Johann Gottfried Rademacher

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Johann Gottfried Rademacher
Portrait bust in Goch

Johann Gottfried Rademacher (born August 4, 1772 in Hamm in the county of Mark , † February 9, 1850 in Goch ) was a German doctor , medical author and creator of his own healing system.


Johann Gottfried Rademacher was born in Hamm in the county of Mark in 1772 . His father held the office of court director. His mother was the daughter of a pharmacist who had served the King of England.

At the age of eighteen, Rademacher began studying medicine in Jena . His most important teacher there was Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland . In 1794 he received his doctorate with a dissertation on rheumatism and gout . He then moved to the University of Berlin for further studies and passed the state examination there. Rademacher then practiced for a short time in Kleve , before finally settling in Goch . There he held the office of city ​​physician , who was also responsible for the urban poor practice and the medical care of the orphanage . As a busy doctor (and for decades the only one in Goch and the surrounding area), he worked there continuously for 53 years.

In 1798 Rademacher married his brother's educated widow. In 1844, on the occasion of his fiftieth doctoral jubilee, he was able to receive many honors, including the Order of the Red Eagle, IV class. Five years later he had to give up his practice for health reasons and died the following year at the age of seventy-eight at his place of residence.


Based on the Paracelsian medicine and the drug knowledge of this old tradition, Johann Gottfried Rademacher developed his own medical treatment concept in his extensive and varied practice, which he called empirical healing theory and which differs conceptually and in the therapeutic procedure considerably from the usual medical thinking and acting of his time.

This empirical teaching essentially includes the following:

  • There is no theoretical structure by means of which perceptions could be used to infer causally defined disease categories, which in turn would guide the treatment.
  • Basically nothing can be said about the genesis and nature of a disease, but its description and classification is exclusively and directly based on practical aspects.
  • Reliable knowledge of various diseases is only gained through their relationship to remedies , from the action of specific medicines.
  • So he follows a purely phenomenological approach, orienting himself to the sensually recognizable not only as the first step in a chain of thoughts, but as the only relevant quantity.
  • Finding the right drug for each individual disease is only done empirically, through trial and error. He uses it to conduct natural research in the literal and narrower sense.
  • Pharmacologically differentiated Rademacher:
(1.) Universal medicinal products - these are those that can eliminate most forms of disease. They are of mineral origin, such as copper , iron and cubes of saltpeter .
(2.) Organ medicinal products - these are used to denote those whose medicinal effect is limited to a single organ . They are of vegetable origin.
  • Practical-therapeutic is divided accordingly and further into z. B.
(1.1.) Copper diseases ,
(1.2.) Iron diseases ,
(1.3.) Salpetre diseases, etc .;
or with suffering z. B. the liver in
(2.1.1.) Celandine diseases ,
(2.1.2.) Female thistle diseases ,
(2.1.3.) Quassia diseases ,
(2.1.4.) Turpentine diseases etc.


After many years of gathering experience, Rademacher published his teaching in his large textbook (see writings ). It gained prestige and at times a large number of followers among doctors of various categories, especially around the middle of the century, only to later fade in its effects.

It had a late aftereffect among homeopathic doctors since James Compton Burnett (1840–1901), a British pioneer of homeopathic cancer therapy , resorted to Rademacher's wealth of experience in organ-specific medicinal effects and incorporated them into his overall homeopathic treatment concept as an enriching and success-enhancing element.


  • Letters for doctors and non-doctors about post-medicine and its necessity in the state. Cologne 1804 (digitized version)
  • "Critique of the possible foundations of a healing doctrine". Journal of practical medicine 64/6. G. Reimer, Berlin 1827, pp. 3-55.
  • Justification of the intellectual empirical teaching of the old, divorced secret doctors, misunderstood by the scholars, and faithful communication of the result of 25 years of testing this teaching on the sickbed . 2 volumes. Berlin 1841-1848.


  • Hermann Moses Auerbach: Rademacher's remedies: compiled for practice. 2nd impression. Hirschwald Verlag, Berlin 1852.
  • Bergrath. Dr. Johann Gottfried Rademacher: doctor in Goch; a biographical sketch. Reimer, Berlin 1850 (digitized version)
  • Niels-Joachim Krack: Doctor Johann Gottfried Rademacher. His life, his teaching, his remedies and us. Haug, Heidelberg 1984, ISBN 3-7760-0704-4 .
  • Julius PagelRademacher, Johann Gottfried . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 27, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1888, pp. 116-118.
  • Julius Pagel: Rademacher, Johann Gottfried , in: Biographical Lexicon of Outstanding Doctors of the Nineteenth Century . Berlin, Vienna 1901, column 1341.
  • Hermann Schelenz: History of Pharmacy . Berlin 1904. Reprographic reprint: G. Olms, Hildesheim 2005, ISBN 3-487-00242-6 , p. 812 f.
  • Herbert Sigwart: Historical-critical contribution to the empirical teaching of Johann Gottfried Rademacher . Dissertation, University of Heidelberg 1976.

Web links

Commons : Johann Gottfried Rademacher  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Dr. Bergrath: Dr. Johann Gottfried Rademacher, doctor in Goch. A biographical sketch . Reimer, Berlin 1850, p.3 .
  2. See, for example, the practical handbook published by HM Auerbach in the literature section .
  3. Burnett, James Compton: Curability of tumors by medicines . London 1893 and more (with numerous new editions and translations, including into German).