Gottlieb Heinrich Georg Jahr 1800 – 1875 was a German lay homeopath who was very close to Samuel Hahnemann. Samuel Hahnemann sent Jahr to the University of Bonn, where he completed his medical studies.
When Samuel Hahnemann moved to Paris, Jahr moved with him. On July 2, 1843, in the City of Paris, Jahr was summoned by Madame Melanie Hahnemann to the bedside of the failing Samuel Hahnemann. Upon arriving, Jahr found Samuel Hahnemann already at his end.
Jahr was later to notify the Homeopathic community in a death notice written by him, which can be found in Volume 24 of the Journal Allgemeine Homoeopathische Zeitung, beginning with the Statement, “Hahnemann is Dead!”
Jahr wrote in 1867: It was in the year 1827 when I made my debut in the practice of Homeopathy, at a time when the only resources at our command were the Materia Medica Pura of the founder of our school and a few cures reported in John Ernst Stapf‘s Archiv and in the Praktischen Mittheilungen.
With these scanty means we had to get along as well as we could, and, by a diligent and attentive study of the drugs with whose pathogeneses we had become acquainted at that time, familiarize ourselves with the characteristic symptoms of each drug and its special indications, in order to avail ourselves of them for therapeutic purposes in such case as might present themselves for treatment.
This was no small task, which could never have been accomplished, if the Materia Medica of that time had contained the large number of drugs that are offered at the present time … But since the number of drugs known at that time, did not exceed sixty, and among these only twenty had been proved with exhaustive perseverance and correctness, we had it in our power to study them thoroughly without too much trouble; to become fully acquainted with the specific effects of each drug … to apply them as such in accordance with their symptomatic indications …
At this time such a careful study of our Materia Medica is unfortunately no longer possible to the beginner in Homeopathy. Overwhelmed by the accumulated mass of drugs and clinical observations, he scarcely knows which way to turn for at least one ray of light in the chaos spread out before him …”
Jahr was born and grew up in Duesseldorf, where Carl Julius Aegidi had his clinic. Working as a teacher, Jahr got interested in homeopathy through his local apothecary, but then tried to learn more by working with Carl Julius Aegidi himself, (like Arthur Ernst Lutze, Jahr was not formally a physician, but was self taught).
After studying the Organon and other texts, Carl Julius Aegidi sent Jahr to Koethen, to help Samuel Hahnemann with the compilation of the second edition of Chronic Diseases. However, Samuel Hahnemann soon complained of Jahr’s hastiness and mistakes and sent him back to Carl Julius Aegidi.
When Carl Julius Aegidi lost his position with the Princess, it was Jahr that Samuel Hahnemann recommended to take his place, and thus Carl Julius Aegidi‘s lay student became his successor! Besides the obvious problems Jahr must have had with the allopathic physicians at court, because he had not attended any University nor formally studied medicine, according to Richard Haehl, Carl Julius Aegidi was also “conspiring against him”, and in 1835 Jahr gave up and left the service of the Princess.
Jahr, was one of the first disciples of Samuel Hahnemann, established in Paris since several years, where he practices the homeopathy with success thanks to his high expertise and to a very extended knowledge, is suspected by the French government because of his nationality. About to be arrested and expulsed, secretly aware by some friends, he crossed the French border.
Jahr, fleeing Paris in 1870 during the Franco German war, settled in Brussels. More than 50 Belgian doctors were educated in homeopathy by Jahr himself. In 1894, 70 doctors officially used homeopathy for their patients and 50 pharmacists were delivering medications to patients. In 1871, a society of homeopathic physicians was established. The Society Royale Belge d’Homoopathie (SRBH) is still active today.
Jahr takes refuge in Brussells, where he is welcomed with open arms by our physicians homeopaths, who ask him to develop the teaching of the new therapeutic…. It is, in 1835, that the Jahr founds in Liège the first Belgian Association for homeopathy with the aim “to contribute, by its scientific works to the progress of homeopathy, to its propagation and to its vulgarisation”.
