Dr Samuel Hahnemann – a life

Dr Samuel Hahnemann life biography

Short Biography of Samuel Hahnemann

Dr Samuel Hahnemann was a doctor and medical reformer who lived from 1755-1843. He was a genius who at twelve tutored his classmates to pay for his schooling. Likewise as a medical student, he paid his college fees by translating medical, chemistry and botany works from numerous languages into German while studying medicine. He was a great linguist. He was also a respected chemist and as a pharmacist introduced procedures still in use today.

As a doctor he was the first of the modern psychiatrists. Along with Pinel in France (1792) he was the first to promote the humane treatment of mentally ill patients in addition to curing them. So much so that Duke Ernst of Gotha (Germany) gave a wing of his castle to Hahnemann for use as the first real asylum for the mentally ill.

Fifty years before Koch and Pasteur turned up with the newly invented microscope, Hahnemann had understood and described contagious disease and successfully treated epidemics of typhus, scarlet fever and cholera in Europe.

He understood the mind-body connection 200 years before conventional medicine (known as Allopathy) acknowledged it. One hundred years before physics understood the reality that matter contains energy he had described how it influences disease and the effects of medicines.

However, his best contribution to medicine was the formulation of the Law of Cure; that only a substance that can cause a problem can cure it. In other words Like Cures Like. For example, radiation causes cancer and medicine uses it to treat cancer. Sulphur causes skin eruptions yet medicine uses it to treat skin problems (usually in the form of tar). This is a simple example. Proper homeopathy is non toxic and treats the whole person rather than a single symptom in isolation.

He was the first in the history of medicine to test drugs before administering them. This was the beginning of the science known as Pharmacology.

He was wise enough to stress the importance of lifestyle, diet and hygiene. The famous writer Goethe said he was on a Hahnemannian diet.

Much of the European royalty were treated by him and his students.(He was a professor at Leipzig University). The royal family in Britain have given their patronage to The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital since 1845.

Finally Hahnemann was buried with honour with many of the world’s greats at the cemetery Pierre Le Chaise in Paris. Monuments to the great Hahnemann were later erected in Leipzig, Kothen and Washington where President Kinley and his wife attended with all the dignitaries of the State and army and a naval band played. After the erection of the monument the President invited 1,000 guests to the White House where he received them personally – contrary to custom. Mr Griggs, the Minister of Finance delivered a speech on behalf of the American government. Considering that Hahnemann had never been to America it shows the respect the man and the system of medicine he developed had achieved.

Further Reading
For a more detailed biography click here

Biographies are available (from Minerva and other suppliers): Samuel Hahnemann: His Life and Works by Richard Haehl is the best. Life and Letters by Bradford is shorter and readable though it has some inaccuracies and Rima Handley’s books are a good read though less comprehensive.

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