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Samuel Hahnemann

The homeopathy [ ˌhomøopatiː ] (from ancient Greek ὁμοῖος homoios , German , equal to ' , similarly' similar ', and πάθος páthos , German , sorry' , Pain, Affekt, feeling ', so literally "similar suffering “) Is an alternative medical treatment method based on the ideas of the German doctor Samuel Hahnemann published from 1796 onwards .

Its eponymous and most important basic assumption is the similarity principle formulated by Hahnemann: "Similar things may be cured by similar" (Latin similia similibus curentur ). Then a should homeopathic medicine (as opposed to allopathy are selected) so that the ingredients of the basic substance in healthy like symptoms ( symptoms ) could cause like the one in which the patient suffers. The patient's “cozy and spiritual character” should also be taken into account. For this purpose, Hahnemann and his successors created extensive tables ( repertories ) with the help of which the homeopath should assign the patient and his symptoms to a remedy picture .

For the production of homeopathic medicines, the basic substances are subjected to a so-called potentiation (dilution). That is, they are repeated (usually 1:10 or 1: 100) with water or ethanol succussed or milk sugar rubbed. The dilution was initially carried out because of the toxicity of many of the substances used. Hahnemann only prescribed "high potencies" in a later phase. Hahnemann assumed that through the special process of potentiation or "dynamization" a "spirit-like power hidden in the inner being of the medicines" would become effective. To justify the high potencies, he assumed that "the matter [...] of raw medicinal substances [...] ultimately dissolves completely into its individual spiritual being".

The alleged selective increase in desired effects through the procedures of the dilution process contradicts scientific knowledge. The doctrine of homeopathy is counted among the pseudosciences . The Hahnemannian principle of similarity is not scientifically tenable either. Clinical studies according to scientific standards have not been able to demonstrate any efficacy of homeopathic medicines in the treatment of diseases beyond the placebo effect. Successes after treatment are attributed to the treatment setting, not the remedy itself, e.g. the patient's belief in the effectiveness of the treatment ( autosuggestion ) or the quality of the relationship between therapist and patient. The Department of Human Medicine at the Philipps University of Marburg rejected homeopathy in 1992 as part of the “ Marburg Declaration on Homeopathy ” as “heresy”.

In a survey carried out in Germany by the Allensbach Institute in 2009 , 17% of those questioned associated homeopathic medicinal products with the principle of dilution or similarity. In 2015, homeopathic products were sold for 595 million euros in Germany, a growth of 12.8 percent compared to the previous year. In 2016, sales rose by 4.5 percent, while the number of packs dispensed rose by just 0.3 percent. In the first half of 2017, sales were lower than in the first half of 2016. In the first half of 2018, sales were 5% higher than in the first half of 2017.


Homeopathy is a widely ramified practice with many variants. All homeopathic teachings refer to Hahnemann and the principle of similarity, but sometimes differ considerably from one another in other points. Most homeopaths see the principle of similarity, the "remedy testing on healthy people", the elicitation of the individual clinical picture through a detailed anamnesis and the "potentiation" in the production of homeopathic medicines as principles of homeopathy.

Similarity principle (simile principle)

400 Pf - special stamp from Germany (1996) with a silhouette of Hahnemann and a rule of similarity

According to the principle of similarity -  similia similibus curentur ("the like may be healed by the like") - diseases are to be cured by means that cause symptoms in a healthy person similar to those observed in the patient in question:

“Every effective drug provokes a kind of disease of its own in the human body, a disease that is more peculiar, more distinctive, and more violent, the more effective the drug is. Imitate nature, which sometimes cures one chronic disease by adding another, and apply to the (especially chronic) disease to be cured that remedy which is able to excite another, as similar as possible, artificial disease and that will be cured ; Similia similibus. "

- Samuel Hahnemann : 1796

The idea of ​​a simile principle (which is also differentiated from other healing methods in the “ Etymologies ” of Isidore of Seville in the 7th century) cannot be traced back to Hahnemann alone. It can already be found in the Corpus Hippocraticum and the writings of Theophrast von Hohenheim (Paracelsus) :

"The disease arises through influences that act similar to the remedies, and the disease state is eliminated through means that cause phenomena similar to it."

- Hippocrates of Kos (460 BC - around 370 BC)

"The like is treated by the like and not opposites through opposites."

- Theophrast von Hohenheim (1493–1541)

The development of the central principle of homeopathy is, among other things back to a self-experiment Hahnemann, which he wanted to find out how the then already known as an anti-malarial quinine bark acts ( " cinchona experiment "). After six years of further experiments on himself and his family members with other substances, Hahnemann formulated the similarity principle of homeopathy in 1796 in the form of a postulate , published in Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland's Journal of Practical Medicine . Hahnemann wrote about this in his basic work on homeopathy, the organon of the healing art :

"Through observation, reflection and experience, I found that, on the contrary of the old alloeopathy, the true, correct, best cure can be found in the sentence: In order to heal gently, quickly, reliably and permanently, choose a medicine in every case of illness, which can provoke a similar suffering for itself as it is supposed to heal! "

- Samuel Hahnemann : Organon of the healing art. 6th edition

The prerequisites for using the principle of similarity in homeopathy are, on the one hand, knowledge of the effects of the homeopathic remedies (see "Homeopathic remedy testing") and, on the other hand, the exact recording of the patient's symptoms in the homeopathic anamnesis (see "Choice of remedies").

Even Hahnemann's contemporaries criticized the arbitrariness of the similarity principle, which is not comprehensible from a scientific point of view. Marked Ludwig Griesselich the law of similars as a sack into which "you can put in everything". To date, no drug based on this principle has been discovered that has found its way into evidence-based medicine . Hahnemann's cinchona bark experiment could never be reproduced. It is believed that Hahnemann would have had an allergic reaction to cinchona bark.

Homeopathic drug proving

Historical homeopathy set

Up until the beginning of the 21st century, drug tests were carried out in homeopathy, which, however, in no way correspond to drug studies in accordance with the Medicines Act (see below ), but were carried out according to Hahnemann's specifications: Homeopathic testers who must be healthy take a remedy and then make a note of it any changes and reactions they notice in themselves.

The recorded symptoms of several such tests are summarized in a homeopathic remedy picture and arranged in directories. Depending on the classification criterion, these are either drug teachings (classified by means) or repertories that are compiled according to symptoms. There are no uniform regulations for drug proving, only recommendations.

Hahnemann himself had already described the alleged effects of 27 different remedies on healthy people in 1805. He emphasized that all of the subjects' sensitivities during the period of action of the agent must be considered to have been caused by it, even if the examiner had observed something similar in other contexts.

These tests were already criticized as "extremely unscientific" in the 19th century. Her "art" consists in "using effective or poisonous medicinal substances to induce phenomena and symptoms of intoxication known long before Hahnemann, which, however, are associated with this or that illness, but often also several and very different ailments". As early as 1927, in the original writings of Samuel Hahnemann, there were reports of no fewer than 716 symptoms that Hahnemann had received by rubbing people with magnets . A study of drug provings carried out by some homeopaths from 1945 to 1995 showed that these tests were handled very differently and were mostly of very low quality.

Homeopathic medical history

According to Hahnemann, illness is “a special mood” of the organism, which the healing artist has to recognize and eliminate based on the symptoms. In the homeopathic history of a patient, i. H. an observation and questioning, the attempt is made to grasp the entire symptom picture and the type of "disgruntlement of the life force". In contrast to the anamnesis in scientific medicine, in the homeopathic anamnesis the patient is also asked about a large number of facts that are irrelevant from a scientific point of view. The aim is to find out the means with which the symptoms observed in healthy people correspond as closely as possible to those recorded in the patient's anamnesis (repertorisation, repertorisation).


Another principle of homeopathy is the use of "potentized" remedies. Potentiation is the strong dilution with simultaneous "dynamization" ( shaking or trituration ; see below). The remedies are made from “ mother tinctures ” (plant and animal origin: symbol: Ø or mineral and chemical origin: symbol O) and diluents such as ethanol , distilled water , glycerine and lactose . Homeopathic remedies are used in liquid form (dilution) or as globules , in deep potencies also in the form of tablets .

Hahnemann introduced potentization around 1798. According to his instructions, homeopathics were potentized in hundred steps (“C-potencies”). The decimal system more commonly used today for exponentiating and denoting powers, e.g. B. D10, was developed by the alternative practitioner and later doctor Arthur Lutze and introduced into the treatment by Constantin Hering. From the point of view of homeopaths, the effect of a simple dilution is not comparable to that of a potentized, i.e. shaken or rubbed agent. In the Organon der Heilkunst (note on § 11) Hahnemann ascribed the effect of a potentiated agent not to the physical substance or physical effect of a medicinal substance , but to an inherent, immaterial, "specific medicinal power" released from it through dynamization. Today's homeopaths who use high potencies assume that with potentization, also called dynamization, information is transferred to the solvent through the energy supply when shaking or rubbing in and amplified with each potentization step, even if there are no more molecules of the drug in the solution . There is no evidence for the existence of the postulated immaterial energy supply through the ritual mechanical procedures. The solutions prepared using this method are no different from simply diluted solutions.

The dilution below the chemical dissolution limit (from D23 - see also Avogadro constant ) is not a mandatory element of homeopathy. Many naturopaths and some doctors in Germany also work with the dilutions 1: 10,000 and 1: 1,000,000 (D4 and D6), in which the substances are still present in significant concentrations. With these only slightly diluted agents, the regular dose-effect relationships of the substance used must be observed and various effects are possible. In addition to the most popular D-exponentiation series (1:10), there is also the C-series (1: 100) and the LM or Q-series (1: 50,000).

The Fluxionspotenzierung according Dellmour is a special form of liquid potentiation that occurs without succussion. Due to turbulence in the liquid to be added when it is added to the potentization vessel, shaking should be unnecessary. However, the dynamization effect is lower, so that very high degrees of potency have to be produced.

With the K-potentization according to Semjon Nikolajewitsch Korsakow , a Russian homeopath, the potentization is simplified in just one glass. The method was not included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia (HAB), but some companies produce high potencies according to this method for reasons of time and cost.

From the point of view of some homeopaths, a “weak quantum theory” should be used to explain homeopathy. The phenomenon of entanglement is applied to fundamentally different systems such as a homeopathic remedy and disease symptoms without a clear mathematical definition; the extremely easy destructibility of entangled states is not taken into account.

As an attempt to explain a “memory effect of water”, some homeopaths cite structural changes to water as a solvent. However, such a memory function is not compatible with knowledge about water.

