Homeopathy in Mexico

Homeopathy in Mexico

Homeopathy was introduced in 1850 by Dr. P. Rafael Navarrete from Havana. In 1852 Salvador Riera, from Cuba, brought homeopathy to the Yucatan peninsula. In 1853 Dr. Ramon Comellas came from Spain. Many conventional doctors were converted to homeopathic practice.

In 1863 the Instituto Homeopatica Mexicano was formed. Shortly after, the Sociedad Médico Homeopática Mexicana was founded and lasted 49 years. La Gaceta was the journal of the Society, while El Propagador Homeopático was the first Mexican journal and was published by the Instituto.

Another journal, La Reforma Médica was published from 1875-1892. In 1889, the Academia Homeopatica was formed which became the National School of Homeopathy. The Instituto Homeopática lasted into the 1920s.

The first homeopathic pharmacy was founded in Mexico City in 1870. King lists five graduates from Mexico who studied at US schools between 1881 and 1892. Mexican president General Don Porfirio Díaz was attended by a homeopath with good results, and in 1895 the practice of homeopathy was officially recognized. In that same year, the first school, Escuela Nacional de Medicina Homeopática began, along with Hospital Nacional Homeopático- a homeopathic hospital. Over the years the school survived many attacks from conventional medicine, but it has remained viable. The homeopathic hospital still exists at the same location in Mexico City.

Dr. Higinio G. Pérez, founded la Escuela Libre de Homeopática de México in 1912. The school gained formal recognition in 1922, when Mexican president, Emilio Portes Gil, gave the school recognition and privilege under law as a free university. Other schools like the Escuela Libre opened in both Guadalajara and the University in Yucatan. They met with moderate success.

Mexico, like other countries, saw interest in homeopathy decline during the 1930s until the 1950s. In 1960, seeing Hahnemannian ideals fading away, the "Homeopátia de México, AC" was founded by Drs. Proceso Sánchez Ortega, David Flores Toledo, and Ranulfo Romero Moreno. This group became the first to offer post-graduate education to MDs. It operates outside the national medical schools. It organizes conferences and does social work within the community with the students.

In 1982 a group was formed in Oaxaca as a part of "Homeopátia de México AC," and in 1985 it incorporated IESIO (Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Oaxaca) as a post-graduate educational program. A similar move happened in Guadalajara.

A few pharmacies manufacture homeopathic medicines, and many pharmacies sell remedies to doctors and patients alike. Only two official schools offer training as a medical doctor and homeopath: the Polytechnic Institute and the Escuela Libre, both in Mexico City. The other schools (La Escuela Nacional de Medicina y Homeopátia in Mexico City, El Instituto Superior de Medicina Homeopática de Enseñanza e Investigación de Monterrey in Nuevo León and the Instituto de Estudios Tecnológicos y Superiores de Tepic Nayarit) offer postgraduate education for medical doctors.

The homeopathic hospital struggles to survive the pressure of the conventional medical machine. The saving grace is there are still homeopaths working there, and the Government still supports teaching homeopathy at the polytechnic.

Mexico is a Republic of States, and associations operating in each state need state approval. There are schools in the state of Jalisco that teach lay people, and they have spurred the Government to re-examine the classification of homeopathic practice. The outcome is not known at this time.

Legally, only MDs are allowed to practice, but there are many other people, many of them in pharmacies, who are prescribing. There are probably about 1,500-2,000 practitioners in Mexico. The country is represented in the LMHI.