to suppress the symptoms of the patient, but to address the root cause to bring about healing.

Homeopathic medicine is derived from natural extracts so the long-term effects are little to none with also little side effects.

It is safe to use in pregnancy and for babies. Patients who are on chronic medication sometimes seek the use of homeopathy to counteract the side effects they may be experiencing, which is what I see a lot of in practice.

As a doctor, why did you choose to focus on homeopathic medicine?

I was exposed to medicine from a young age as many members of my family are doctors, pharmacists, surgeons etc and so I knew I wanted to be in a profession that helped people get better.

After my own experience with homeopathy and its benefits, I knew this was the type of medicine I wanted to pursue.

Why is it important in the treatment of lifestyle disease and ailments in general?

As a homeopath, our approach is aimed at being preventative and restorative rather than suppressive. We look at ways to help patients prevent the development or progression of a disease instead of keeping them on chronic medication.

We are living in a time where diabetes, heart disease, high stress levels and obesity are rife.

These can be prevented with the correct diet, lifestyle and supplementation. Homeopathy can help patients deal with these inflammatory conditions in a natural and safe way. Prevention is better than cure.

What are some of the challenges you face in your practice?

Homeopathy is still not well recognised in South Africa. In conjunction, some still see it as an alternative when it doesn’t have to be.

Every modality has its place, no doubt, and the results we are seeing collectively as homeopaths are proving that. We are slowly breaking the myths that it is a slow acting medicine as the results I’ve achieved in practice speak for itself.

As the profession grows, we are hoping that it can be integrated into our public health care system one day.

Being a medical professional can be stressful, what’s your favourite part about the job?

Yes, it can be stressful. However, I don’t lose sight of why I went into this profession in the first place and that is, to help people be well again. A homeopath is often not the first doctor a person would go to.

Generally, we are seeing patients as their last resort, so it is even that more rewarding to witness patients getting better when you know all else had failed.

This is my daily motivator to persevere and grow homeopathy in South Africa.

Any pearls of wisdom for young girls looking into going into medicine?

If your passion is helping people, then you won’t go wrong in medicine. It takes long hours and scarifies, but when it is your passion, it is all worth it.

Your Instagram has also been a huge success. How has social media helped you?

It has helped me immensely in spreading awareness and information that is factual and correct. It has also helped me raise awareness about homeopathy and what we do, which many people did not know existed.

What can we expect from you in the future?

My passion is female reproductive health. I treat many patients who have conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis and infertility.

Daily, I see many young girls and women who are looking for guidance and understanding on these conditions. I hope that in the near future I can start sharing on a larger scale, ways to help young women prevent such conditions.

Education is key, so helping women understand the important role hormones play on their overall health I believe, is the first step in preventing many of these diseases.