The homeopathic scales that once stood in Köthen


"Hahnemann changed my life," says Dr Angela Lehmann. The Medical Doctor completed her further training in homeopathy from 2006 to 2009. Due to her profession, the Anaesthetist at the Clinic of the Otto-von-Guericke-University, Magdeburg, has in-depth knowledge about the human body. As a mother of two children she also sought alternatives to antibiotics and cortisone – which she found with Dr Samuel Hahnemann. The founder of homeopathy practiced from 1821 to 1843 in Köthen, now part of Saxony-Anhalt, where he also began working on his groundbreaking work, the 'Organon of Medicine'. "We doctors adhere to classic homeopathy to this day," explains Angela Lehmann. Four years ago, Angela was appointed to the Göttingen Society of Homeopathic Doctors (GGhÄ).The homeopathic consultations offered by Dr Angela Lehmann are mainly attended by patients for whom conventional medicine has not brought the treatment outcomes that they hoped for. The doctor can also list an increasing number of those who view their body as being a 'complete oeuvre' and allow it the according medical treatment.Things were no doubt similar with Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). As a contemporary of figures such as Goethe and Schiller, his works date from an era of aspiring scientific research. The patients who found their way to him were mainly from educated and high status circles. Duke Ferdinand of Anhalt-Köthen was one of his patients. What made his 'art of healing' so revolutionary? "It was often the case that the medical methods of the time, which included bloodletting and cupping and treatment with toxic substances such as quicksilver did not bring the success that was hoped for, and often led to death," explains Angela Lehmann. "Hahnemann's ideas about homeopathy were groundbreaking."The word 'homeopathy' comes from the Greek and basically means 'similar suffering.' Hahnemann, who had trained as a chemist, was the first doctor to treat illnesses using methods which would bring about complaints in healthy patients similar to those of the illness. "In this way," explains Angela Lehmann, "the body of the sick patient gets an energy boost, which helps them strengthen their vitality and therefore their body's power of defence."Homeopathic medicines are made from plant and animal materials and from minerals in highly diluted form. Having 'one' remedy for 'one' specific illness, as is the case in conventional medicine, does not exist in homeopathy, however. One of Hahnemann's basic teachings: "It is necessary to not simply observe an individual, diseased organ, but to always look at the sum total of the symptoms from head to toe, including the psyche. This will then reveal the homeopathic remedy," explains Dr Lehmann. "A treatment that helps a patient who is suffering from neurodermatitis can be an accompanying cancer treatment with another patient. We figure out the person's nature and the circumstances of their life during a long anamnesis discussion." These life circumstances are also a reason as to why Hahnemann's findings have to be developed further on a continued basis. "After all, we people are subject to completely different environmental influences as people were in the 18th and 19th centuries," explains Angela Lehmann. Angela frequently finds herself recommending homeopathic remedies and calmatives to people who have experienced difficulties due to the upheaval caused by the fall of the Berlin Wall, for instance. Although in homeopathy the cause of an illness is derived from the union of the body, spirit and soul, anyone can create their own homeopathic medicine cabinet to treat proven indications with acute conditions, explains Dr Lehmann, stating the examples of arnica for injuries and bruises, belladonna (deadly nightshade) for colds, or Apis Mellifica, the poison of the honey bee, to treat insect bites. Hahnemann himself carried out approximately 60 medicinal tests between 1790 and 1805. It is in the Hahnemannian tradition that the Göttingen Society of Homeopathic Doctors carries out its testing of medical products – to confirm Hahnemann's findings and also to develop them further. In this context, healthy test persons take the remedy that is being tested for a specific period of time, recording their symptoms in a medical diary. Their comments are documented and evaluated. Angela Lehmann also mentions that the homeopathic doctors also test the remedies on themselves to get a feel for the kind of effect that they have. Rapeseed has recently been tested as a new homeopathic remedy. With the increasing cultivation of this 'renewable raw material' allergies to pollen would also increase, explains Dr Lehmann, justifying the testing of this medicine.Why did homeopathy decline and become so unpopular? "Discoveries of things like bacteria and penicillin meant conventional medicine was able to treat many illnesses quickly and successfully, which saw homeopathy go into the background," explains Angela Lehmann. In addition to this, it has not so far been possible to prove the efficacy of homeopathic medicines with scientific methods. However, the healing effects of homeopathic medicines are evident all the time at the practical level. The German Association of Homeopathic Doctors (DZVhÄ) says that homeopathy not only has a 200 year tradition, it also predicts that it will find more and more relevance as an 'individual medicine' in the future. The DZVhÄ has established a practice at the Hahnemann House in Köthen, and constructed a modern building for the European Library for Homeopathy nearby. It was opened in 2009 during the international IBA 2010 Building Exhibition. Köthen is once again a place of medical practice and research. Educational events often take place here, with the dialogue between university medicine and modern natural sciences being maintained in the Hahnemannian style.Author: Kathrain Graubaum (text / photo)Contacts:Dr Angela LehmannDoctor for Anaesthesia and trained Homeopathph: +49  391 53587889E-Mail: dr.a.lehmann@t-online.deGöttingen Society of Homeopathic DoctorsDietrich-Berndt-Institute Göttingenph: +49 551 485354Web: www.dietrich-berndt.deEuropean Library for HomeopathyWallstraße 4806366 Köthenph: +49 3496 512893E-Mail: hombib-koethen@dzvhae.deWeb: