Homeopathy Past and Present

History of Homeopathy in Argentina

Translated by Katja Schütt and Alan Schmukler

How homeopathy came to the Argentine Republic and definitely established itself despite the laws!

Argentina is a country populated by means of the arrival of immigrants from all over the world. Today, one can say that we can still see here, what they are doing in Europe in order to decide an action or to imitate a strategy, whether political or in medical care.

1816 – 1817 – During this time homeopathy came to Argentina by means of the Freemasonry, through general San Martín, directly from Hahnemann, who had provided Ángel Correa, a personal friend of both, with a homeopathic medicine chest [1], so that he could help to mitigate the sufferings provoked by arthrosis and a gastroduodenal ulcer, which troubled the military, so they could continue their odyssey to cross the Cordilleras of the Andes on the backs of horses and mules to undertake their liberating action from America.

[1]Deposited in the Museo San Martín in Mendoza.

1845 – According to the Boletín Homeopático it was Dr. Guillermo Darrouzain, a French physician, who created in this year the first homeopathic dispensaries in Buenos Aires and Montevideo. He was persecuted and imprisoned for this act by the Consejo de Higiene (Hygiene Council) of that time, at a moment when the government of Juan Manuel de Rosas had a very difficult political time.

It is known that Dr. Darrouzain could later practice in the cities of Corrientes y Rosario, where he was probably the first physician between 1837 and 1838, until he died on the 27th October 1869 in the midst of poverty, having carried out a self-sacrificing and selfless works for his patients.

The writings of Dr. Gustavo Cataldi, full professor at the E. M. H. A., report that “…other names of that time were Dr. Herculano Antonio de Fonseca in Rosario, Dr. Amado Laprida – son of the national hero F. N. Laprida – in San Juan, Dr. Miguel José Alves in Buenos Aires, next to Dr. Blas Aspiazu, from Buenos Aires and physician.of.the.army.

They all practiced homeopathy in an eclectic way, a practice which did not agree with the thinking of Hahnemann. With this practice, they, like other homeopaths who practiced in Europe, especially in Germany, distanced themselves from Hahnemann’s.ideas.

1865 – The Sociedad Hahnemanniana Argentina (Argentine Hahnemannian Society) was founded by Dr. Claussolles Granados Mejía. Others also took part in the creation of the society.

1867 – The history of villages and whole countries have been altered as the result of epidemics which have devastated humanity throughout history. The great pandemics changed the demographic structures (and also affected the wars), overthrew governments, called religions into question and imposed scientific challenges.

The city Rosario in Argentina, being a seaport, came in contact with contagion from other places, and was significant in the spread of epidemics which affected the world.

Cholera and bubonic plague, as well as poliomyelitis all left indelible physical signs in this seaport.

All this suffering provoked a certain solidarity, but also opportunistic behavior. Political conflicts and scientific struggles were unleashed. Public and private institutions were founded, professional careers were shaped and the urban structure was noticeably influenced. Here the contributions of Dr. Juan Corradi stand out, especially during the cholera epidemic, which devastated the population of Rosario, and this is when homeopathy was used to combat the disease.

1869 –  On the 25th of May the Boletín Homeopático was published to spread the most recent news and to record it historically. The society and its bulletin were born under the sponsorship of Dr. Álvarez Peralta, a Spaniard who passed through South America, being responsible for the business with Spain on this continent. Dr. Álvarez Peralta belonged to the Sociedad Hahnemanniana Matritense and had great knowledge about Hahnemann’s ideas.

1871 – The tragic epidemic of yellow fever attacked Buenos Aires. During this calamity the wise action of homeopathic physicians stands out, especially Dr. Juan Petit de Murat, whose treatments cured more people than any allopath.  These were times of recognition for the obtained results, and  more than 20.000 signatures of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires could be compiled, which were presented to the Chamber, asking for the..creation of a Facultad Homeopática (Faculty of Homeopathy), like those existing in the United States. The decision was lost due to two missing votes, amidst heated discussions of honor because of insults exchanged between Dr. Luis Varela and an allopathic physician who was against the petition.

At this time the Sociedad Homeopática Argentina (Homeopathic Society of Argentina) was created after the dissolution of the former Sociedad (Society), and its president was Dr. Petit de Murat. The organ to spread the news was the newspaper El Homeópata, which was published with the assistance of Sr. E. Jonas, another successful  homeopathic practitioner.

Despite these achievements, the pressure against the development of homeopathy was great. Organizations such as the Consejo de Higiene (Hygiene Council), the Facultad de Medicina (Faculty of medicine) and the Academia de Medicina (Academy of Medicine) rejected the supporters of homeopathy in one or another way.

