Biography of Dr. Boenninghausen (1785-1864) Homeopathy

Baron Clemens Maria Franz Carol Von Boenninghausen was one of the noteworthy persons in the history of homeopathy. His contribution has enriched the profession of homeopathy to a large extent. He was born in the Netherlands on March 12th of 1785. He belonged to a royal family that had great respect and honor in society. He received his degree of Juris on the 30th of August 1806 and was appointed as the lawyer at the supreme court of Deurentes.

Being a versatile genius, he soon became the chief auditor in the court of Louis Napoleon. Later he was appointed as the royal librarian and chief of the topographical bureau from where he resigned in the year 1810. In the year 1812, he married and went to stay at a family estate in Western Prussia. Here, he engaged himself in the study of architecture and botany.

He was the president of the provincial court (1816) of land registration which made him move throughout the country and study the plants and herbs of the different areas like Rhineland and Westphalia. He was also the director of the botanical garden of Munster. In later years he became the general commissioner of lands.

Conversion to Homeopathy

In the year 1828 Boenninghausen was attacked by tuberculosis and the disease seemed to be incurable. Out of disgust, Boenninghausen wrote a letter to his friend Dr.Weihe. Dr.Wehie, M.D was a botanical friend to Boenninghausen and the first homeopathic physician in the province of Rhineland and Westphalia. He introduced Carol Von Boenninghausen to the new method of treatment called homeopathy. He prescribed Pulsatilla as a remedy to Boenninghausen. Boenninghausen improved slowly but in an impressive manner and he got interested in homeopathy.

He made thorough research and studied the literature on homeopathy indepth. He was one of the founders of the medical society of Munster. But the dominant medical school was deaf to the arguments in support of homeopathy by Boenninghausen. But few senior physicians showed their interest in homeopathy and remained faithful to this system throughout their life. Boenninghausen’s endeavors in successfully curing incurable cases influenced many physicians of his time.

In the year 1830, Boenninghausen came in close association with Hahnemann and remained his follower throughout his life. Boenninghausen had 7 sons, the first and the second son became homeopaths. His first son who was practicing in Paris married the adopted daughter of Hahnemann’s widow. He was fortunate enough to stay with Madam Melanie and had access to Hahnemann’s literature and library.

Boenninghausen’s fame started spreading entire Europe and even reached America. Ultimately, on the 11th day of July, the year 1843, king Fredrick Wilhelm, the IVth gave him the right to practice by a cabinet order. Boenninghausen enrolled himself in all the homeopathic societies. He became a member of the Western Homeopathic Medical College in the year 1854. In the year of 1861, he was awarded the honor of “Knight”. He took his last breath on 26th January 1864 at the age of 79 years.

Contributions to Homeopathy

1. Cure of cholera and its prevention came in the year 1831.

2. Repertory of anti-psoric remedies with a preface by Hahnemann -1832.

3. Summary view of the chief sphere of operation of the anti-psoric remedies and their characteristic peculiarities, as an appendix to their repertory -1833.

4. An attempt at a homeopathic therapeutics of intermittent fever – 1833.

5. Contribution to the knowledge of the peculiarities of homeopathic remedies-1833.

6. Homeopathic diet and complete image of the disease [for the nonprofessional public] -1833.

7. Homeopathy, a manual for the non-medical public-1834.

8. Repertory of medicines that are not anti-psoric-1835.

9. Boenninghausen published “The therapeutic pocket book” in the year of 1836.

10. An attempt at showing the relative kinship of homeopathic medicines -1836.

11. Therapeutic manual for the homeopathic physicians for use at a sick bed and in the study of the materia medica para-1846.

12. Brief instructions to the non-physicians as to the prevention, and cure of cholera-1849.

13. The two sides of the human body and relationships –homeopathic studies 1853.

14. The homeopathic domestic physician in brief, therapeutic diagnosis-an attempt-1853.

15. The homeopathic treatment of whooping cough and its various forms – 1860.

16. Aphorisms of Hippocrates, with notes by a homeopath-1863.

17. His theory of concomitants, grand generalization, and his Latin formula of evaluation of the symptoms is a highly criticized subject of homeopathy.

18. He was considered as one of the pioneers to prepare the reliable homeopathic repertory. No one except Hahnemann had contributed such original writings as Boenninghausen.

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