D scale C scale Dilution / mixture Remarks
Ø / O Ø / O 1: 1
  • Mother tincture , undiluted (mother tincture consists of half drug and half ethanol )
  • Mother tinctures are pharmacy-only medicinal products, but are available without a prescription, provided they are not subject to a prescription .
D1 - 1:10
1:10 1
  • Low potencies of poisons such as mercury (Mercurius solubilis), deadly nightshade (Belladonna) etc. are toxic. For example, the arsenic (III) oxide (Arsenicum album) used primarily in the form known by homeopaths as “lay homeopathy” as D6 or D12 can be fatal in a dosage of 1 g of the D1 solution.
D2 C1 1: 100
1:10 2
  • Corresponds to a concentration that results from dissolving 1 g of active ingredient in 100 g, i.e. 100 cm³ of liquid.
D4 C2 1: 10,000
1:10 4
  • Corresponds in volume to approx. One drop per half liter of solvent.
  • In the case of poisons diluted to D4, symptoms of poisoning can occur. For example, Arsenicum album D4, taken 5 drops 3 times a day for weeks, leads to chronic symptoms of intoxication.
D6 C3 1: 1,000,000
1:10 6
  • Corresponds to about one drop per 50 liters (about half a bathtub) of solvent
  • From this stage, the amount of impurities in the solvent exceeds the amount of mother tincture still present.
  • The highest dilution used in evidence-based medicine . The most toxic known substance botulinum toxin is used in neurology in a dilution of 1: 1,600,000.
D8 C4 1: 100,000,000
1:10 8
  • Corresponds to about one drop per 5 m³ (5000 liters ≈ 25 full bathtubs) of solvent
  • Approximately corresponds to the limit value for arsenic in drinking water . From this concentration on, no health risks are to be expected even with long-term consumption.
D12 C6 1: 1,000,000,000,000
1:10 12
  • Corresponds to about one drop in the entire water volume of Lake Constance or the dissolution of 1 g of active ingredient in the water volume of 400 Olympic swimming pools or 1,000,000 m³
D24 C12 1:10 24
  • That would be about one drop in the volume of the Atlantic
  • At this potency, in an idealizing thought experiment, only about half of all 1 liter bottles of D24 solution contain a molecule of a one molar mother tincture; accordingly, from this point onwards, when further solvent is added, no more dilution takes place, but solvent is mixed with solvent.
D26 C13 1:10 26
  • This would roughly correspond to the dilution of one drop in 3 times the volume of all water on earth
  • If pure water is used as a diluent, there is no longer any molecule of the original solution in the water.
D60 C30 1:10 60
  • Here would come a molecule of any substance in a ball of water 150 million kilometers in diameter (the distance from Earth to the Sun) or less than a piece of sugar ... in billions of galaxies .
  • Potency preferred by Hahnemann and recommended for drug proving. High potencies of Belladonna have shown no difference to placebos in homeopathic drug trials.
D80 C40 1:10 80
  • It would correspond to one molecule of the starting substance in the entire observable universe
D400 C200 1:10 400
  • Corresponds to one molecule of the starting substance in 10 320 times the volume of the entire observable universe
D1000 C500 1:10 1,000
  • Highest usually available D-potency
- C1000 1:10 2,000
  • Highest usually deliverable C-potency

Legend: green = low potencies that can have a toxicological or pharmacological effect; yellow = potentiation and chemical effectiveness are reaching their chemical-physical limits; pink = high potencies. Potentiations in this area exceed the chemical and physical possibilities.

History of Homeopathy

Treatment with drastic drugs from a homeopathic point of view. Painting by Alexander Beydeman (1826–1869) from 1857

Samuel Hahnemann founded the teaching of homeopathy and thus plays a major role for followers of homeopathy to this day. He was considered a sharp-tongued critic of contemporary medicine of the 18th century, which used methods such as bloodletting , vomiting and drastic drugs .

"It seems to be the unfortunate main business of the old medicine, the majority of illnesses, the protracted ones, caused by continual weakening and tormenting of the weak sick person, who is already suffering from his disease, and by the addition of new, destructive medicinal diseases, if not fatal, at least incurable to do - and, once you have this pernicious procedure under control and become properly insensitive to the warnings of conscience, this is a very easy business! "

- Samuel Hahnemann

Hahnemann set the idea and practice of homeopathy against medicine, which originated in the Middle Ages and was effective until the 18th century, with the aim of achieving an individualized and mild treatment. He wanted to show that diseases can also end in healing without blood loss and laxatives . His suggestion for experimental investigations into the medicinal effects in healthy people was new. The ideas and experiments of homeopathy, because their methods of proof were too far removed from conscientious criticism, scientific logic and thorough research, remained of little importance to the developing scientific medicine of the 19th century. Despite numerous attempts, homeopathy was not permanently institutionalized at any German-speaking university in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the establishment of a homeopathic university polyclinic (headed by Ernst Bastanier) in Berlin . The establishment of chairs failed due to resistance from the medical faculties .

Hahnemann first demonstrably used the term “homeopathic” in 1807, the term “homeopathy” in 1810 in his Organon (p. XLVI).

The first indications of drug testing on healthy people can be found in 1790 in the description of the "cinchona bark experiment" inserted as a footnote in Hahnemann's translation of William Cullen's medicine theory.

Hahnemann's Medicine of Experience (1805)

In 1805 Hahnemann formulated his point of view in the work Heilkunde der Erlebnis . In this work he appeared as a kind of reformer who rejected the medical knowledge gained since antiquity : “Two thousand years were wasted by doctors on the invisible internal changes of the body in the case of diseases, their immediate cause and the a priori nature to brood over the same because they believed that they could not heal until they brooded over this impossible knowledge. "

He opposed the exploration of the causes of illnesses with his empirical medicine: “But if we can never see the internal changes in the body on which illnesses are based, then the overview of their external causes has some use. No change occurs without a cause. The diseases will have their origins, however they remain hidden from us in most cases. "

The doctor has the role of describing an illness by means of its symptoms: “With this careful zeal the doctor will draw the pure picture of the illness; he will have the illness itself before him in signs without which there is no hidden property of things, and just as little as a disease is pronounced to earthly people who only know their senses according to their perceptions. "The following task is:" If the disease is found, we must seek the remedy. "In 1805 Hahnemann declared:" Only that property of the medicaments, one It is to produce a series of specific disease symptoms in the healthy body by means of which they can cure diseases, that is, the disease stimulus can be canceled out and extinguished by an appropriate counter-stimulus . "

Against these stimuli he used medicinal products: “As certainly every plant species in its external form, in its own way of life, in its tastes, smells, etc., of a different plant species and genus - so certainly every mineral, every salt in its external as well as internal physical properties are different, so certainly they are all different among themselves, in their medicinal powers, that is, in their disease-causing power; each of these substances acts in its own particular way to alter our state of health. Most of the substances of the animal and vegetable kingdoms are medicinal in their raw state, but those from the mineral kingdom are both raw and prepared. The medicinal products show the nature of their pathological potency and their absolute, true effect in a healthy human body at their purest, if each is allowed to be taken alone and unmixed. "

The cinchona bark experiment - the birth of homeopathy?

Today's homeopaths see Hahnemann's self- experiment with cinchona as the hour of birth of homeopathy, as it proves the principle of similarity (simile principle).

“For the sake of the experiment, I took four ounces of good china twice a day, each time; My feet, fingertips, etc., at first got cold, I got tired and sleepy, then my heart began to pound, my pulse became hard and fast, an unbearable fearfulness, a tremor (but without a shudder), a weariness through everyone Limbs; Then a throbbing in the head, redness of the cheeks, thirst, briefly all the symptoms that are usual for me with intermittent fever appeared one after the other; but without the actual fever. "

- Samuel Hahnemann (1790)

Hahnemann himself mentioned the experiment only three more times outside of this description, in a shorter specialist article, the answer to a letter and his pure medicine theory. (Volume 3. 1817/1830).
Historically, Hahnemann's cinchona bark experiment only played a subordinate role in homeopathy with regard to its validity and comprehensibility. Findings in relevant journals and encyclopedias are rare. Parts of Hahnemann's description of the experiment can, however, be found on numerous relevant websites.

Hahnemann's attempt has not been successfully reproduced by either homeopaths or medical scientists to this day. Two examples: In 1821, the doctor Johann Christian Jörg had four medical students drink a tincture made from cinchona bark according to Hahnemann's description. The symptoms observed by Hahnemann did not occur in any of the test persons . The two doctors Hans-Joachim Krämer and Ernst Habermann carried out a self-experiment in 1997 according to Hahnemann's statements, which also did not confirm any of Hahnemann's statements, but led to digestive problems.

The homeopath Georg Bayr, who works in the history of medicine, evaluates the experiment from today's perspective: “The cinchona bark experiment is based on intuition. It was accidental. It was a time-related mistake. The error was fruitful because homeopathy arose from it. "

The mechanism of action of the cinchona bark or the quinine contained in it , which was isolated from the cinchona bark by extraction with alcohol in 1820, on the disease malaria is known today. Quinine acts as an inhibitor of nucleic acid synthesis in asexual forms of the malaria pathogen and thus prevents the pathogen from multiplying. Quinine also has an analgesic, antipyretic and local anesthetic effect. It is possible that Hahnemann's self-observations were an allergic reaction due to a sensitization to quinine, as he had already taken the drug earlier. On the other hand, quinine is known as a diastereomer of quinidine , which increases the heart rate. This effect of heart rate increase was seen at the time as fever, as thermometer for measuring temperature were not common. This could also explain Hahnemann's observation.

Hahnemann initially refrained from attempting a theoretical justification. In his later work he referred - obviously trying to find a scientific justification according to the standards of the time - to vitalistic ideas (“re-tuning of the life force ”).

Hahnemann's theory of chronic diseases

After many years of practical experience with homeopathy, Hahnemann discovered that certain chronic disease processes could not be cured homeopathically. From 1816 he therefore developed a method for the treatment of chronic diseases. In 1828 he published the results of his research in a five-volume work entitled The Chronic Diseases . According to his theory, chronic diseases are based on a miasm , a kind of deep-seated "primordial evil". Hahnemann divided the miasms into psora (as a result of scabies ), sycosis ( fig warts disease as a result of gonorrhea ) and syphilis . Hahnemann's work after the knowledge of the miasms was the attempt to stamp out the psora, as he wrote. Opponents criticized the fact that he continued to propagate homeopathic treatment for twelve years, although "the homeopathic treatment of seven eighths of chronic diseases was completely useless."

Although his understanding of chronic diseases was within the scope of the medical knowledge of the time, the miasma theory is now considered outdated. With the discovery of the cholera pathogen by Robert Koch in 1884 , the end of miasma teaching in university medicine was heralded . Syphilis and cholera are successfully treated with antibiotics . Genital warts are the result of an infection with the human papilloma virus .

In classical homeopathy, however, the practical consequences of the miasma doctrine are taken into account to this day.

Worldwide distribution

Hampton House in Bristol - the former Bristol Homeopathic Hospital

Homeopathy spread internationally during Hahnemann's lifetime and later.

The spread in France was promoted by Hahnemann's work there. Mélanie d'Hervilly married him in 1835 and moved with him to Paris, where he ran the practice, which was flourishing thanks to his wife's relationships, until his death in 1843. His wife then continued to run the practice without a license until she had to sell the house around 1870. Towards the end of her life, she finally received her medical license, making her the first homeopathic doctor.

Homeopathic doctors had been practicing in Britain since the 1830s. The English royal family had received homeopathic treatment since the 19th century and publicly advocated this form of therapy.

Assembly of homeopathic doctors in Vienna, lithograph by Josef Kriehuber , 1852

While homeopathy also spread in other European countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands , Austria and Switzerland , Spain , Italy and Greece , it is comparatively weakly represented in Scandinavia .