Important doctoral theses to disprove homeopathy were presented at the same Faculty, and the thesis written by Dr. Luis Maglioni was especially aggressive. He went on to be a very recognized physician and president of the local Círculo Médico. Nevertheless, years later, he recognized the goodness of homeopathy and devoted himself to homeopathy.

The resistance to homeopathy prevented its expansion to the extent it might have. In  time the work of the Sociedad Homeopática came to an end and men like Petit de Murat and Clausolles were lost.

1877 – There was a strong parliamentry confrontation in the legislation of Buenos Aires.  During three hotly debated sessions they discussed whether to accept physicians who came from abroad in order to practice as homeopaths. In the final voting their right was refused, and thus they could not practice homeopathy. The decision whether or not to treat patients with homeopathy within the framework of Public Medicine, became a milestone.

1867- Expectations for economic progress were destroyed by an outbreak of cholera during The Guerra del Paraguay (The War in Paraguay), where they mourned 420 dead from the pestilence (and later another 1660 deaths). These contributed to the pathogenic germs disseminated as a result of the war, and the precarious material conditions in the city. Only 10 years later homeopathy’s contribution was recognized.

Foul swamps mobilized the very young civil society of Rosaria, raising the demand to loat off the swamps of the so-called laguna de Sánchez, the actual place of Santa Rosa. This request was supported by the miasm theory and referred to the infectious influence of the terrain with its stagnant water and sludge formation, that contributed to widespread disease.

1879- The newspaper La Nación annouonced that Teniente General Bartolomé Mitre brought to the Triple Alliance a homeopathic medicine chest which was used during the war with  Paraguay [1]. On  4th March there was published an acknowledgement to Dr. Clausolles in the same newspaper, setting a precedent: homeopathy cures different diseases.

[1] The medicine chest is stored in the Museo Mitre in Buenos Aires.

1932 – Until this year only the following physicians were able to continue their personal efforts: the Doctors F. Ortega, A. Domínguez, M. Fuguerto, P. Segress, Roncela, Burgos, J. Tuati, Benavídez.   The Sociedad Homeopática Argentina (Argentine Homeopathic Society) was reborn, which, years later, assumed the name Asociación Médica Homeopática Argentina (AMHA), (Argentine Homeopathic Medical Association). Its first president was Dr. Godofredo Jonas, grandson of the homeopath who performed such outstanding work during the already mentioned epidemic. The brand-new board of directors was completed as follows: vice president Dr. A. Grosso, Dr. R. Semich secretary, Dr. E. Anselmi treasurer, and the Doctors E. Bonicel, F. Monzo y T. Paschero, member of the board of directors. At this time a brilliant future for homeopathy in Argentina began.

Dr. T Paschero perfected his knowledge in the United States with Dr. Arthur H. Grimmer, who was a pioneer in the homeopathic treatment of cancer. Dr. Grimmer courageously demonstrated to his interested homeopathic colleagues, how to apply homeopathy in this difficult and important area of human diseases.

This physician was a disciple of Dr. James Tyler Kent, which is the reason Kent’s ideas dominated his teachings in Argentina.
The Escuela de Graduados of the Asociación had the following professionals as lecturers::

Dr. Tomás Pablo Paschero, was a great Argentine physician who made valuable contributions through his work and teachings. He trained a great many physicians and his ideas continue to influence homeopaths through his writings. For example:

The “Minimal syndrome of maximum value” (the hierarchy of symptoms with the highest value of representation of the totality and individuality) is the clinical synthesis of Master Paschero’s contribution to homeopathy, besides many others.

Dr. Godofredo Jonás was another important homeopath and contributed greatly to the expansion of homeopathy in the Argentine Republic.

Dr. Armando Grosso was a physician with solid training gained in the Hospital Piñeiro in Buenos Aires. Later he changed to the Hospital de Niños (Children’s hospital) where he dedicated himself especially to surgery for children. Grosso became interested in homeopathy through Dr. Manuel Benavídez, a homeopath who practiced in the years between 1924 and 1930.

About the author

Rosalia Villoldo Perez

Rosalia Villoldo Perez

Rosalia Villoldo Perez

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2 Comments

  • I am a principle of Scientific Bio Logics. We are master distributors of integrative medicines. I am trying to find out if there are any anti-aging or homiopathic or integrative medicine expos or conventions held in Argentina. Can you possibly lead me in the right direction?
    Thank you
    Paul Damigos