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Homoeopathy – A Medical Approach and Its History

A travelling exhibition by the Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Foundation in Stuttgart/Germany

Information for exhibitors

This exhibition consists of panels with text and pictures that are fixed to a flexible display system. The themes of the individual chapters are clearly and imaginatively presented and take the visitor on an intensive journey through the history of homoeopathy.

Key themes of the exhibition are:

–         What is homoeopathy?

–         The Old School of Medicine

–         Samuel Hahnemann and the Beginnings of Homoeopathy

–         Dissemination and Development

–         Homoeopathy Worldwide

–         Homoeopathy Today

The content of the exhibition

The exhibition illustrates the characteristic features of homoeopathic medicine and explains its therapeutic principles and its holistic view of disease processes. It introduces the similarity rule which is central to homoeopathy as well as the production of homoeopathic medicines from animal preparations, mineral and plant substances.

The journey through history begins with the situation leading up to the first beginnings of homoeopathy. When the physician Samuel Hahnemann developed homoeopathy in the late 18th century, medicine was still far away from its present-day standard of knowledge. Without much insight into the causes of disease physicians harried their patients with bloodletting, enemas and vast amounts of (often harmful) medicaments.

Compared to the medical practices of his time Hahnemann’s approach was revolutionary in that he postulated the exact observation of the patient and the disease picture, the meticulous study of drug effects and, above all, the precise and very low dosage of remedies to avoid any undesired side-effects.

Famous patients from the aristocracy and the art world promoted the dissemination of homoeopathy as their social standing greatly enhanced its public image.

During the cholera epidemic of the 1830s physicians had the first opportunity to publicly prove the efficacy of the new healing method. Their therapeutic successes which were striking compared to the failures of conventional treatment contributed immensely to the popularity of homoeopathy.

In the face of much resistance and hostility from the orthodox medical fraternity, homoeopathy spread in the first half of the 19th century, first in Germany and then worldwide. With their idealism and financial support a number of wealthy sponsors and patrons made it possible to set up homoeopathic hospitals. In the late 19th century the first few factories developed out of the small homoeopathic manufactures and soon dominated the homoeopathic pharmaceutical market. The 200-year history of homoeopathy also includes the Nazi time when many homoeopaths hoped for the fulfilment of their long-harboured dreams of public recognition.

The exhibition follows the worldwide development of homoeopathy in detail paying particular attention to the diverse ways in which it evolved in the various European countries up to its present-day boom that also extends to Central and Eastern Europe. The success of the North American homoeopaths and how it was received worldwide was an important influence right up to the early 20th century. Nowadays it is the renaissance of homoeopathy in South America that excites much interest. Special attention is given to Brazil where homoeopathy is recognized as part of the ‘integrative national health system’. The development in Asia is demonstrated by the example of recent innovative streams, such as in Japan, and the situation in India where homoeopathy is holding a strong position being fully included in the national health care provision. India boasts the widest dissemination and the best institutional recognition of homoeopathy worldwide.

The historical review closes with a look at the situation of homoeopathy today. Since the 1980s homoeopathy has experienced a considerable global upsurge. In the course of its 200-year history various regional schools of homoeopathy have emerged. The efficacy of the high potencies has remained controversial until today. The exhibition therefore also gives an account of the current research into this question and the outcomes of the research into health care provision. Special indication areas for homoeopathy and patient needs are described in conclusion.

FAQs concerning the Travelling Exhibition

Question 1: How much space is needed for the exhibition?

Answer: The exhibition occupies an area of c. 40-100 square meters. The flexible display stands allow for various set-ups and can easily be adjusted to the space in question. The panels need to be accessible from both sides.

Questions 2: What costs are involved?

Answer: The Robert Bosch Foundations and the Indian Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan pay for the exhibition and, by prior arrangement, also bear the expenses for openings and other exhibition-related events. Information material for the exhibition can be ordered from Max Mueller Bhavan in Delhi. It is free of charge up to certain number (cf. Question 3). The exhibition comes with ‘nail to nail’ insurance.

Question 3: Is there any information material?

Answer: There are

–         a flyer for exhibition visitors

–         a poster

–         an exhibition banner

–         a short guide with the main texts

These materials can be ordered from the Goethe-Institut in Delhi.

Question 4: Who can answer my questions?

Answer: The contact person for booking the exhibition and for the technical procedure is:

Mrs. Anita Singh
Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan,
Phone: +91-(0)11-23329506-134
e-mail: [email protected]

Question 5: How many components does the exhibition consist of once it is set up?

Answer: There are 10 display stands (2.22 x 0.80 m) that are grouped and to which 10 exhibition panels (1.20 x 0.65 m) can be attached. The whole system can be arranged in a line, but also in other formations such as a z-shape or an open rectangle. It is important that the panels can be seen from both sides.

The height of the uniform display stands is adjustable between 2.22 and 2.27 m to make up for uneven ground surfaces.

Question 6: How long does it take to set up the exhibition?

Answer: the small exhibition can be set up in one to three hours depending on technical skill.

Question 7: Which tools are needed for setting up the exhibition?

Answer: A screw driver (best electrical) is needed to open the chests. The tools needed for installing the exhibition are contained in the chests (1 slotted and 1 cross-tip screwdriver, 1 Allen key, 1 flat spanner (17 mm) to adjust the height).

Question 8: How much space is needed for storage?

Answer: For the exhibition a storage space of c. 2.40 m (length), 0.55 m (height) and 1.00 m (width) is needed.

Question 9: How is the exhibition supplied?

Answer: The exhibition arrives in three wooden chests, 1 chest for the 10 panels (1.46 m long, 0.77 m wiede, 0.15 m high), 2 chests for the display stands (2.40 m long, 0.90 nm wide, 0.37 m high.).

Question 10: Are there any installation instructions?

Answer: Because the installation is so simple, no instructions are supplied, but the following points need to be considered:

  1. The bottom height has to be set with a flat spanner using the adjusting nuts provided. The feet must not be turned!
  2. To insert the picture panels into the frames one only needs to loosen the two screws in the top rail of the frame.

Question 11: Size and weight of the individual components?

number length width height content weight
1 chest 1.46 m 0.77 m 0.15 m 10 panels 70 kg
2 chests 2.40 m 0.90 m 0.37 m 5 display stands each 140 kg each
total weight:

350 kg

Question 12: How are the components packed up for transport?

Answer: They are packed into three wooden chests.

Question 13: What vehicle is needed to transport them?

Answer: a van is sufficient.

Question 14: What is needed for loading and unloading?

Answer: Because of the weight of the chests four strong people are necessary for loading and unloading.

Contact Person: Mrs Anita Singh

Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan
3 Kasturba Gandhi Marg
New Delhi 110 001
Phone: +91-(0)11-23329506-134
Fax: +91-(0)11-233255534
e-mail: [email protected]


Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Foundation, Stuttgart: Archives, Library, Research Centre for the History of Homeopathy and the Social History of Medicine

The Robert Bosch Stiftung was established in 1964 and is one of the major German foundations associated with a private company. It represents the philanthropic and social endeavors of its founder Robert Bosch (1861-1942). The Robert Bosch Stiftung works predominantly in the fields of International Relations, Health, and Education.

The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institution operational worldwide. We promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange. We also foster knowledge about Germany by providing information on its culture, society and politics.

With our network of Goethe-Instituts, Goethe Centres, cultural societies, reading rooms and exam and language learning centres we have played a central role in the cultural and educational policies of Germany for over 50 years.

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