Ethnopharmacologia, n°51, April 2014
It is to satisfy the demands of the market and the general public that we have created this site on homeopathy in order to demystify this often poorly known branch of medical science ; we’d like to allow a better understanding of this therapeutic technique, going back to its origins and to the experimental method developed and improved throughout his life by an 18th century German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy.
This site is an update of a pharmacy thesis on homeopathy in the world from 1981.
This thesis began with a letter addressed in May 1978 to the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to obtain information on the situation of homeopathy in the world.
We quickly received a response after 15 days from the Head of the Pharmaceutical Preparations Department:
“I regret to inform you that the World Health Organization does not have any information on this subject”.
Thirty five years later, the world has totally changed, politically, economically, technologically and scientifically:
– Access to information in the field of homeopathy is greatly facilitated by email and numerous digital databases and catalogues of libraries and universities (Germany, Austria, Brazil, Canada, United States, France, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, and Switzerland).
– The position of the WHO has changed and recognizes homeopathy in the context of complementary and alternative medicines. In 2010, the organization published for the first time a document on the preparation and control of homeopathic medicine entitled:
“Safety issues in the preparation of homeopathic medicines”.
– Within the European Union, the status of homeopathic medicine is legally recognized be it for human or veterinary use.
A European Directive 2001/83/EC from 6 November 2001 establishes a Community code concerning medicinal products for human use by incorporating the peculiarity of homeopathy with an appropriate procedure.
Similarly, a European Directive 2001/82/EC concerns homeopathic medicinal products for veterinary use.
– Political events changed the results with the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany in November 1989, and then the dislocation of the USSR in 1991.
The history of homeopathy with S. Hahnemann lies essentially in former East Germany
and the reunification of the country has allowed to collect, classify and analyze all the historical documentation about the beginnings of the discipline.
The Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Foundation in Stuttgart (IGM or Institut für Geschichte der Medizin der Robert Bosch Stiftung in Stuttgart) brings together the most important research libraries in the world with more than 9200 books, manuscripts and journals on the history of homeopathy…
The Registers of the Sick (Krankenjournale) written by Hahnemann during his consultations and 5400 letters written to his patients are held there as well as the archives of the LMHI or International Homeopathic Medical League created in 1925.
Thanks to the friendly welcome and availability of Dr. Martin Dinges, director of the IGM Archives, and his entire team, it was possible to engage in a selective search for documents for several days in the library of the Institute of Stuttgart, thus being able to consult and browse for example the first edition of the Organon of 1810 or the first published version of Casperi’s Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia in 1825.
The result of this work makes it possible to better understand the reality of homeopathy from its birth and to follow the beginnings of its progression from Germany and the first founding texts.
The research and study of the various translations of S. Hahnemann’s Organon in the 19th century in the main European languages made possible the propagation of homeopathy in France, Denmark, Great Britain and the United States, Italy, Spain and South America (Chile, Mexico), Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Brazil, as well as Russia and Sweden…
With new translations of the Organon in the 20th and 21st century published in Japan, Israel, India in various local languages, in Iran, in Turkey, in Bulgaria…, we observe a recent development in regions where homeopathy used to be little known.
The search for the first books on the manufacture of homeopathic medicines (first published Pharmacopoeias in the world) already shows some differences in the mode of preparation of mother tinctures from one country to another (Germany, France, United States).
The regulation of the drug today will be defined for the various countries that have defined a legal framework incorporating the specificity of homeopathy (status at European level and in other countries that have an official homeopathic Pharmacopoeia such as the United States, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and India).The new European regulation requires, for example, the justification of the homeopathic character through a fitting bibliography.
The 19th century abounds in German but also Anglo-American and French publications on homeopathic veterinary medicine and to a lesser extent on dental homeopathy.
The first International Congress on homeopathy began on 10 August 1829 in Köthen: more than 400 people assembled for Hahnemann’s Jubilee, which corresponds to the fiftieth anniversary of his medical degree.
It was on that day that the first Society of German homeopathic Doctors was formed, some of whom was present at this meeting and spread homeopathy throughout Europe (Hungary, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, France…). The current international homeopathic associations will be presented (Lmhi, Ech, Ecch…).
After having shown the founding historical texts of homeopathy, the site will describe the state of homeopathy in about 80 countries.
Our aim is to provide information on history, practice regulation (doctor’s degree required or not) and medicine regulation, various associations (doctors, patients…), teaching, clinics and dispensaries, the manufacturers’ laboratories and pharmacies, journals and major websites.
The point of the site is mainly to permit exchanges with the homeopathic community of the country to validate data.
A therapeutic orientation with a hundred well-defined homeopathic medicinal products will allow the patient to learn about their symptoms to help them treat their ailments.
Therapies and annexes that are related to homeopathy will be explained through examples (anthroposophy, gemmotherapy, lithotherapy, organotherapy, Schüssler salts, mother tinctures and drainage).
The site will enrich itself with new data in the coming months.