In the 1820s and 1830s, homeopathic practices were introduced both inside and outside academic medicine in the United States . Homeopathy also established itself in South American countries such as Brazil , Colombia , Chile and Argentina . The Argentinian Tomás Pablo Paschero included methods of depth psychology in the treatment.

Around 1830 homeopathy was brought to India by the Transylvanian doctor Johann Martin Honigberger, among others , where it was widely accepted. However, political reasons also played a role: Homeopathy came from the German Empire, which was politically the opponent of the British colonial rulers. Today, homeopathy is firmly anchored and recognized in India's public health system. In the 1980s, 17.6% of the licensed medical staff were homeopaths. 7% of all outpatient departments were run by homeopaths. There are 200 colleges and a dedicated research council.

The first double-blind experiment in medical history in 1835

Many methods of experimental medicine were first developed in the context of alternative medicine: as early as 1835, the theologian and editor George Löhner published a test of the effects of a homeopathic saline solution on a group of 55 volunteers, which was carried out in Nuremberg with the participation of doctors, pharmacists and other notables . healthy volunteers. 42 people had noticed "nothing unusual" (19 table salt potency, 23 water), 9 people had noticed "something unusual" (6 table salt potency, including one who knew that he had taken the potency, 3 water). While the commission concluded that potentization had no effect, homeopathic magazines responded with violent polemics.

The medical historian Michael Stolberg criticized in 2006 that a distortion due to the personal attitude of the test participants to homeopathy could not be ruled out; by reporting that they had not noticed anything unusual, they could negatively influence the overall result. However, he appreciates the use of modern elements of the study design : The experiment is "a very early example of randomization and double blinding ".

Lay homeopathy

With the homeopath. Painting by Wilhelm Schreuer (1866–1933)

Medical care was provided by doctors in the 18th century, but mostly by bathers and surgeons . In addition, many lay people with knowledge of the healing power of plants, minerals and other active ingredients contributed to healing treatments. The spread of homeopathy was not only promoted by doctors, but also by patients and lay practitioners. In the 19th century, homeopathy gained supporters and multipliers, especially among nobility and educated citizens. Homeopathy was close to religion from the start. Many of the first homeopaths were pastors' sons or theology students. In France the clergy openly supported Hahnemann's teaching. Many pastors living in the country practiced homeopathy, especially in Austria. But landowners, merchants and others were also involved in the spread of homeopathy. This development was promoted by the homeopathic family doctor literature, such as Carl Gottlob Casparis homeopathic family and travel doctor and Constantin Hering's homeopathic family doctor , which appeared since the end of the 1820s. It described the treatment of common diseases with simple means. The first homeopathic associations were founded at this time. From 1830, there were also magazines aimed primarily at laypeople. For example, the Paderborn doctor Peter Meinolf Bolle published the popular homeopathic newspaper between 1855 and 1871 . The most important homeopathic lay magazine was the Leipzig popular magazine for homeopathy , which appeared from 1870.

Lay associations The German homeopathic lay associations are a worldwide unique phenomenon. 444 such associations were founded between 1870 and 1933, mainly in Württemberg , Saxony , Prussia and Baden . In 1914, two percent of the Württemberg population were members of a homeopathic association. In addition to socializing and spending free time, the clubs primarily offered access to homeopathic knowledge and treatment in the form of self-help. They acquired homeopathic family doctor literature and made it available to their members. The heart of the clubs were the homeopathic club pharmacies, some of which had large stocks of homeopathic medicines, almost always in deep D-potencies. Members of the association were allowed to get the funds they wanted free of charge, apart from the membership fee. However, this practice was legally controversial from the start and was eventually banned. Since the associations were among the most important buyers of their products, the pharmaceutical manufacturers supported their educational work. The associations also campaigned for the establishment of homeopathic chairs at universities and the establishment of homeopathic hospitals. In the " medical crisis " in the 1920s, naturopathy , the life reform movement and alternative healing methods were increasingly popular. The naturopathic and homeopathic lay associations won many followers among workers and petty bourgeoisie. The umbrella organization Reichsbund for Homeopathy and Health Care comprised 348 associations with 38,200 members in 1930. The Nazis attacked the " New German medicine " this developing into a mass movement tendency and Uncollected them for his goals. The homeopathic lay associations were initially included. Over time, however, their activity decreased significantly. When the time of National Socialism ended, the homeopathic layman was largely destroyed. The first new and re-establishments took place in the 1950s. Hahnemannia , which was founded in Stuttgart on February 24, 1868 , is today the umbrella organization of homeopathic lay associations.

Homeopathy in National Socialism

In the New German Medicine , the " conventional medicine " , which has been increasingly scientifically founded since the middle of the 19th century, and the "biological healing methods" should be combined. The homeopathic lay associations often enthusiastically confessed to the National Socialist movement. In the lay magazine “Homeopathic Monthly Papers” there were essays on “ Racial Hygiene ” and on nationalistic and ethnic issues , even on the value of homeopathy for the treatment of hereditary diseases . The German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors performed the 1933 DC circuit and was in 1935 a member of the "Reich Association for a new German medicine".

For the first time in its history, homeopathy enjoyed state support. In spite of all the ostensible successes and all the hopes of homeopaths for recognition, there were critical voices early on, warning of being taken over by National Socialism. The merger with other methods was feared that the teaching would be diluted and that independence would be lost. On the other hand, the state's interest in homeopathy waned for various reasons. The most important one was probably an investigation of homeopathy on behalf of the Reich Health Office between 1936 and 1939. Clinical trials, drug proving and source studies have been carried out on individual homeopathic medicines. The clinical trials had shown no success. The reviews of homeopathic remedies could not reproduce the results of previous tests.

Little is known about the fate of Jewish homeopaths. In the homeopathic press, unequivocally anti-Semitic statements were sometimes made. The “elimination” of Jewish, Social Democratic and Marxist doctors, which began in 1933, also took place in homeopathy. The most prominent victim of the elimination within homeopathy was the Jewish doctor Otto Leeser (1888–1964). He was considered a representative of the scientific-critical direction of homeopathy in Germany.

After the Second World War

Central homeopathic pharmacy in Esslingen am Neckar

After the Second World War , some lay associations were re-established, but did not come close to their earlier importance. The division of Germany brought about different developments in homeopathy.

Federal Republic of Germany until 1989

The Homeopathic Centralofficin Dr. Willmar Schwabe , one of the most important manufacturers of homeopathic medicinal products, relocated its headquarters from Leipzig to Karlsruhe in 1946 . However, operations in Leipzig continued in the GDR. Homeopathic production in Karlsruhe was split off in 1961 and continued as the German Homeopathic Union . The company Biologische Heilmittel Heel , founded in Berlin in 1936 , rebuilt its plant in Baden-Baden after the war and is now internationally active at ten locations. In the Federal Republic of Germany homeopathy has experienced an upswing since the mid-1970s with the increase in the popularity of alternative healing methods among laypeople. At that time there were around 200 homeopaths working in Germany. In 1978 the German legislature recognized homeopathy as a "special therapy direction" in addition to anthroposophically extended medicine and phytotherapy in the Medicines Act . The means of the special therapy directions can be approved and may be prescribed, even without proof of their effectiveness .

German Democratic Republic

Homeopathy was widespread in the GDR in the early years, but it was increasingly being suppressed. This was supported by the fact that no new alternative practitioners were admitted from 1949 . Homeopathic medicines were sold in Leipzig from 1952 by VEB Homeopharm Dr. Willmar Schwabe and his successor companies as well as in the Bombastus works in Freital . In 1959 a campaign against homeopathy was waged. A traveling exhibition was started with the title " Superstition and Health - Exhibition against Superstition and Quackery ". In 1961, homeopathy was publicly outlawed. No treatment ban was issued, but there was a ban on training. However, homeopathy continued to be used by lay people and the few alternative practitioners as well as a few doctors.

Federal Republic of Germany from 1990

After German reunification , the first advanced training event on homeopathy for doctors was held in Wittenberg on April 28, 1990 with the support of the Karl and Veronica Carstens Foundation . In cooperation with the Faculty of Humanities, Social and Educational Sciences at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg , the German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors has developed a concept for an extra-occupational two-year master’s course "Knowledge development and quality promotion in homeopathic medicine - Integrated Practice in Homeopathy" for Doctors and other licensed health professions, which should be completed with the acquisition of a Master of Arts . So far, however, no university has been found that will implement this course. At some universities, homeopathy is offered as an optional course, partly with the support of the Karl and Veronica Carstens Foundation. The foundation financially supports numerous student working groups on homeopathy .


Homeopathy is “supported by massive lobbying along the lines of the rest of the pharmaceutical industry.” One of the most important players in this is the Karl and Veronica Carstens Foundation.

Professional associations

In the German Bundestag several professional associations are registered for homeopathy plus many connected organizations. At the end of 2018 these were the Association of Classic Homeopaths of Germany eV ( VKHD ), the German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors eV ( DZVhÄ ), the Federal Association of Patients for Homeopathy eV, the Association of Classic Homeopaths of Germany eV (BKHD) and the Biochemical Association of Germany eV (BBD).

Building of the European Library for Homeopathy in Koethen

In 2009, the European Homeopathic Library was set up in Köthen in the restored building of the Barmherzigen Brüder Hospital next to the Hahnemannhaus . The operator is the German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors (DZvhÄ). The building was renovated as part of the International Building Exhibition Urban Redevelopment Saxony-Anhalt 2010 for 2.6 million euros, of which 751,064 euros from the Urban Redevelopment East program and 1.16 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund .

Additional training

In 2003, at the German Medical Congress, the additional training in homeopathy was reorganized in the new (model) training regulations. Specialist certification is a prerequisite for acquiring additional advanced training in homeopathy . The training is divided into 6 months of training with a training officer, or 100 hours of case seminars including supervision, and 160 hours of course training. The number of specialists with this additional training increased from 2397 of those organized in the German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors (DZVhÄ) in 1993 to around 6000 nationwide in 2006 and 6712 according to the federal health reporting information system in 2009.

Following the public discussions on effectiveness since 2019, 7 out of 17 medical associations (including Lower Saxony , Hesse , Bremen ) have decided to remove homeopathy from the respective further training regulations .


In Germany, homeopathic medicines are usually only available from a pharmacy . Homeopathic treatments and medicines are not included in the catalog of services provided by statutory health insurance . Most health insurance companies offer the preparations as a statutory service and, under certain conditions, pay for homeopathic treatments by doctors with the additional designation "homeopathy", for example within the framework of contracts for integrated care . A study among members of the Techniker Krankenkasse came to the conclusion that the treatment costs of patients receiving additional homeopathic treatment were significantly higher than those of the control group.

The share of homeopathic medicinal products in the German pharmacy market in 2018 was EUR 666.1 million, or 1.2% of total sales (EUR 55.8 billion), with a share of 9.5% for non-prescription medicinal products. Of the homeopathic medicines, 14.6% (97.1 million euros) were prescribed by therapists, the majority (569 million euros) were bought in-house, with mail-order sales accounting for around 18%.