This association is constituted of 10 homeopaths representing 7 cities, its existence is unfortunately of short length. One of the members from Brussels, Jean Francois Dugniolle defends homeopathy at the first Belgian medical convention. In 1837, 15 homeopaths meet to discuss and C L de Meester (1800-1855) publishes “Some considerations on the homeopathic medicine” in the annals of the Medical Society of Gent, at the same time Louis Malaise creates his “homeopathic Clinic for the use of physicians and high class people”….
During the year 1871, returning by train after a lesson at the clinic of Jahr in Rue de Laeken in Brussels, some physicians of Flanders decides to found in Gent a Homeopathic Medical Society where, like in the Society of Allopathic Medicine, the physicians homeopaths of the two Flanders would meet, would communicate themselves their interesting cases and by reciprocal advises, would learn mutually.
This idea was a proposition of doctor De Keghel…. In 1874, in the month of April, a banquet is organised in Gent on the occasion of the birthday of Hahnemann. It is honoured by the presence of Jahr. This last is named honorary president of the circle.
After many steps, the authorities decide to grant a room in the city hall of Brussels to Jahr. There he gives conferences followed by an audience as numerous as select, and where the speaker’s broad scientific culture wins a legitimate success.
At the same time, Jahr worked very hard at the outpatients’ clinic, in Laekenstreet in Brussels. These consultations are rapidly best known; in one year, until 12.000 patients are treated, most with success.
More than 50 Belgian physicians have been educated in homeopathy by Jahr himself. Leonard Lambreght, Jules Gaudy, Gailliard, Van den Neucker, Gustave Adolphe Van den Berghe, De Keghel, Prosper Schepens, Van Ooteghem, and a lot of others received the good advices of the Master.
The British Journal of October, 1875, says that Jahr was born at Neudietendorf, a small town in Saxony, in the year 1800.
His youthful studies were made in a Moravian college, where he so distinguished himself that when his education was complete he was offered a professorship in the college, which he accepted. This was in 1825.
How he became acquainted with Samuel Hahnemann about that time is not known to us, but it is certain that he was employed by the master to assist him in arranging his pathogeneses.
Samuel Hahnemann judged that Jahr’s utility would be much increased if he had a medical education, so he sent him to the University of Bonn, where Jahr completed his medical studies and took his degree.
During all the period of his studies he kept up a lively correspondence with Samuel Hahnemann and helped in the work of the Materia Medica. When he quitted the University of Bonn he went to Liege to practice, but when Samuel Hahnemann left Coethen for Paris, his faithful disciple and useful assistant followed the master to Paris, where he continued until on the outbreak of the late war of 1870 he was forced to quit Paris and the practice he had acquired there after upwards of thirty years’ residence.
Jahr went to Belgium, going first to Liege, then to Ghent, and finally to Brussels, where he endeavored to obtain a practice, and delivered a course of lectures at the Brussels Homeopathic Dispensary.
But not having a Belgian diploma, he was prohibited from practicing in Belgium. It is thought that this prohibition – which, in fact, deprived him of his livelihood – weighed so much on his spirits that it hastened his death, the immediate apparent cause of which was two large carbuncles.
His colleagues in Belgium entered on a subscription to make up for his loss of professional income ; but though this relieved his pressing necessities, it was unable to avert the fatal issue of his malady.
The works of Jahr are almost too well known to require enumeration. His chief work, The Symptomen Codex and its abridgments, which have been translated into every European language, will cause him to be gratefully remembered by all practitioners of Homeopathy,
Some of his outer writings are also of considerable value, as his treatises on cholera, on cutaneous maladies, on venereal affections, on diseases of digestion, his Pharmacopoeia and his Forty Years Practice (Therapeutic Guide).
In 1835 we meet with George Heinrich Gottlieb Jahr… whose name has become very familiar, and who, among others, has enriched the homeopathic literature with voluminous contributions which have been translated into many different languages.
