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What is Natural Medicine?

Natural Medicine can be simply defined as any system of medicine that complements and enhances the body's natural capacity to heal by restoring balance without the use of synthetic drugs or chemicals. Natural medicine generally falls under the umbrella term of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). The various disciplines of natural medicine are highly diverse in foundations, philosophies and methodologies.

However, although heterogenous, the major systems of natural medicine have many common central characteristics that provide a clear distinction from the mainstream medical ethos. These core tenants include a focus on individualising patients from the disease, hence individualising treatments, treating the whole person (as opposed to the disease process a separate entity), promoting self-care and self-healing and recognising the core psychological and spiritual nature of each individual. In addition, many systems focus on good nutrition, lifestyle and preventive practices.

Although natural medicine is associated with less scientific investigation, this knowledge gap is being addressed with an explosion of scientific research into natural medicines and the various principles on which they are based. It is estimated that one third of natural medicines have some published literature supporting their use. In many European countries and America, many, if not most, practitioners of natural medicine systems are registered medical physicians. Therefore, the differences between the numerous natural medicine modalities and conventional medicine are increasingly blurred and are constantly changing.

Why do we need Natural Medicine?

  • Natural medicine is the answer to people who are unable to take prescription drugs, either because they are allergic to them, or because they cannot tolerate the long-term side effects of chemical drugs.
  • Natural medicines can be used in parallel with conventional therapies to improve the health of the individual and to enable the body to recover quicker.
  • Natural medicine broadens the public choice of remedies for common ailment.
  • Natural medicine has a lower profile of side-effects compared to chemical Western Medicine.
  • Natural medicine can be very cost-effective and is ideally suited to primary health care.

Student Training Clinics

The School of Natural Medicine runs various student training clinics within Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Phytotherapy and Unani Tibb. Each of these systems of medicine are available at UWC, Bellville Campus (Campus clinic) and Mitchells Plain Clinic, situated at Lentegeur Hospital. Patients are seen and assessed by senior students and supervised by qualified practitioners in the various disciplines.

The clinics are well received by the community with a great need for extra medical assistance at the primary health care level. These training facilities allow students to engage with the healthcare needs of South Africa by offering a professional health-based service to the public.

In addition, community engagement is conducted through clinics in Grabouw and Genadendal in association with the Interprofessional Education Unit (IPEU).

Campus and Mitchells Plain clinics are open Mondays to Thursdays during the academic terms.

For more information on the clinic locations, operation times and services, or to make a booking, please contact Ms L Fuller: / 021 959 2279


Find information about the clinic service below:

Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a branch of Complementary and Acupuncture Medicine (CAM) based on more than 3,500 years of Chinese medical practice. Chinese Medicine and acupuncture clinic provide various forms of treatment, such as:
Chinese herbal medicine
Cupping therapy
Massage (tui na)
Exercise (qigong)
Dietary therapy
Patient bookings
Whatsapp: 063 452 5198
Naturopathy is a system of complementary medicine that has its roots in ancient traditional medicine practices.  Current practice is a combination of traditional medicine practices and evidence based medicine.  Naturopathic practice is individualized, complex and multi-modal and incorporates core naturopathic therapies and practices in Naturopathic medicine. The patient is examined and evaluated on a holistic basis to develop a treatment plan personalised to the patient's condition and circumstances. The aim being to support the body so that healing may take place. In this process, a number of treatment therapies are used such as: 
Dietary and lifestyle therapy
Stress reduction
Herbal and other dietary supplements
Bach flower remedies and tissue salts
Physical therapies such as massage, hydrotherapy, neuromuscular therapy (NMT) 
Patient bookings
Whatsapp: 061 543 9539
A holistic approach is followed in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease for health promotion by recommending specific diet and lifestyle changes, as well as using herbal medicines, tailor-made for the individual, in the form of:
Herbal teas
Patient bookings
Whatsapp: 063 765 9656
Unani Tibb
Unani Tibb is a holistic form of natural medicine derived from several traditional medical systems. It focuses on the science and art of healing. Treatment approaches within the discipline of Unani-Tibb include:
Temperament analysis and advice
Natural and herbal medicine
Cupping therapy
Massage therapy
Relaxation therapy
Diet therapy
Lifestyle advice
Patient bookings
Whatsapp:  084667970

General clinic inquiries (For the public):
Contact number: (021) 959 2279
Facebook: School of Natural Medicine
Location:  Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital
                    UWC Community Rehabilitation Project building (third turn right at  
                   UWC signage)           
                    Mitchells Plain

Cost: (Cash only and no medical aid accepted)
Free consultation
Free health screening
Free lifestyle advise
Therapies (Body treatments) – R70
Herbal medication – 80c per gram
Creams – 30grams R20 –  50grams R30

Only UWC Staff and Students to attend
UWC Bellville Campus
14 Blackenberg Road