HOW THEY KEEP HOMOEOPATHY ALIVE. Very frequently a part of the general chemists shop is reserved to the homoeopathic department. I have looked in at numerous chemists in Germany and found that the assistants had quite a good notion about homoeopathic remedies, a good stock of homoeopathic medicines and a considerable quantity of popular homoeopathic literature, much of which is handed gratuitously to those interested in Homoeopathy, while there are numerous pamphlets which are sold at a normal price.


THE Germans appear to have a special talent for organisation and for co-operation. That may be seen in everything they undertake and also in homoeopathy. Scientifically German homoeopathy stands very low. Since the time of Hahnemann and his immediate successors the Germans have not published anything of outstanding merit.

In German homoeopathic literature there is nothing approximately comparable to Herings Guiding Symptoms, Allens Cyclopaedia, Clarkes Dictionary of Materia Medica, Lilienthals Homoeopathic Therapeutics, Kents Repertory and Materia Medica, etc. Young German physicians learn homoeopathy from translations of Farringtons Clinical Materia Medica, Nashs Leaders in Homoeopathic Therapeutics, Deweys books, etc. A German homoeopath who wishes to treat his patients efficiently must learn English and use English literature, unless he is satisfied to rely on German books published about the middle of last century, which are, of course, quite out of date.

As I have shown in a couple of articles published in the “HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD” in February and March of last year, the Germans, though extraordinarily deficient in literature, have developed homoeopathy to a very remarkable extent, chiefly through efforts of that great firm of homoeopathic chemists, Dr. Willmar Schwabe, of Leipzic, a firm of world importance, with a huge chemical factory, which employs about 500 workers. The German organisers of homoeopathy recognised that homoeopathy must be made popular, must be brought to the notice of the masses of the people.

In Germany a number of scientific journals are published similar in character to those which appear in England and in the United States and which are principally read by professional men. In addition there are a number of popular journals, more or less resembling the “HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD,” which are addressed to laymen in every walk of life. The most popular of these journals and in many ways the most remarkable is the Leipziger Populare Zeitschrift fur Homoopathie. It is published and printed by Dr. Willmar Schwabe. It is about as old as the “HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD,” having been founded in 1869. However, it differs greatly from the “HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD” in appearance and character. Below its title are printed the following lines:

“Oldest and most widely read popular homoeopathic journal, official organ of the League of German Homoeopathic Lay Societies, organ of the League of Homoeopathic Societies of Saxony, of the Rhenish-Westphalian League for homoeopathy and health promotion, of the League of Homoeopathic Societies of the districts left of the Rhine, of the group of Homoeopathic Societies of Hessen and Hessen-Nassau, of the League of Homoeopathic Societies of North Germany, of the League of Homoeopathic Societies of Central Germany, of the Brandenburg Group, and of many homoeopathic societies not joined together in leagues.”

From the sub-title, which I have not given in full because it is too lengthy, readers will notice that whereas in England there are a few small and weak homoeopathic lay societies in odd corners, there are hundreds and hundreds of organised lay societies in Germany which have been joined together into leagues, and these organisations are keeping homoeopathy alive and are spreading the gospel of Hahnemann throughout the country. The great firm of Schwabe would not be able to do its gigantic business unless hundreds of thousands, or millions, of Germans were interested in homoeopathy, and the new science and art of healing is made popular by various journals, particularly the Leipzic journal mentioned.

The journal is in size exactly twice as large as the “HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD,” is well printed in two columns and the average issue consists of twenty pages of the journal itself, of four pages of the Ladies Supplement, and of sixteen pages of a supplement entitled: “Notes For Promoting the Interests of Homoeopathic Lay Societies.” Altogether there are forty pages and as the journal appears every fortnight there are eighty pages per month of double the size of the “HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD,” or the equivalent of 160 pages of the size of the “HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD.”

In other words German readers are given every month six or seven times as much reading matter as English readers. The price of the journal is very low, namely, 3s. 6d. per year, postage included. Hence the cost is 1 1/2 d. per number to subscribers. In consequence of the cheapness of the journal and its popular tone it has a very large circulation. I have been told that 30,000 copies are printed.

The journal is one of extreme popularity. It discusses health matters in a way which is understandable to every young clerk, sewing woman, servant girl, gives advice on diet, clothing, on the health of domestic animals, cooking and so forth and treats homoeopathy in such a way that every layman can learn something useful from the facts given. Besides, it contains occasional poetry, jokes, book reviews, etc., and there are a considerable number of advertisements.

