Johann Gottfried Rademacher 1772 – 1849

Johann Gottfried Rademacher 1772 – 1849 was a German orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the modern father of organopathy.

Rademacher was a contemporary of Samuel Hahnemann.

Rademacher’s little book Rademacher’s Universal and Organ Remedies is a standby for modern homeopaths today.

James Compton Burnett was a great fan of Rademacher and organopathy.

Rademacher qualified as a doctor in Jena, and he intended to completely overthrow the system of medicine that was being practiced at that time. He was not alone.

Rademacher published his 1600-page Erfahrungsheillehre (Empiric Medical Practice) in 1841, giving birth to the practice of Organopathy. Rademacher based his work on his own empirical observations, which he supported on the writings of Theophrastus Bombast von Hohenheim (Paracelesus), the 16th-century Swiss alchemist/physician.

Many of Rademacher’s remedies were introduced to homeopathic practice, or saw homeopathic applications inspired by their organopathic uses, via James Compton Burnett….

Rademacher’s Organopathy – drawing on Paracelesus to rationally support his empirical observations – posited the physical organs as the seat of disease, often creating symptoms seen and felt elsewhere in the body “through sympathetic affections of the strangest nature”.

As with Samuel Hahnemann, Rademacher did not seek the nature of these diseases in the “invisible interior of the organism,” but rather identified them by similitude to their remedial substance – a Celandine liver disease, a Carduus Marianus liver disease, etc.

Remedies were selected on the basis of their affinity for the organ in which the disease was felt to reside, and differentiated further on the basis of the “genus” of the disease – a concept less well defined than Samuel Hahnemann‘s totality of symptoms, and based on empiricism and considerations arcane to the practice. It is immediately apparent how such a system would entice the anatomist in James Compton Burnett

Organopathy survives today principally through its vestiges in the “drainage” school of homeopathy…

By Ellen Kramer (MCPH, RSHom) The College of Practical Homeopathy:

Practical homeopaths may use herbs to enable the organs to rebalance and re-establish equilibrium to support normal and proper function.

Generally herbal tincture will act as a tonic or a food for the organs, and are best used as material substances…

When is it appropriate to use herbal tincture?

When you are:

  • toxic from: drugs ( recreational or medical), dietary toxicity (the wrong foods), environmental toxicity (exposure to dioxins etc.)
  • to bring the organ(s) into balance if they are over or under-functioning, or if they are not functioning well. (Organ drainage helps coordinate the organs with other organs of the body).
  • for drug withdrawal and support i.e. Asthma drugs. (e.g. Lobelia opens the lungs so the client can start to reduce the use of inhalers, Clients who are on thyroxine can be given Fucus to supports the thyroid while they reduce the amount of thyroxine they are on).
  • As a preventative. Physical signs such as yellow/green around the eyes can indicate under function in an organ, (indicates high cholesterol and fatty deposits in the blood) e.g. Crataegus can prevent heart pathology.

Possible adverse reactions to herbs:

If the lines of elimination are not open properly (the bowels are sluggish) when the organ starts responding, clients may experience skin eruptions, sweating, excessive mucus discharge, or headaches. It is important that the bowels and kidneys are functioning properly and the lines of elimination are open.

Duration of treatment:

It can take up to three months for the liver to detox. e.g Dr Knapp ( a famous herbalist) treated goiters with Fucus. He put patient on Fucus Mother tincture for 3 months if it was small, for 6 months if medium size, and for 18 months if very large.

Homeopathic Mother Tinctures:

Homeopathic Mother Tinctures are made from herbs and are used extensively for organ support. They have an alcohol ratio of one part to nine parts alcohol, (which makes them a 1x potency). A lot of homeopaths will only use Homeopathic Mother Tinctures because they think it is safer as they are more diluted. They are normally used by administering 5-7 drops of the Homeopathic Mother Tinctures 2 or 3 times a day in water.

Herbal tinctures:

Herbal tinctures (have an alcohol ratio of one part to three or five parts alcohol which makes them less dilute with more of the material substance in them). A lot of homeopaths do not like using them as they think they are not as safe as Homeopathic Mother Tinctures.

They are however cheaper to buy and normally have more of the organic mineral content in them than theHomeopathic Mother Tinctures, and so can be more appropriate if you want to feed the organ. They are normally used by administering 7-15 drops of the herbal tincture 2 times a day in water.

Milkthistle was discovered in the 1800s by Johann Gottfried Rademacher, a German physician and scientist. Rademacher isolated the active ingredient from the hull of the tiny fruit (which was called Rademacher’s tincture).

He traced many digestive troubles to the liver and used Mariendistel with great success. Today, Milkthistle has gained acceptance as the most important herb for the liver.

