Dr. Lisa Amerine
LMHI Member Associations:
- American Institute of Homeopathy https://www.homeopathyusa.org/ (full member)
- California Homeopathic Medical Society https://homeopathywest.org/membership/ (associate member)
Very fortunately, the expansion of America westward onto Native American territory, mapping and claiming new States and inviting Europeans to come settle here for free, coincided with a generation of Germans knowledgeable of Hahnemann’s homeopathy and eager to try it out on new shores. The “Golden Age” of homeopathy in America between 1850-1910 arrived with German immigrants: Lippe, Hering, Woesselhoeft, Fincke, Boericke, Boger, etc. It is a little known fact that the first homeopathic academy in the world, Allentown Academy in Pennsylvania, taught its courses in German. The texts were German, the professors spoke German. Pennsylvania had a huge German community.
This purity of source material and teachers occurred just when there was a great need for physicians, where liberty of practice prevailed with few restraining laws or guilds, when the country was alive with an atmosphere of experimentation and practical invention, when printing had become cheap and homeopathy as a profession needed journals reporting many cured cases of difficult diseases. Into this milieu arose, taught, and prodigiously wrote a number of homeopathic geniuses. Homeopathy attained a high point in cures, explanations, and advancements in case management and dosing, especially with high potencies. The literature of this era is immense and eternal, studied by every country and every student in the world. Who does not know Hering, Kent, Boger, Nash, H.C. Allen, Guernsey, Farrington? Where would homeopathy be without them?
Yet, they had a constant battle to uphold the principles of individualization, and the facts observed through our senses. Many wanted to give a medicine for croup, or diarrhea, or menstrual cramps – for a diagnosis, a label. Many wanted to combine homeopathy with the developing microscopic field of pathology, believing (as all materialists do) that disease springs from tissues and medicines act on tissues. The pages of the great Hahnemannian journals of this era (the Organon, the Homeopathic Physician, Hahnemannian Monthly, Medical Advance, Transactions of the International Hahnemannian Association) ring with the attacks between genuine homeopathy and ‘physicians who practice homeopathy’ – but adhered to the pathology theories coming from Johns Hopkins University, and who denied the wholism and the immaterial life energy (‘homeostasis’, governing and integrating the processes of the body) of human beings. Lippe, Kent, and the supporters of Hahnemann’s Organon and Chronic Diseases stressed the importance of Hahnemann’s every statement, lived and practiced by it, and saw amazing cures, which others ignored or scoffed at.
Outnumbered by pseudo-homeopaths and routinely attacked in county homeopathic societies and city newspapers, the brilliant flames and geniuses of homeopathy were not victorious. Materialism is an easy card to play – people recognize it – while the subtlety of human wholism and individuality as a basis of medical prescribing, with medicines aimed to change precisely this quality to produce health, was easy to ridicule in everyday newspapers by lax pretenders. The overwhelming voice of homeopathy, even in the colleges, became that of these pretenders. Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases went out of print in America by 1890. The Organon was not taught in any homeopathic college except in the Chicago school of Kent; this course was transcribed to become Kent’s immortal Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy. But few students had the intelligence to perceive (or the courage to profess) what Hahnemann wrote and Guernsey and Lippe and Kent taught. The teaching rosters of many homeopathic colleges were filled with materialists and combiners, eager to teach the latest pathology and anatomy, and surgical procedures. The biggest problem is that they would not separate themselves from the name ‘homeopathy’ even though they did not practice its principles. Instead, they vilified those who did practice it correctly as extremists, as worshippers of a man (Hahnemann) who had become weak-minded and silly by the time he wrote Chronic Diseases, and that homeopaths really only needed to use his acute remedies for fever, cholera, lumbago and rheumatism.
So homeopathy declined and virtually died out in America by 1918, because all the graduates of its so-called homeopathic colleges learned mainly allopathic medicine there. In the middle part of the last century, homeopathy was kept alive by a few stalwarts such as Elizabeth Wright-Hubbard, Julia Green, and Maisie Panos, until a new wave of homeopathy arose around the Europeans Pierre Schmidt, John Weir and Margaret Tyler -- who studied and learned homeopathy in America under Kent and his students. Their teachings and writings came back to America and inspired Americans to learn and practice homeopathy in the 1960’s and 1970’s, carried by teachers such as Jost Künzli and George Vithoulkas.
The American Institute of Homeopathy (AIH) was founded in 1844, and is the earliest and longest-running American medical association. Its journal, Journal of the AIH, was founded soon afterwards, and continues today, under the name American Journal of Homeopathic Medicine. The AIH is one of the most important and influential homeopathic bodies in the United States, and is currently involved in maintaining the integrity of the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States (HPUS) in the face of concerted emotional, biased, and unscientific attacks by allopathic interests.
LMHI USA-National Vice-President
5/24/2022 9:00:00 AM