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Constantine Hering (1800 – 1880)



Hpathy Ezine, October, 2009 | Print This Post Print This Post |

Constantine Hering (1800 – 1880)

Dr. Constantine Hering is aptly called the ‘Father of Homeopathy’ in America. He was born at Oschath in Saxony on January 1, 1800. At the age of seventeen, he became interested in medicine and joined the University of Leipzig, where he became the favourite pupil of Dr. Henrich Robbi, an eminent surgeon. Dr. Robbi was a critic of Hahnemann and like many other physicians used to ridicule Hahnemann and Homeopathy.

In 1821, campaign against Hahnemann was at its peak, C. Baumgartner, the founder of a publishing house in Leipzig, wanted to publish a book against Homeopathy to finish the system. Dr. Robbi was asked to write it, but he declined for want of time and recommended Hering, his young assistant. Hering was very pleased with this mark of confidence and started work on the project.. But while going through the writings of Hahnemann he came across the famous “Not a bene for my reviewers” in the preface of the third volume of the ‘Materia Medica Pura’ which said among other things, “The doctrine appeals not only chiefly, but solely to the verdict of experience” – “repeat the experiments” it cries aloud, “repeat them carefully and accurately and you will find the doctrine confirmed at every step” – “and it does what no medical doctrine, no system of physics, no so-called therapeutics did or could do, it insists upon being judged by the result.”

Hering decided to confirm the truth of the above remarks. He repeated the experiments with Cinchona and the results of Hahnemann were confirmed. Further study of homeopathic ‘Materia Medica’ and his experiments made him more convinced about Hahnemann’s ideas. The book against Homeopathy thus never saw the light of the day.

In 1824, an incident occurred which developed in him unshakable faith for Homeopathy. The fore finger of his right hand was cut while making a dissection on a dead body. The wound rapidly became gangrenous. The routine orthodox medical treatment had no effect. Kummer, a deciple of Hahnemann persuaded him to take homeopathic treatment and gave him Arsenic-alb. After a few doses he felt better and the gangrene was soon cured completely. Hering was surprised and became greatly interested in Homeopathy,

Hering got the degree of M. D. from the University of Wuezburg with highest honours. The theme of his thesis was “De’Medicina Futura” (The medicine of future). Hering left Germany for West Indies and finally arrived at Philadelphia in Jan, 1833. He established a homeopathic school at Allentown, Pennsylvania, commonly known as “Allentown Academy”. Soon he became very popular as a physician.

Contributions:

  1. Domestic physician
  2. Guiding Symptoms, a monumental work of 10 volumes.
  3. He wrote many articles, monographs, and books. He was the chief editor of the ‘North America Homeopathic Journal’, ‘The Homeopathic News’, ‘The American Journal of Homeopathic Materia Medica’ and the journal of his own college.
  4. He proved 72 drugs, out of which the following are most important ones: Lachesis, Cantharis, Colchicum, Iodium, Mezereum, Sabadilla, Sabina, Psorinum, Nux-mosch, Crotalus, Apis, Hydrophobinum, Phytolacca, Platina, Glonine, Gelsemium, Kalmia, Ferrum met, Flouric acid, Phosphoric acid etc.
  5. He enunciated the “Law of Direction of Cure” known popularly as Hering’s Law of Cure.

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