Health insurance

In Germany, private health insurances cover the costs of homeopathic treatments by all doctors, and private supplementary insurances also cover the costs of alternative practitioners (if necessary, minus an agreed deductible). Usually the costs for homeopathic medicines are covered.


There are currently around 60,000 doctors in Germany who regularly prescribe homeopathic and anthroposophic medicines. The prominent German sports doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt , long-time team doctor for FC Bayern Munich and the German national soccer team , explained in a “Spiegel interview” that he has been treating exclusively with homeopathic and biological drugs since the beginning of his work as a sports doctor. He places these with different needles as precisely as possible at the respective cause of the complaints so that they can develop their effect there. When asked by the magazine, Müller-Wohlfahrt said that he did not know whether the German national team believed in homeopathy, but that the players knew how and with which drugs he worked.

Sociology of homeopathic users in Germany

The general population survey of the social sciences (ALLBUS) found in 2012 that 31 percent of the men surveyed in Germany and 49 percent of the women surveyed stated that they had used homeopathic or similar medicines. West Germans used such preparations with 44 percent, East Germans with 32 percent. In the survey, the turn to homeopathy and other alternative forms of therapy correlated strongly with educational attainment: For people without a school leaving certificate, the proportion of users of homeopathic and similar medicines was 12 percent. It rose to 56 percent for people with a university entrance qualification. The worldview also has an effect on the experience with homeopathy or the like: The least experience with homeopathic and similar therapies had at 36 percent non-denominational respondents. Roman Catholics reported significantly more often with 46 percent of experiences with such applications.

In a survey carried out by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy in 2014, 60 percent of those questioned stated that they had already taken homeopathic medicines for various indications. Almost half (48 percent) reported unreservedly positive healing experiences. While in 1970 only just under one in four West Germans had already taken homeopathic drugs themselves (24 percent), the proportion in Germany has now increased 2.5-fold, at 60 percent. Only a small part of the population (12 percent) excludes the use of homeopathic medicines.


The Swiss Jost Künzli , Adolphe Voegeli and Rudolf Flury played an important role as homeopathic teachers in Europe after 1945. Several magazines such as Homeopathie , Homeopathia and the Swiss Journal for Homeopathy were founded and discontinued. Within the Swiss Association of Homeopathic Doctors (SVHA) in the 1970s and 1980s, there was increasing fighting between the different directions of homeopathy.

Provisional I

From 1999 to 2005 homeopathy was provisionally included in the list of benefits of the basic health insurance together with the four other alternative healing methods. The treatments were covered by the basic health insurance , provided they were prescribed by a doctor. On June 30, 2005, the Federal Office of Public Health , part of the Federal Department of Home Affairs , canceled this obligation to provide benefits based on the results of the study program Evaluation of Complementary Medicine commissioned by it , as the authors came to the conclusion that “the present placebo-controlled studies for homeopathy […] no clear effect beyond placebo ”.

Provisional II

On May 17, 2009, a two-thirds majority of the Swiss electorate voted for the consideration of complementary medicine to be anchored in the federal constitution. The constitution was subsequently expanded to include Article 118a “The Confederation and the cantons ensure that complementary medicine is taken into account within the scope of their responsibilities”. To implement this constitutional amendment, homeopathy and four other alternative medical treatment methods (traditional Chinese medicine, anthroposophic medicine, neural therapy, phytotherapy) will be paid for by compulsory health insurance under certain conditions from 2012. This regulation was provisionally valid until the end of 2017. During this time, the effectiveness, usefulness and cost-effectiveness of the five complementary medical methods are considered to be partially controversial and will be evaluated with regard to these criteria.

Qualification certificate FMH

Doctors have the opportunity to acquire a certificate of proficiency in homeopathy recognized by the FMH . The training lasts two years and is completed in the form of seminars and supervision.


Shortly after the Second World War, there was an advocacy group for homeopathy in Vienna . In 1953 the Austrian Society for Homeopathic Medicine (ÖGHM) was founded as the largest association of homeopathic doctors in Austria. Today it has about 900 members. In Austria, homeopathic medicines are subject to the Medicines Act of 1983. In it, homeopathy was recognized as part of medicine. Since then, homeopathy has been reserved for doctors in Austria. The Austrian Medical Chamber has been awarding its own diploma for homeopathy since 1995, which entitles it to practice. In order to obtain the diploma, a multi-year training course comprising around 350 hours of advanced training must be completed. The Medical Association for Classical Homeopathy (ÄKH) was founded in Salzburg in 1991 and the Austrian Society for Veterinary Homeopathy (ÖGVH) in 1994 . In 1995, the meeting of delegates of veterinarians in Austria decided to train as a specialist veterinarian for homeopathic veterinary medicine . In the 2018/19 winter semester , the elective homeopathy was removed from the curriculum at the Med-Uni Vienna in order to "clearly distance itself from unscientific procedures and charlatanism". Sigrid Pilz , head of the Vienna patient advocacy office , also called for ineffective medicines such as homeopathic globules or Bach flowers to be banned from the sale in pharmacies or at least to be printed on the packaging to indicate the lack of effectiveness. This is also justified with the demand of the European Academy of Sciences that ineffective drugs must not be put on the market.


Homeopathic globules and dilutions

Today homeopathy is represented in almost every country in the world. Worldwide sales of homeopathic medicines are estimated to be in the order of 2 billion euros. That is less than one percent of the total pharmaceutical market. The largest markets are France, USA, Germany and India. Half of the homeopathy market is in Europe.

In Great Britain, at the beginning of 2010, a committee of the House of Commons demanded that homeopathy should no longer be financed with public funds due to a lack of evidence of effectiveness. Despite the committee's recommendations, the UK government initially decided to continue paying for homeopathy through the NHS . While she largely agreed with the assessment of the committee, she believes that the informed patient and their doctor will be able to find the appropriate treatment. This also includes an alternative method such as homeopathy. In 2017, it became known that the costs would no longer be borne by the NHS in the future.

In France, where, according to the local medical association, 56 percent of the population are supporters of globules and highly diluted tinctures, the Supreme Health Authority (HAS) assessed the effect of homeopathic remedies as insufficient from a scientific point of view in June 2019 and spoke out against reimbursement the health system. The French Ministry of Health had previously commissioned HAS to carry out the test. Over a period of nine months, around 1200 homeopathic remedies were tested and more than 1000 scientific publications were analyzed. Back in 2018, the Lille Medical Faculty decided to suspend its diploma course in homeopathy for 2018/19. In advance, 124 doctors in the newspaper Le Figaro had called for the "exclusion of esoteric disciplines - including homeopathy - from medicine".

There are an estimated 50,800 homeopathic medicine providers in the EU , 45,000 of them doctors.

Every year in April, during Hahnemann's birth week , the World Homeopathy Awareness Week takes place to draw attention to the treatment method.

In 2016, the US consumer protection authority, FTC ( Federal Trade Commission ) passed stricter rules for over-the-counter homeopathic products. The products must either have proof of effectiveness or have a warning that the effectiveness has not been scientifically proven. Basically, the authority says: "In general, the promises of homeopathic products are not based on modern scientific methods and are not accepted by modern medical professionals".

Directions in Homeopathy

Homeopathy is not a uniform teaching. There are different directions, some of which are fighting each other. Also, medical practitioners or conventional medical practitioners who use homeopathy, not generally be assigned to one direction. The large spectrum of directions is illustrated by the numerous own names such as classical homeopathy , genuine homeopathy , the Bönninghausen and Boger method , miasmatic and scientific homeopathy , the scientific-critical direction , process-oriented homeopathy , creative homeopathy , impulse and resonance homeopathy , electronic homeopathy (frequency-based), the Seghal and Herscue method , central delusion , C4 homeopathy , and quantum logic homeopathy . Terms such as organotropic and personotropic homeopathy are also used. The split in homeopathy began in Hahnemann's time, who also referred to deviants from his pure teaching as bastard homeopaths . Hahnemann demanded as early as 1796: "Do it, but do it exactly."

Classical homeopathy

The term "classical homeopathy" arose from an effort to differentiate oneself from the wide range of healing methods that are called "homeopathic". The foundations of classical homeopathy are the teachings of Hahnemann and the further developments of the healing method based on it (for example by Bönninghausen , Hering , Kent and others). If Hahnemann's teachings are followed particularly stringently, they are referred to as "genuine homeopathy". In contrast to many other branches of homeopathy, in classical homeopathy only one remedy is administered at a time, mostly in a medium or high potency. Medicines are selected after a thorough anamnesis based on the patient's individual symptoms. Classical homeopaths treat both acute illnesses and chronic ailments ( constitutional treatment ).

See also: Association of Classical Homeopaths in Germany

Scientific-critical homeopathy

Scientific-critical homeopathy is a branch of homeopathy that uses homeopathic medicines as a supplement to evidence-based medical treatment . Frequently low potencies up to D12 are used, in which there is still a detectable remainder of the medicinal substance. Treatment with high potencies is rejected. Medicines are also not prescribed according to the patient's overall symptom picture, which is often very complex, but rather according to the pathology (illness). This particularly makes it easier to find the right drug because, for example, for a cold, only a few remedies have to be selected from a list. However, this approach contradicts Hahnemann's teaching, who in his Organon opposed the mixing of homeopathy with non-homeopathic treatment methods and denounced them as treason:

"§ 52: There are only two main types of curation: the one which bases all its actions only on exact observation of nature, on careful experiments and pure experience, the homeopathic one (never used carefully before me), and a second one which does not do, the (heteropathic, or) alloeopathic . Each stands in direct opposition to the other and only those who do not know both can indulge in the delusion that they could ever approach each other or even allow themselves to be united, can even make themselves so ridiculous, if the patients please, sometimes homeopathically, sometimes alloeopathically to proceed in his cures; this is to be called criminal betrayal of divine homeopathy! "

Important representatives of this homeopathic direction were Moritz Müller, Ludwig Grießelich, Friedrich Rummel, Franz Hartmann, Otto Leeser , Alfons Stiegele (1871–1956), Julius Mezger and Fritz Donner . Although they had their own magazine with Hygea , Rummel and Hartmann were also active in the editing of the Allgemeine Homöopathische Zeitung .

Complex remedies homeopathy

The use of “ complex agents ” is also widespread , i. H. a mixture of different agents, which is put together for a certain disease according to organotropic aspects or clinical indications. They contain individual substances in very different doses, which are supposed to increase their effectiveness. The evangelical clergyman Emanuel Felke is considered to be the founder of complex homeopathy. Therapy with complex remedies also contradicts the essence of original homeopathy. Hahnemann writes in his Organon :

"§ 273: In no case of healing is it necessary, and for that reason alone inadmissible, to use more than a single, simple medicinal substance at once on the patient. It cannot be seen how it can be subject to the slightest doubt as to whether it is more natural and sensible to prescribe only a single, simple, well-known medicinal substance at a time for a disease, or a mixture of several, different ones. In the only true and simple, the only natural healing art, in homeopathy, it is absolutely forbidden to give the patient two different medicinal substances at once. "

Besides Emanuel Felke, the Italian Cesare Mattei and the Swiss Emil Bürgi were well-known representatives of this direction.