It will be noticed that the journal is entirely different from the “HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD.” Earnest students and professional men can learn much from the “HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD” which contains invaluable information of scientific value expressed in a popular form, and everything of importance that appears in a professional journal is very ably popularised for the readers of the “HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD.” I am afraid that only few German doctors, if any, subscribe to the Leipzig Journal, unless with a view to reading the advertisements of vacancies for homoeopathic doctors, etc.

One of the most interesting advertisements in the journal is that of homoeopathic pamphlets published by Willmar Schwabe. They are sold as a rule at 2 1/2 d., and there are pamphlets on croup, whooping cough, scarlatina, measles, worms, haemorrhoids, headache, heart disease, kidney disease, gallstones, gout and so forth and so on. These pamphlets are apparently sold in very large quantities to sufferers from the diseases mentioned, and thus new adherents are won to homoeopathy.

The most interesting portion of the journal is the supplement entitled “Notes for Promoting the Interests of Homoeopathic Lay Societies,” which runs as a rule to sixteen pages. The secretaries of the various lay societies send their reports to the journal, which reports proceedings, lectures, etc.

The lay societies meet once a fortnight or once a month at a lecture hall or at a restaurant or inn and there is a lecture or discussion on homoeopathic theory and practice, on Hahnemanns life, on rheumatism, on the circulation of the blood, on health preservation in youth or in old age, on the preservation of the teeth, on the digestive apparatus, on the glands, on the life of the cell, and so forth. Doctors or able laymen speak at these meetings and the firm of Schwabe frequently sends lecturers from among its large staff of able men to deliver addresses. Besides, these homoeopathic lay societies arrange for excursions in the country, social meetings, boating parties, dances, etc.

The journal is principally addressed to beginners in homoeopathy and to outsiders who are gently introduced to the new science of healing. In the most elementary manner the methods of treating various diseases and disorders are explained and short lists of the appropriate remedies are given with their characteristics, etc. Apparently the German doctors are given more liberty than the English medical men, who are terrorised by the General Medical Council if they dare to print an article in a lay journal over their names. The Leipzig paper contains numerous articles by German homoeopathic physicians.

Hahnemann was not only a great scientist, but a most excellent journalist and a born fighter. He produced a considerable number of fighting articles and of popular papers, many of which have been collected in the valuable volume, Hahnemanns Lesser Writings. For decades after Hahnemanns death homoeopathic physicians, following the example of their master, appealed to the public to judge between homoeopathy and allopathy by results, lectured to popular audiences and wrote articles in the press, popular pamphlets, etc., in the style of the Leipzig publication. Moreover, laymen were encouraged.

As a matter of fact eminent laymen established homoeopathy in England, attracted homoeopathic physicians from abroad, caused the foundation of homoeopathic hospitals and lecturerships and thus the homoeopathic movement was created, to the alarm and dismay of the orthodox practitioners and their organisations. The orthodox, probably animated by the fear that homoeopathy would attract the intelligent and discerning in large numbers, first attacked the medical adherents of homoeopathy by boycott, slander, expulsion from their societies, etc.

The great success of homoeopathic treatment at the time when cholera ravaged the country, a success which was proclaimed in Blue Books, caused Parliament and the Government to give a considerable amount of protection to the homoeopathic physicians against the attacks of their ignorant or malevolent colleagues. Then the medical organisations resolved to fight homoeopathy in a more insidious manner. Writing of popular articles or delivery of popular lectures were declared to be heinous offences against medical ethics, connection with laymen was declared a crime, and medical men were not allowed to describe themselves as homoeopathic physicians in publications accessible to laymen.

J. Ellis Barker
James Ellis Barker 1870 – 1948 was a Jewish German lay homeopath, born in Cologne in Germany. He settled in Britain to become the editor of The Homeopathic World in 1931 (which he later renamed as Heal Thyself) for sixteen years, and he wrote a great deal about homeopathy during this time.

James Ellis Barker wrote a very large number of books, both under the name James Ellis Barker and under his real German name Otto Julius Eltzbacher, The Truth about Homœopathy; Rough Notes on Remedies with William Murray; Chronic Constipation; The Story of My Eyes; Miracles Of Healing and How They are Done; Good Health and Happiness; New Lives for Old: How to Cure the Incurable; My Testament of Healing; Cancer, the Surgeon and the Researcher; Cancer, how it is Caused, how it Can be Prevented with a foreward by William Arbuthnot Lane; Cancer and the Black Man etc.