From Harris Livermore Coulter Divided Legacy: A History of the Schism in Medical Thought; Vol IV, Twentieth-Century Medicine, The Bacteriological Era:

Harris Livermore Coulter page 86: Rademacher acknowledged that organotherapy was part of isopathy. Rademacher used ordinary medicines for their impact on particular organs.

However, others used organ or tissue extracts to treat conditions centred upon a particular organ or tissue. Constantine Hering suggesting this back in the 1840s, and Philip Griesselich’s Handbuch elaborated the use of hepatin (extract of liver), rabid liver (Dioscurides and Pliny recommended this as a cure for rabies 2000 years ago), pulmonin (extract of lung) and Leinin (extract of spleen).

Harris Livermore Coulter page 87-8: Charles Edouard Brown Sequard took organotherapy further, using extracts from the endocrine glands, for example adrenal extract to treat Addison’s Disease and thyroid extract to treat goitre.

Louis Pasteur copied Charles Edouard Brown Sequard, using injections of cerebral emulsion to treat insanity with no success. Similar attempts were undertaken in America, and in Vienna by Julius Wagner Jauregg. These techniques were abandoned as they are falsely based on poor philosophy.

Modern homeopaths today follow Rademacher’s techniques and use ordinary medicines to support weak or diseased organs, given most commonly in herbal tinctures or homeopathic Mother Tinctures.

Potentised homeopathic remedies of these substances are also given in some circumstances.

Homeopaths would only give extracts of diseased organs or tissues in potentised homeopathic remedies above Avogadro’s number for absolute safety.

Of interest:

Rademacher and Sheek were homeopathic publishers at 239 Arch Street Philadelphia in 1855.

3 thoughts on “Johann Gottfried Rademacher 1772 – 1849”

  1. Hi Sue, amazing amount of work here, most impressive! I’ve often visited before, in awe; am just now on the site looking for information on Walther Zimmermann (MD of internal medicine, ran Krankenhaus fuer Naturheilweisen in Harlaching from 1958, wrote several books inc a number on homeopathy – but there’s no mention anywhere I could find about his actual homeoathic qualifications – I suspect he remained self-taught but would like to know for sure; eulogy (link below) mentions a Dr. Dingfelder, who practiced something called ‘electrohomeopathy’ but I could not find out anything really useful). Zimmermann’s name didn’t come up in a search of the site. I’ve been scrolling through Germany section for several pages, but as I can’t make out an order or how many more pages, I thought I’d take the shortcut to asking you directly.

    What prompted me to stop and write just here (entry on Rademacher) is that I researched him in some detail for an essay and I would say that he couldn’t be considered a homeopath himself, was in fact not friendly towards homeoapthy. Burnett adopted a lot of his work, integrated it into homeopathic practice, and the results were wonderful, but I think Rademacher would not have agreed with being called a homeopath. FT has a really interesting biog about him (in German), written by close followers not long after his death, which you might find interesting.

    Best wishes and thank you for the wealth of information on your site. Any material about Zimmermann you might have – beyond his son’s eulogy, the most detailed online resource I found – would be extremely welcome.

    Best wishes and thanks,
    (Sorry about the cloak and dagger stuff: I’m an RSHom with a real name, using a pen name as the professor whom Stephen Gordon calls Eyeore put out word ‘who is this person’ among skeptic mates after I questioned his credentials once too often (as LilSugarpill on twitter) and if his followers spot that someone’s asking questions about his old teacher’s credentials it might be a little too obvious there’s a link – I have no wish to attract skeptic bullies, as has happened to some.)

  2. Hi AQ

    I have not previously tried to research Walther Zimmerman, and a quick look produced the information that he probably wrote Fragen und Antworten (?date) about pharmacy

    and in 1936 he carried out a 4 year breeding research programme on the castor oil plant

    However, I do consider this search difficult as Walther Zimmerman is a very common German name a bit like John Smith in England – there are just too many of them out there to be sure you have your man…

    As for Rademacher… the verdict is open… as to what he may or may not have wished to be called, he is now forever linked to homeopathy and homeopathic methods… and bless him for this…


  3. Thanks, Sue, such a quick response, and thanks for your comments. Yes, bless old Rademacher (who was, according to contemporary reports, quite the maverick. Anecdotes abound, such as how he walked about Goch, where he practiced, in wooden clogs – outrageous in his time as clogs were pauper footwear; the stories conjure up a decidedly Sulphur-ous character who cared not a jot for people’s opinions).

    Thanks for those links; I’ll check them out in case they lead a little further. If you are curious yourself, the ‘th’ in Walther, if the name is set in “” will exclude all t-only Walters and so narrow the field. As will adding the word homöopathie, and/or Harlaching, as Zimmermann’s career is inextricably linked with that hospital (where Eeyeore was posted for a few months – his ‘claim’ to ‘training’ as a homeopath stems from those months, hence my curiosity about Zimmermann’s actual studies/credentials in homeopathy).

    All the best,

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