Animal homeopathy

The first publication on the subject of animal homeopathy comes from the court pharmacist Donauer in 1815. Hahnemann himself took the position in 1829 that "... animals ... are just as safe and certain as humans can be cured". However, he did not take his own steps towards the development of animal homeopathy. At the beginning of the 20th century this lost its importance until the 1930s. The most important influence on its renewed distribution had in the post-war period Hans Wolter.

Homeopathy supporters claim that there are treatment successes in animals and that these could not be explained by placebo effects, since animals could not "believe" in the effectiveness of homeopathic drugs. However, placebo-like effects have been demonstrated in animals , which can be explained , for example, by classic conditioning or caring treatment. Furthermore, the opinion of the animal keepers on the type of treatment influences their assessment of the success of the treatment. These effects are also used by animal homeopaths.

In 1837, JCL Genzke published a textbook on homeopathic medicine for veterinarians , in which it reported on 67 drug provings on dogs , horses and cattle . The selection of drugs in animal homeopathy, however, is based on drug images (AMB), which are predominantly of human homeopathic origin. The transferability of AMB from humans to animals is justified by the fact that there is nothing in animals that is not latent or homologous in humans as an organ, behavioral pattern or basic form of a pathology.

The EU organic regulation for animal production in organic agriculture , which has been in force since January 1, 2009 , requires that animal diseases should be treated immediately. "[...] chemical-synthetic allopathic veterinary medicinal products including antibiotics [...] may, if necessary, be used under strict conditions if treatment with phytotherapeutic , homeopathic and other products is unsuitable."

There are no major meta-analyzes to assess the effectiveness of homeopathy in veterinary medicine . The few methodologically well-designed clinical studies that have been carried out to date have shown no medical effectiveness of veterinary homeopathy.

Homeopathics in pharmaceutical law

Homeopathic medicinal products are not examined through drug studies according to the German Medicines Act . The expected effectiveness is also not checked; instead, a homeopathic drug test is carried out, in which an examiner uses "self-observation" to ascertain whether and which symptoms he is experiencing from the homeopathic remedy. The examiner is referred to as a test subject in the homeopathic sense . This procedure does not meet the scientific quality and objectivity criteria necessary for drug studies.

Since Directive 2001/83, European legislation provides for a separate approval procedure for homeopathic medicinal products that does not require scientific tests. In the amendment to this directive (2004/27), this simplified approval procedure is mandatory for all member states. The guideline requires the imprint "Homeopathic medicinal product without approved therapeutic indications".


Choice of remedy

Homeopathic globules , consisting mostly of sucrose or xylitol

The basis for the choice of a homeopathic remedy is, on the one hand, the anamnesis and, on the other hand, knowledge of the effects and symptoms that a medicine can trigger in a healthy person in the opinion of the homeopath. In order to gain this knowledge, drug provings are carried out.

Drug teachings and repertories serve as aids . In drug teaching, the remedies are described with all the symptoms allegedly observed during drug testing. Repertories are hierarchically structured according to symptoms and list all means for which the respective symptom should have been observed. The value of a remedy (monovalent to four-valued) gives an indication of how effective the remedy is in curing this symptom. A remedy was only given a high value in the repertory if it had produced this symptom in the drug testing in a large number of healthy subjects and if there were many reports of cures in cases with this symptom.

There is no clear statistical definition for such a “high number”. That is why modern repertories also contain labels for tried and tested remedies that are based on the experience of individual homeopaths with a high reputation. For example, the Künzli points are cited by many authors.


Potentized remedies are available in the form of alcoholic solutions, tablets and globules (sugar globules impregnated with a homeopathic solution). When taking solutions, some homeopaths recommend avoiding the use of a metal spoon, as this could influence the supposed "memory properties" of the liquid. Instead, a wooden or plastic spoon can be used. Hahnemann also assumed that the use or smell of various substances could impair the effectiveness of some homeopathic remedies.

In the opinion of homeopaths, homeopathic remedies should be dripped under the tongue or dissolved under the tongue and left in the mouth for about a minute in order to improve the absorption of the sugar through the oral mucosa. The best result should be achieved if the homeopathic medicines are taken immediately after the first symptoms appear. Homeopathic high potencies are said to be particularly effective, which is why homeopaths demand that these are always prescribed by an experienced homeopath and that the course is observed.


Depending on the active ingredient and carrier substance, there may be circumstances that speak against the administration of a certain homeopathic remedy. For example, dry alcoholics should not take alcoholic solutions, as these can trigger a relapse. Also, allergies or intolerances constituents of the composition, such as honey bee as a low potency in bee venom allergy, absorption may preclude it.

As a relative contraindication are diseases that require replacement therapy, such as diabetes mellitus type 1, acute diseases requiring from vital indication or to avoid late effects a rapid, fast-acting treatment and for which there is proven therapies, such as in acute myocardial infarction at, allergic asthma or allergic shock . Organic diseases in which a life-threatening deterioration is mapped out, such as malignant diseases, should also not be treated homeopathically.

Side effects

Homeopaths see a temporary increase in symptoms as a side effect, which they call homeopathic aggravation (also called initial aggravation ). The existence of such a phenomenon has not been established.

At low potency levels (up to about 6 D), a regular adverse drug effect can occur because the average still contains significant amounts of substance. So z. B. by the use of Mercury ( mercury ), Arsenic ( As 2 O 3 ) or Nux vomica (Brechnuss), a plant strychnine - alkaloids contains poisoning caused.

An international study from 2016 came to the conclusion that side effects from homeopathy occur in a similar frequency as in evidence-based medicine . The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published 400 reports of side effects (the most common complaints were convulsions, tremors, fever, shortness of breath, and lethargy) after taking homeopathic drugs.

Homeopathic Repertory

see in more detail: Repertory (Homeopathy)

A homeopathic repertory contains a collection of symptoms and the associated remedies from various drug teachings or provings. The homeopath uses the symptoms of a patient to repertorise the most frequently occurring remedy in the repertory and can then choose the “most similar” remedy for the patient.

Hahnemann already used a handwritten finder book. The first printed repertories come from his immediate students Bönninghausen and Jahr. At the end of the 19th century, the homeopathic doctor James Tyler Kent published a very comprehensive repertory in English, which is still the most widely used work of its kind today. There are also digital repertories.

Criticism of homeopathy

Scientific evaluation

To date, there is neither a formal, reproducible proof nor an acceptable scientific justification for the effectiveness of homeopathic medicines that go beyond the placebo effect. Scientific medicine therefore rejects homeopathy as a pharmacologically ineffective, and in some cases even risky, treatment. In this regard, homeopathy is accused of not responding appropriately to these findings. There is a lack of systematicity . Homeopathy is therefore seen as a pseudoscience .

Furthermore, the basic theoretical principles of homeopathy are attacked. The “principle of similarity” (see also Magical Thinking ) was proven by Hahnemann through his self- experiment with cinchona bark . However, this is not reproducible, Hahnemann himself only showed the symptoms of an allergic reaction to cinchona bark. The second important principle of homeopathy, which says that homeopathic remedies in “potentised” form are more effective than “mother tinctures”, is considered to be refuted according to today's medical, pharmaceutical and physical knowledge, since lower concentrations of active ingredients have a lower effect.

Homeopathic medication based on the "principle of similarity" is not understandable from a scientific point of view. The arbitrariness of the principle was already criticized in Hahnemann's time. A distinction between subjective and objective symptoms is of little importance in homeopathy. While in medicine symptoms are viewed as symptoms of illness, symptoms in homeopathy are the illness itself and not the mere appearance of it. Examinations such as x-rays , ultrasound or tissue samples are not used to clarify the cause of an illness. If it is carried out consistently, for example, allergic , bacterial or viral diseases are treated equally if they show the same symptoms. In addition, the same symptoms are part of different drug pictures. The resultant multitude of matching images makes the choice of means arbitrary.

historical development

Homeopathy was already sharply criticized in the 19th century. In 1851 the British doctor Robert Mortimer Glover described it as the worst kind of quackery that ever existed and probably ever will. Karl Wilhelm Fickel, temporarily senior physician at the homeopathic college in Leipzig and author of homeopathic writings under the pseudonym Ludwig Heyne, completely turned away from homeopathy and in 1840 published his work Direct proof of the nullity of homeopathy as a healing system . He judged: “As a healing system, homeopathy is a false doctrine, in practical application an absurdity.” Carl Ernst Bock accused Hahnemann of falsification in 1855 and described homeopathy as “a fabric of delusions, ignorance and untruths”.

Lexicons also found clear words early on:

“It would lead too far to explain here the mystical system, which everywhere contradicts the experiences of chemistry, physics and pathology, which, instead of being based on observations, is based on completely unproven beliefs, especially since a faithful reproduction of the many changes that the H. learns daily would be quite impossible. [A brief description of the preparation of homeopathic remedies follows] This sample should be sufficient to show that the H. expects more of the common sense than the sick body, and it is regrettable that, for lack of criticism, the H. of many amateurs and dilettantes is operated even in cases in which timely medical help is neglected due to the trust in the sugar globules. "

- homeopathy . In: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon . 4th edition. Volume 8, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1885–1892, p. 697.

Fritz Donner , a representative of scientifically critical homeopathy, was involved in reviews of homeopathic medicines from 1936 to 1939, which had been ordered by the then Reich Health Office. The expected effectiveness could not be demonstrated. He quoted Hanns Rabe, the then 1st chairman of the German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors (DZV), with the words: “We can't do what we say!” He summarized his observations in a report for the Robert Bosch Foundation , which was first published in French in 1969, but only in German in 1995. Donner also examined homeopathic drug provings, mentioning dubious practices of the investigators. While he was working at the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart , he and some of his colleagues suspected that drug proving could have produced placebo symptoms.

In 2017, the European Academies Science Advisory Council asked the European Union and its member states not to approve homeopathic medicinal products and not to have them reimbursed by health insurers.

Current status

No proof of effectiveness

A comparative statistical analysis of more than 100 studies has shown that the effect of homeopathic medicines does not go beyond the placebo effect .

A first meta-analysis by Klaus Linde and co-workers from 1997 came to the conclusion that the entirety of the results of the studies could not be fully explained by the placebo effect and that some of the homeopathic drugs examined must therefore be effective. In further investigation, however, the authors found that lower quality studies showed better results for homeopathic treatment than studies with strict criteria. Linde therefore admitted that his conclusion at the time was not tenable and that his meta-analysis would at least have clearly overestimated the effects.

A study from 2003 that allegedly provided empirical evidence of the effectiveness of highly potent homeopathic drugs was withdrawn at the end of 2005. A research award that had been awarded to the researchers (the pharmacist Franziska Schmidt and the pharmacologists Karen Nieber and Wolfgang Süß) was returned. The chemist Klaus Keck (Konstanz), the mathematician Gerhard Bruhn and the geophysicist Erhard Wielandt had previously publicly criticized that the results of the study were based "not on objective measurements, but on measurement errors caused by prejudice and methodology". Even proponents of homeopathy have recognized and confirmed these errors.

Contrary to other studies, proponents of homeopathy insist that treatment with homeopathic medicines goes beyond the placebo effect. Often anecdotal individual cases or even self-tests are given as "evidence". Such individual cases are not scientifically relevant because a double-blind study with a control group receiving placebos would be necessary and the statistical significance of the results would have to be checked, for example using a four-field test . In principle, it cannot be determined in an individual case to what effect the recovery is due, and whether another treatment would have produced different results.