His first work was the Manual of Homeopathic Medicine. On account of its completeness it soon superseded other similar works and was republished in four editions, and, being much used by the German Homeopathists, a revised edition is now needed.
In 1849 he published the New Manual: Or Symptomen codex, and he has also published several smaller works for daily use, Clinical Advice, Clinical Guide etc., (Therapeutic Guide) which have been frequently republished.
Jahr deviated very reluctantly from Samuel Hahnemann‘s dogmas ; he tried to revive those which modern science and the progressive Homeopathists had long ago abandoned, and endeavored to make than correspond with the newer views, or even ignored the latter.
He contributed largely to a certain homoeopathic conservatism in Germany, which might not mislead a practical homeopathist but run frequently hinder one who is unacquainted with Homeopathy.
On the 9th of July last, a letter dated at Brussels, informed us that Jahr was seriously ill.
Two days later a telegram announced his death. This news has produced in Paris a profound emotion, which re-echoes mournfully from every quarter of the globe, as there is no country where the doctrines of Samuel Hahnemann do not count numerous followers, and whither the writings of our friend have not penetrated and rendered service.
After the name of Samuel Hahnemann, that of Jahr is indisputably the most widely known, the most popular, and the most intimately associated with the development and diffusion of Homoeopathy.
Jahr was a scholar in the widest acceptation of the term there is scarcely a branch of knowledge with which he was not familiar. He found relaxation from his medical researches in notable labors in physics, chemistry, mathematical sciences, philosophy, astronomy, etc. ; his erudition was truly immense, and if he was not appreciated at his full value, – if in some quarters the free acknowledgment of his superiority has been partially withheld, – the reason must be looked for in his simplicity of manner, and his modesty, qualities as precious as they are rare, but which become faults when carried to extremes, as they obscure the merit, and render unavailing the example of wisdom and virtue.
Under an exterior full of kindliness and ease he concealed the rarest qualities ; and those who have not met him in private, and on an intimate footing, will doubt to what degree this uncommon character was possessed of profound knowledge. intellect, rectitude, and self-denial.
It is right, indeed, it is essential, that all, especially the adherents of Homeopathy, should be made fully acquainted with the merits of this courageous pioneer, this gifted man and distinguished scholar ; and we deem ourselves fortunate to have been chosen to perform this duty, in the name of the Société Médicale Homoeopathique de France, and we herewith express our thanks to the president for having imposed on us a task, which the consciousness of our insufficiency at first prompted us to decline, and for having considered that to narrate the history of this life of labor and of honor the heart might take the place of the head.
Jahr was born in Neu Dietendorf (Saxe-Gotha), in January, 1800.
He completed his classical education in the institutions of the Moravian Brethren, especially at Niesky, in Silesia, and his success was so brilliant that he passed without a period of transition from the benches of the students to the chair of the professor.
Having suffered from a serious illness during the years of his professorship, he had recourse to Carl Julius Aegidi, the distinguished Homeopathist of Dusseldorf, who restored him with unlooked for promptness, and this caused trial to share the enthusiasm for the doctrines of Samuel Hahnemann.
After having been for several years private physician to the Princess Frederic of Prussia, Jahr travelled to the south of France with the family of a British nobleman, and lived successively at Pau, Marseille, and Lyon.
Jahr wrote the first Homeopathic Repertory in 1835 in German and then again in 1838 in English and edited by Constantine Hering. Thus Jahr’s repertory became a seminal work, G H G Jahr’s Manual of Homeopathic Medicine, Manual of Homeopathic Medicine …: In Two Parts, alongside his New Manual: Or Symptomen codex.
Jahr also wrote The Homeopathic treatment of the diseases of females and infants at the breast, Therapeutic Guide, Short Elementary Treatise Upon Homeopathia and the Manner of Its Practice … , The Venereal Diseases: Their Pathological Nature, Correct Diagnosis and … , New Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia and Posology,