In addition, successes that have been said of homeopathy can be explained according to scientific requirements solely with methodological weaknesses and distorting influences, as emphasizes a meta-analysis on the effectiveness of homeopathic treatments, which was documented in the renowned medical journal The Lancet by Shang and colleagues in 2005 and according to the commentary the editor marks the "end of homeopathy". A Swiss-British research group compared 110 homeopathy studies with the same number of corresponding studies from conventional medicine in order to evaluate the success of treatment in various diseases. It turned out that in homeopathy the measured effects speak against the rejection of the null hypothesis , that is, homeopathy is based solely on the placebo effect. The broad-based meta-analysis also confirmed the mathematical finding that studies with a few participants and low quality tend to pretend nonexistent effects than those with a high number of participants and good quality. This meta-study was criticized in 2006 by the Austrian homeopathic advocate Friedrich Dellmour and the Swiss Association of Homeopathic Doctors, mainly with the claim that homeopathy is not suitable for scientific double-blind studies and therefore no effectiveness can be measured. In addition, the methodology of the meta-study was criticized.

The drug commission of the German medical profession pointed out in a statement that therapy facilities - including homeopathy - that do not work scientifically based, assert such peculiarities in order to evade the scientific examination of their hypotheses. Both in principle and in practice, it is possible to carry out properly planned and carried out placebo-controlled, double-blind studies. These are also carried out and there is no difference between homeopathic treatment and placebo treatment. In contrast, studies without control medication using placebos are unsuitable for demonstrating effectiveness. With the often quoted sentence “He who heals is right”, the effectiveness according to scientific principles cannot be proven.

The UK Government's 2010 report on homeopathy found that there was no credible evidence that homeopathy was effective. In 2015, a study commissioned by the Australian government came to the same conclusion.

Often, homoeopathic drugs are prescribed by doctors who do not believe in their substance's effect, but who consciously only want to use the associated placebo effect.

Lack of plausibility of the effects of homeopathic remedies

Critics of homeopathy reject an effect of homeopathic medicinal products as implausible. You can see explanations for the supposed effectiveness of a homeopathic treatment in:

When D24 or C12 are potentiated (dilution of 1:10 24 ), only about half of all mixtures made from a one-molar starting solution contain a residual molecule of the starting substance (based on 1 liter of D24 solution / mixture). Such a dilution is roughly equivalent to dissolving a headache tablet in the Atlantic. If the production of homeopathic medicines is not carried out in a germ and dust-filtered clean room, it must be assumed that in the dilution process, for example when the mixing vessel is opened and the dilution solution is added, the concentration of the active substance decreases, but impurities are added from the air. This has the effect that, apart from the carrier substance (water, ethanol or lactose), the highly potentized preparations only contain the impurities of the carrier substances (all three contain metallic impurities) and the impurities from the environment. Even the best filtration methods sometimes leave more residues in the water than there are homeopathic active ingredients in it. Thus, a substance-effect relationship cannot be reasonably investigated. In addition to the use of drug-free potentiations, from a pharmacological point of view, the claimed increase in effectiveness through potentization also means that more dilute solutions with less dissolved drug molecules should have a stronger effect. The pharmacologist Klaus Starke measures the “biological basis” both in the simile principle and in the homeopathic potentiation and assigns homeopathy to the “dogmatic medicinal therapies”. The pharmacologists Lüllmann , Mohr and Hein rate homeopathy as "a psychotherapy with great expectations from the patient and high suggestive power for the therapists". Homeopathy must be limited to patients whose disease cannot be better treated with "rational drug therapy".

Homeopaths advocate the hypothesis that an effect occurs through information “stored” in the water . In 1988 Jacques Benveniste wanted to prove this "memory effect of water" by influencing white blood cells ( leukocytes ) with highly diluted antigens . The results could not be reproduced. Further scientific evidence of an alleged information storage capacity of the water could not be confirmed either.

Internal contradictions

In Hahnemann's Organon, there were already extensive incorporations, deletions, changes to parts and contradictions in the six editions from 1810 to 1842. Different schools (see directions in homeopathy ) use different requirements as instructions for action.

Potentiation of the original substance
In some places, critics see contradictions in homeopathic theory and practice. It does not explain why only the desired properties of a particular substance increase their effect through a "potentiation" and not also the undesirable side effects or the effects and side effects of all the other trace elements, residues, etc., which are also found in alcohol or Water or in the vessel.

An example of the polluting residues in the water was calculated by scientists as a thought experiment in the wake of the Leipzig scandal in 2003 (see section " No evidence of effectiveness "): If even a single deadly nightshade falls into a stream whose water leads to the Leipzig drinking water supply ( 34 million m³ annual consumption), then this would lead to an atropine concentration in the drinking / service water of D17. This means that it is methodologically not at all possible to produce larger atropine dilutions than D17, because the homeopathic remedy is already made with D17 atropine water. Even the purest distilled water that can be produced in the world still contains some molecules of almost all of the more common elements and numerous chemical compounds as impurities. Since, in purely mathematical terms, there shouldn't be any molecules of the starting substance in highly potentized homeopathic drugs, this concentration of impurities in the finished drug is in any case higher than that of the homeopathic drug, because such impurities get into the solution through the air with each potentiation. The initial impurities are of course also "potentiated" during potentization, just like the homeopathic, so that the impurities in the finished drug are not only present as renewed environmental pollution, but also in a highly potentized form (higher potent than the active substance itself). Every homeopathic is in truth a colorful mixture of more or less high potencies of different substances, among which the supposed active substance can no longer play a prominent role. In the opinion of the scientists, this fact reduces a central principle of homeopathy to absurdity.

Cure the Disease or Symptoms?
Many homeopaths argue that conventional medicine does not cure diseases, but only suppresses symptoms, while homeopathy combats the cause of the suffering.

According to Hahnemann, however, a disease can only be recognized by its symptoms, which is reflected in the practice of homeopathic anamnesis and prescription according to the symptoms.

This can be seen very clearly in Hahnemann's own writings - for example Organon der Heilkunst :

[...] but only the totality of the symptoms is facing the healer side of the disease, only this can be perceived him and the only thing he can know of the disease and to know needs to medicinal Behufe .

Successful treatment of the symptoms is equivalent to curing the actual disease:

It cannot be thought, even by no experience in the world, that after all symptoms of illness […] something other than health would remain or could remain so that the pathological change inside would have remained undiminished.

Critics see in the argument that the disappearance of symptoms in conventional medical treatment is seen as suppression, in homeopathic treatment as a cure, a measurement with two different standards.

Ethical evaluation

From a utilitarian point of view, it is emphasized that a placebo effect can also be beneficial for patients and there are also examples in conventional medicine where the placebo effect is used specifically. The mere fact that homeopathy is only based on a possible placebo effect is therefore not cited as a point of criticism per se. What is criticized, however, is the fact that false claims would be made to the patient and that they would be robbed of their autonomy if homeopathy was ascribed a real physiological effectiveness. From an ethical point of view this is called unacceptable. Another point of criticism is that homeopathy is used for many diseases instead of drugs that work better. When asked whether homeopathy should be financed by state health systems , for example, a waste of public resources and the weakening of the position of scientific medicine are criticized from an ethical perspective.

Economic evaluation

According to a study published in 2017 on anonymized billing data by Techniker Krankenkasse , patients who (additionally) use homeopathic remedies caused higher costs to society than patients treated with conventional (evidence-based) therapies in a comparison period of 33 months. A major factor was the loss of productivity due to additional sick days.

Sociological evaluation

An article published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in August 2019 was devoted to the causes of the success of homeopathy from a sociological point of view. The explanations of the Hamburg social and economic scientist Marcel Schütz boil down to two more recent justifications: On the one hand, homeopathy imitates classical practices and forms of familiar medicine. The products were given the look of real pharmaceutical preparations even in their presentation and administration (sometimes provided with exaggerated safety instructions). This will achieve an equal level of meaning. On the other hand, according to the analysis, the active participation of the patient stabilizes the recognition of homeopathy. Ultimately, the role of the healing person is also strengthened through the doctor-patient interaction. The fact that classical medicine now also offers homeopathic services in general practitioners' practice is explained by Schütz by the fact that doctors focus on successful care and the perception of success in the patient; specifically in particular for those patients who cannot or can no longer be reached using conventional measures. It says: “A patient who can no longer be competently convinced does not have to be lost. He can participate in the doctor's expert status (the doctor works because he is active) by receiving the care (in the truest sense: tranquilizers) that he wants. This medical defensive is conducive to the social suppleness of the treatment. ”However, it is critically noted that precisely this attempt by the doctor to secure his expert role or authority over alternative approaches, then even more contributes to the“ dilution ”of medicine and, in this respect, the medical status and limit his competence. "In conclusion," says the author, "it comes down to a paradoxical double imitation of competence: conventional medicine imitates homeopathy in the same way that conventional medicine imitates it".

Public discourse

Critics of homeopathy were in some cases "pilloried" by name and corresponding publications were financially supported. British scientist Edzard Ernst was severely attacked in 2005 after he publicly described a report on alternative medicine as "scandalous and full of errors". After a 13-month investigation, however, no wrongdoing could be proven.

Various media repeatedly deal critically with homeopathy. This discourse is largely promoted by the Homeopathy Information Network , founded in 2016 , an association of homeopathy critics from German-speaking countries, to which Edzard Ernst , Rudolf Happle , Norbert Aust, Natalie Grams and Christian Weymayr belong. Even in the social media ensued since 2017, among others, under the from Weilheim doctor Christian Lübbers embossed hashtag #Globukalypse an intense debate about cash refund, pharmacies duty and the drug status of homeopathic preparations. This intensified when the pharmaceutical manufacturer Hevert took legal action against prominent homeopathic critics in May 2019 , which also met with fierce criticism on social media. The company demanded, for example from the doctor and author Natalie Grams, to refrain from claiming that homeopathy “does not work beyond the placebo effect”.

In a 2017 statement, EASAC warned that the application of homeopathic treatment methods could weaken patient and public confidence in scientific knowledge. The advertising of such products must therefore be regulated; no unproven statements about the effectiveness should be allowed to be made.

In May 2017, the case of a seven-year-old from Cagli, Italy, who died of an otitis media, was widely discussed in the international media. For a long time, the child's disease was only treated homeopathically, so that antibiotic therapy after admission to a clinic could no longer save the patient's life. The local public prosecutor's office investigated both the homeopath and the parents. The Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors in Germany expressed its dismay and spoke in a statement of a "malpractice". The then chairman Cornelia Bajic stated "In this case, not using antibiotics seems to be a clear failure to provide help and not compatible with the medical self-image." The information network homeopathy criticized this. It is not an isolated case, but the "tip of the iceberg". The “potential systemic risk potential contained in every ineffective 'alternative' therapy would have manifested itself in a particularly tragic way”, since in cases like this, the necessary conventional treatments were omitted in the belief in the effectiveness of homeopathy.

In 2018 the pharmacist Iris Hundertmark caused a sensation nationally and internationally. She decided to ban homeopathics from her pharmacy as far as this was permissible, thus sparking an intense discussion about how to use homeopathy in pharmacies.

At the beginning of November 2019, the Bavarian State Parliament passed an application for a study to investigate how the use of antibiotics could be reduced. One possible measure relates to the use of homeopathic remedies. The decision was criticized by large parts of the opposition. The FDP politician Dominik Spitzer considers the project to be "negligent because the question it poses suggests that homeopathic remedies such as globules could fight multi-resistant germs ".

After it was decided in both Australia and France to withdraw from the reimbursement of homeopathic remedies due to a lack of effectiveness, the discussion about the practice of reimbursement there also intensified in Switzerland. A review of compliance with the so-called WZW criteria (effectiveness, appropriateness and economic viability), which are the prerequisite for reimbursement , has not yet been attempted by the health insurance companies, the medical associations or the patient organizations.

In Austria, homeopathy is not reimbursed by health insurance companies. The public discourse here is primarily concerned with an obligation to provide information and / or labeling for homeopathic preparations, or a sales ban in pharmacies, as for example the patient advocate Sigrid Pilz demands.

In a position paper published in May 2020, the Federal Representation of Medical Students in Germany (bvdm) called for the end of the special status of homeopathic medicinal products in the Medicines Act, the abolition of the pharmacy obligation for these products and the deletion of homeopathy from the range of services offered by the statutory health insurance. Furthermore, as part of the medical training and further education, a critical examination of the topic should take place on a scientific basis. In addition, the bvmd demanded that homeopathy and naturopathy should be clearly separated from each other in advertising and media presentation.

Risks of homeopathy

Possible poisoning and allergic reactions

Low -potency homeopathics can be problematic from a pharmacological and toxicological point of view. Inadequately diluted homeopathic remedies, from “mother tinctures” to “potencies” of “D4”, can contain active ingredients and lead to allergic reactions . Symptoms of poisoning were also observed here, which can be traced back to preparations containing arsenic , cadmium , mercury , iron , aconitin , kerosene or thallium . The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued repeated warnings, most recently in September 2016, of so-called Teething Tablets and Teething Gels . These are supposedly homeopathic preparations that are made from black deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and are intended to make teething pain bearable in small children . Since its 2010 warning, the agency has received more than 400 reports of atropine poisoning following the use of such products, including 10 deaths. Laboratory tests found belladonna concentrations in various products in the Teething Tablets that were well above the declared content. To protect consumers, the manufacturer was asked to recall the affected products.

Failure to use effective therapies

Not receiving normal medical care in acute emergencies can be life-threatening if the use of an effective therapy is delayed. An extreme example is the suggestion by a homeopath for the indication "heart stops beating" to give the homeopathic remedy aconite alone in potency C30 or C200. Aconitum (blue monkshood) would cause cardiac symptoms or even cardiac death in a drug test, so this medicine makes sense according to homeopathic reason for cardiac arrest. Since the increased occurrence of symptoms is understood as part of the healing process under the term initial aggravation , important emergency treatments could be missed or carried out too late. Conventional therapy must not be replaced by homeopathic treatment.

According to an article in the British Medical Journal in 2009, the WHO warns against homeopathic treatment for certain serious illnesses such as infections with HIV , tuberculosis and malaria, as well as diarrhea or the flu in children . This warning was in response to concerns expressed by a group of young doctors and researchers that the use of homeopathy for these five diseases in developing countries would be life-threatening. In 2014 homeopathic doctors wanted to test Ebola therapy in Liberia, but this was prohibited by local authorities.

In a statement, EASAC regards homeopathy as harmful if it negates or delays evidence-based medical care.

Not only when used as an alternative medicine, but also as a complementary dose to conventional therapy, homeopathy can negatively affect the course of therapy: In a study published in JAMA Oncology , it was found that cancer patients who undergo conventional cancer therapy and additionally complementary Using medicine such as homeopathy are more inclined to refrain from or delay individual measures of conventional therapy compared to patients who do not use complementary medicine. As a result, the survival rate was lower in the former group. If the factor of delay or failure to treat therapy is calculated, there are no longer any statistically significant differences in the survival rate. The authors of the study therefore recommend medical professionals to inform patients early on of the risks of a threat delay.

Failure to vaccinate

Opponents of vaccinations often reject vaccinations with reference to homeopathy. Hahnemann himself, however, was impressed by the vaccination in the Organon der Heilkunst and cited it as an indication of the existence of the simile principle and an example of how it works. German doctors working in homeopathy with additional training in homeopathy vaccinate less frequently than non-homeopaths, but do not generally reject vaccination. Vaccinations against childhood diseases , for risk groups and vaccinations judged to be ineffective are less accepted and used by homeopathic doctors. Various homeopathic specialist societies are critical of vaccinations, but generally consider them to be sensible. Reasons for the more cautious behavior with some vaccinations, such as against measles , mumps , chickenpox and whooping cough , is also the positive assessment of a possible homeopathic alternative treatment.

Occasionally homeopaths also offer “homeopathic vaccinations” (oral administration of disease products, “ nosodes ”, in potency ) or “homeopathic malaria prophylaxis ”. Such offers are officially rejected by the umbrella organizations. The German Central Association of Homeopathic Doctors (DZVhÄ), for example, writes: "No homeopathic remedy is able to provoke a demonstrable immunization". On the other hand, the same association holds out the prospect of the - scientifically unproven - possibility of “homeopathic prevention” as well as homeopathic therapy “as treatment alternatives”.

Representation in fiction

Edward Bulwer-Lytton described in his novel My Novel from 1853 extensively and sometimes humorously a homeopath.

The adventure novelist Karl May , popular in the 20th century, describes in his travel story Through the Desert and Harem , which was renamed Through the Desert in 1895 , that in Cairo , as his alter ego Kara Ben Nemsi , a “half-full homeopathic pharmacy from Willmar Schwabe came into hand ”. He describes how, with a "box with aconite, sulfur, pulsatilla and all the remedies that are to be had in a pharmacy of a hundred numbers, [...] here and there with a stranger or acquaintance five grains of the thirtieth potency" used successfully and thus gained the reputation of a successful doctor.

Museums, permanent exhibitions, specialist library

In Köthen there is the Hahnemannhaus at Wallstrasse 47 (with a memorial plaque) and at Wallstrasse 48 the European specialist library on homeopathy as well as a permanent exhibition on homeopathy in the historical museum in the castle. In Hahnemann's native town Meißen, the Hahnemannzentrum e. V. Numerous pharmacy museums show (also) homeopathic remedies.


Writings by Samuel Hahnemann

  • Samuel Hahnemann : The effects of coffee. EF Steinacker Verlag, Leipzig 1803. ( limited preview in Google book search)
  • Samuel Hahnemann: Fragmenta de viribus medicamentorum positivis sive in sano corpore humano observatis . Barthius, Leipzig 1805. ( Digitized in the Google book search)
  • Samuel Hahnemann: Organon of rational medicine. 1st edition. Arnoldische Buchhandlung, Dresden 1810.
    Organon der Heilkunst . Narayana Verlag, Kandern 2004, ISBN 3-921383-80-3
    6th edition 1842 online at Zeno.org
  • Samuel Hahnemann: Pure drug theory. Part 1-6. Leipzig 1811-1821. ( online at Zeno.org) (New edition: Karl F. Haug Fachbuchverlag, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-8304-0263-5 )
  • Samuel Hahnemann: The chronic diseases. Their peculiar nature and homeopathic healing. Part 1–5., First edition. Leipzig 1828-1830. ( online at Zeno.org) (New edition: Karl F. Haug Fachbuchverlag, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-8304-0264-3 )

Materia medica and repertories

  • Timothy Field Allen: The Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica, 10 volumes. Reprint. New Delhi 1995. (originally: 1874–1879)
  • Richard Hughes, Jabez P. Dake: A Cyclopedia of Drug Pathogenesy, 4 volumes. Reprint. New Delhi 1979. (originally: 1884-1891)
  • James Tyler Kent : Repertory of the homoeopathic materia medica. Lancaster 1897. (Reprints of the 6th edition: Jain Publishers, New Delhi 1970, ISBN 81-7021-153-0 )
  • William Boericke : Homeopathic Remedies and Their Effects - Materia Medica and Repertory. 1st, German-language edition. Publishing House Basics and Practice, Scientific Authors Publishing House, Leer 1972. (8th edition. 2004, ISBN 3-937268-08-1 )
  • Martin Schlegel: Stauffer's Homeopathic Pocket Book, Brief Therapy and Drug Theory for Use in Medical Practice , Karl F. Haug Verlag , Ulm / Donau 1959
  • Clemens Maria Franz von Bönninghausen : Systematic-alphabetical repertory of homeopathic remedies. Coppenrath, 1833
  • Alexander Gothe, Julia Drinnenberg: Homeopathic Leading Images: Learning with Cartoons. Haug, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-8304-7208-0 .

Secondary literature

  • Georg Bayr: Hahnemann's self-experiment with cinchona bark 1790. The conception of homeopathy. Haug, Heidelberg 1989, ISBN 3-8304-0210-4 .
  • Tilman Borghardt: Homeopathy in India. (= Dissertations ). Barthel & Barthel Verlag, Berg 1990, ISBN 3-88950-050-1 .
  • Gudrun Bornhöft, Peter F. Matthiessen: Homeopathy in patient care. Effectiveness, benefit, safety and economy. Vas-Verlag for Academic Writings 2006, ISBN 3-88864-419-4 .
  • Anthony Campbell: Homeopathy in Perspective: Myth and Reality. 2004. PDF (552 KB) ( Memento from July 16, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  • Martin Dinges (Hrsg.): World history of homeopathy: countries, schools, healers. Beck, Munich 1996.
  • Martin Dinges: Homeopathy: Patients, Healers, Institutions; From the beginnings till now. Haug, Heidelberg 1996.
  • Martin Dinges: Homeopathy is conquering the world. In: European History Online . ed. from the Institute for European History (Mainz) , 2012, accessed on: June 13, 2012.
  • Natalie Grams : Homeopathy rethought. Springer Spectrum, Berlin / Heidelberg, 2015, ISBN 978-3-662-45336-0 .
  • Sigrid Heinze (Ed.): Homeopathy 1796–1996: a medicine and its history. Catalog for the exhibition of the German Hygiene Museum Dresden from May 17 to October 20, 1996. Berlin 1996.
  • Wolfgang H. Hopff: Homeopathy viewed critically. Thieme, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-13-765401-7 .
  • Robert Jütte : Samuel Hahnemann. Founder of homeopathy. dtv - Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-423-24447-X .
  • Robert Jütte: History of Alternative Medicine. From folk medicine to today's unconventional therapies. CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-40495-2 , pp. 23-27, 32-36, 45-50, 64 f., 179-224, 237 f., 287 f., 301-306, 313 and 325-327.
  • Martin Lambeck : Are physics wrong? About alternative medicine and esotericism. Verlag CH Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-49469-2 , p. 50ff.
  • Otto Prokop : Homeopathy. What is it really doing? Ullstein Taschenbuch, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-548-35521-8 .
  • Josef M. Schmidt: Pocket atlas of homeopathy in words and pictures. Basics, methodology, history. Haug, Heidelberg 2001.
  • Martin Schmitz (Hrsg.): Currents of Homeopathy: Concepts - Teachers - Dissemination. Forum Homeopathy, KVC Verlag Essen, 2nd edition. 2002.
  • Fritz D. Schroers: Lexicon of German-speaking homeopaths . Karl F. Hauck Verlag, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-8304-7254-4 .
  • Michael Shermer , Lee Traynor: promise of healing. Alternative medicine between trial and error. Alibri Verlag Gunnar Schedel, Aschaffenburg 2004, ISBN 3-932710-86-X .
  • Rudolf Tischner : History of Homeopathy in Four Parts, Leipzig 1932–1939. (Facsimile reprint: Springer, Vienna 1998)
  • Rudolf Tischner: The Development of Homeopathy. History of homeopathy from ancient times to modern times. New edition of the 1950 edition. Sonntag, Stuttgart 2001.
  • Christian Weymayr , Nicole Heissmann: The homeopathy lie. That is how dangerous the doctrine of white globules is . Piper, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-492-05536-9 .
  • Matthias Wischner: A short history of homeopathy. Forum Homeopathy, KVC Verlag, Essen 2004, ISBN 3-933351-41-3 .
  • Rainer Wolf, Jürgen Windeler: Successes of homeopathy - just a placebo effect? In: Regiomontanusbote. 4, 1997. online

Scientific meta-studies and systematic reviews on effectiveness

  • Katherine Hunt, Edzard Ernst : The evidence-base for complementary medicine in children: a critical overview of systematic reviews. In: Archives of Disease in Childhood . Volume 96, number 8, August 2011, pp. 769-776, doi: 10.1136 / adc.2009.179036 . PMID 20605859 (Review).
  • Aijing Shang, Karin Huwiler-Müntener, Linda Nartey, Peter Jüni, Stephan Dörig, Jonathan AC Sterne, Daniel Pewsner, Matthias Egger: Are the Clinical Effects of Homoeopathy Placebo Effects? Comparative Study of Placebo-Controlled Trials of Homeopathy and Allopathy. In: The Lancet . 366, 2005, pp. 726-732. PMID 16125589 online ( Memento from September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF document; 604 kB). see. also the German-language summary in Wissenschaft-Online in August 2005
  • WB Jonas, TJ Kaptchuk, K. Linde: A critical overview of homeopathy. In: Annals of internal medicine . Volume 138, Number 5, March 2003, pp. 393-399. PMID 12614092 (Review).
  • Edzard Ernst: A systematic review of systematic reviews of homeopathy. In: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology . 54, 2002, pp. 577-582. PMID 12492603 , PMC 1874503 (free full text), doi: 10.1046 / j.1365-2125.2002.01699.x .
  • K. Linde, N. Clausius, G. Ramirez, D. Melchart, F. Eitel, LV Hedges, WB Jonas: Are the clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. In: Lancet (London, England). 350, 9081, September 20, 1997, pp. 834-843. PMID 9310601
  • Robert T. Mathie, Suzanne M. Lloyd, Lynn A. Legg, Jürgen Clausen, Sian Moss, Jonathan RT Davidson, Ian Ford: Randomized placebo-controlled trials of individualized homeopathic treatment: systematic review and meta-analysis. In: Systematic Reviews. vol. 3, 2014, pp. 142–157. doi: 10.1186 / 2046-4053-3-142 .

Web links

Commons : Homeopathy  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Homeopathy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Source texts

About homeopathy

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wilhelm Gemoll : Greek-German school and hand dictionary . G. Freytag Verlag / Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, Munich / Vienna 1965.
  2. ^ Robert Jütte: History of Alternative Medicine. From folk medicine to today's unconventional therapies. CH Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN = 3-406-40495-2, pp. 23-27 ( “Homeopathy” versus “Allopathy” (1810-1850) ).
  3. Samuel Hahnemann: Organon der Heilkunst . 6th edition. § 5 .
  4. ^ Forum on the topic of globules: "Homeopathy can be life-threatening". Retrieved March 11, 2020 .
  5. Quotation from: Samuel Hahnemann: Organon der Heilkunst. 6th edition. § 20
  6. Samuel Hahnemann: Organon der Heilkunst. 6th edition. Section 269 .
  7. Samuel Hahnemann: Organon der Heilkunst. 6th edition. Section 270 .
  8. Information - Homeopathy is a big mistake. Promed e. V. Association against Unfair Practices in Health Care, archived from the original on October 22, 2007 ; Retrieved February 21, 2010 .
  9. James Ladyman: Chapter 3: Towards a Demarcation of Science from Pseudoscience. In: M. Pigliucci, M. Boudry: Philosophy of Pseudoscience. Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-05196-3 , pp. 48-49.
  10. Raimo Tuomela: Chapter 4: Science, Protoscience, and Pseudoscience. In: Joseph C. Pitt, Marcello Pera: Rational Changes in Science: Essays on Scientific Reasoning . (= Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science. 98). Springer, 1987, pp. 83-101.
  11. ^ Paul Hoyningen-Huene : At the example of homeopathy: To differentiate between science and pseudoscience. In: Gyn-active. No. 6, 2016, p. 13 ( online, registration required ).
  12. a b Otto Prokop: Homeopathy. What is it really doing? Ullstein Taschenbuch, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-548-35521-8 , pp. 28 .
  13. ^ We conclude that the principle of like-cures-like is theoretically weak. It fails to provide a credible physiological mode of action for homeopathic products. House of Commons: Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy. February 22, 2010 ( PDF file ), p. 16.
  14. ^ A b Björn Lemmer , Kay Brune: Pharmacotherapy: Clinical Pharmacology. Springer, 2006, ISBN 3-540-34180-3 , p. 19 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  15. ↑ Summarizing study by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council on the empirical evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy from March 2015: https://nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/evidence-effectiveness-homeopathy-treating- health conditions viewed October 19, 2018.
  16. Celine Müller: Cochrane Review: Homeopathy shows no benefit . In: DAZ.online . April 23, 2018 ( deutsche-apotheker-zeitung.de [accessed April 30, 2018]).
  17. ^ Homeopathic products and practices. EASAC , July 17, 2019, accessed on July 19, 2019 .
  18. a b Marburg Declaration on Homeopathy , Department of Human Medicine of the Philipps University of Marburg : Marburg Declaration: Homeopathy as “heresy” and deceiving the patient. In: Deutsche Apothekerzeitung. No. 11, 1993 ( PDF ; 50 kB).
  19. Aijing Shang, Karin Huwiler-Müntener, Linda Nartey, Peter Jüni, Stephan Dörig, Jonathan AC star, Daniel Pewsner, Matthias Egger: Are the clinical effects of homeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy. In: The Lancet . Volume 366, 2005, p. 731, PMID 16125589 .
  20. a b Sarah Brien, Laurie Lachance, Phil Prescott, Clare McDermott, George Lewith: Homeopathy has clinical benefits in rheumatoid arthritis patients that are attributable to the consultation process but not the homeopathic remedy: a randomized controlled clinical trial. In: Rheumatology. 49, 2010, doi: 10.1093 / rheumatology / keq234 .
  21. Steffen de Sombre: Awareness, use and image of homeopathic medicines. Results of a population representative survey; Institute for Demoscopy Allensbach, Bonn 2009.
  22. The pharmaceutical market in Germany in figures for 2015. According to the Federal Association of Drug Manufacturers
  23. First half of 2017: Homeopathy sales in pharmacies are declining , Deutsche Apothekenzeitung, October 12, 2017.
  24. Sales of homeopathic medicinal products increased. In: aerzteblatt.de. October 26, 2018.
  25. a b c Jan Geissler, Thomas Quak: Guide to Homeopathy . Elsevier, Urban & Fischer Verlag, 2005, ISBN 3-437-56351-3 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  26. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Homeopathy - A medicine and its history. Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Stiftung , Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-00-018349-3 .
  27. Samuel Hahnemann: Attempt on a new principle for finding the healing powers of medicinal substances, along with some glimpses of the previous ones. In: Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (Hrsg.): Journal der practical Arzneykunde and Wundarzneykunst. Second volume, 1796.
  28. ^ Bernhard Dietrich Haage: "curatio aut ex contrariis, aut ex similibus" (Isidor, Etymorien, IV, IX, 5). To 'Parzival' 489.22-490.30. In: Martin Ehrenfeuchter, Thomas Ehlen (ed.): "As that knowing the meister wol". Contribution to the presentation and communication of knowledge in specialist literature and poetry of the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Walter Blank on his 65th birthday. Frankfurt am Main 2000, pp. 163-168.
  29. Annemarie Maier: The similarity thought before Hahnemann. Medical dissertation Freiburg im Breisgau 1944.
  30. ^ A b Robert Jütte: History of Alternative Medicine. From folk medicine to today's unconventional therapies . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-40495-2 , p. 180.
  31. Matthias Dorcsi: Homeopathy Today . Rowohlt Taschenbuch, Reinbek 1996.
  32. a b c Robert Jütte: Simile principle. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , p. 1332 f.
  33. Georg Bayr: Hahnemanns self-experiment with the cinchona bark 1790. The conception of homeopathy. Haug, Heidelberg 1989, ISBN 3-8304-0210-4 .
  34. ^ Organon of the healing arts . 6th edition. ( homeoint.org [accessed March 18, 2010]).
  35. a b Krista Federspiel, Vera Herbst: Stiftung Warentest . The other medicine. Benefits and risks of gentle healing methods. Stiftung Warentest, 2006, ISBN 3-937880-35-6 .
  36. a b c d Rainer Wolf: Homeopathy. In: Naturwissenschaftliche Rundschau. No. 8, Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, Stuttgart 2006, SS 457–458 ( full text ( memento from July 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) PDF document; 68 kB).
  37. Jütte, In: Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. 1996; Bayr 1989.
  38. a b c A reaction similar to Hahnemann's symptoms is described in various case reports as a hypersensitivity reaction to prophylactic quinine doses (for some examples: Bayr 1989). However, it seems to be rare.
  39. Christoph Trapp: Understanding homeopathy better: What it is. How it works. Where she helps. Georg Thieme Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-8304-2096-X ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  40. ^ Kurt-Hermann Illing: Homeopathy for Beginners . Georg Thieme Verlag, 1992, ISBN 3-7760-1309-5 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  41. In Germany, for example, recommendations by Commission D of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices on the planning and implementation of homeopathic drug tests (PDF) ; 108 kB
  42. ^ Samuel Hahnemann: Fragmenta de viribus medicamentorum positivis sive in sano corpore humano observatis. 1805. (New edition: BiblioBazaar, LLC 2009, ISBN 978-1-103-22585-9 )
  43. Samuel Hahnemann - A short biography about his life and work. P. 10. ( online ; PDF document; 573 kB)
  44. Samuel Hahnemann: Organon der Heilkunst. 6th edition. § 138 : "All complaints, coincidences and changes in the condition of the test person during the duration of the effect of a drug [...] arise only from this drug and must be viewed and recorded as peculiar to it, as their symptoms; assuming that the person would also have perceived similar coincidences in himself a long time ago. "
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This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on July 2, 2019 .