Sue Young Histories

Adolph Lippe 1812 - 1888

February 19, 2008

Adolph Lippe 1812 - 1888 was a singular homeopath and one of the first graduates of homeopathy in America. Lippe taught alongside Constantine Hering at the Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia and wrote several very influential books which are still standard textbooks today for modern homeopaths. Lippe also translated many important homeopathic texts, thus enriching American homeopathy.

Adolph Lippe taught Thomas Lindsley Bradford and many others.

Lippe was a founding member of the International Hahnemannian Association and he was a colleague of James Tyler Kent, Henry Newell Guernsey, Carroll Dunham and many other famous homeopaths.

Lippe was a fastidious prescriber, often spending hours on a case to get the correct remedy, and he was an advocate high potencies and a staunch defender of Hahnemann’s principles of practicing homeopathy.

Timothy Field Allen compiled the Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica over the course of 10 years. It is a comprehensive record of all the provings of homeopathic medicines recorded up to that point…. Constantine Hering, Carroll Dunham, Adolph Lippe, and Richard Hughes all contributed to this monumental work…

Adolph Lippe edited the Organon Journal with Thomas Skinner, Samuel Swan and Edward William Berridge in 1878- 1881.

Adolph Graf zur Lippe-Weissenfield was born May 11, 1812 near Goerlitz, in Prussia, and died on January 23, 1888 in Pennsylvania. Dr. Lippe was educated in Berlin and came to the United States in 1838. He first settled in Reading (Berks County), PA and set up practice.

Lippe was the son of Count Ludwig and Countess Augusta zur Lippe, scions of an old and illustrious family, whose estate lay near the town of Goerlitz, Prussia. Here Lippe was born on May 11, 1812.

His parents tried to persuade him to study law, but he had made up his mind to become a homeopathic physician. He received his medical education in Berlin and shortly after his graduation in 1837, he sailed for America and matriculated in the Allentown Academy, the only homeopathic college then in existence.

To further his knowledge, in the fall of 1838 Lippe registered in the first and only homeopathic medical college in the world, the North American Academy of the Homeopathic Healing Art in Allentown, Pennsylvania, also known as the Allentown Academy.

On August 28, 1841 Lippe passed his final examination in front of Drs. Wesselhoeft, Henry Detweiller, Freytag and Romig and graduated with a Doctorate in Homeopathic Medicine. Lippe said that “the possession of an Allentown diploma is an honor to its holder, as it was only obtained by worthy applicants. Many who tried to pass were rejected as incapable.” The Allentown Academy closed soon after this and Lippe was their last graduate.

After this rigorous training, Lippe moved from Reading to Pottsville, PA in 1841 where he practiced with success and growing ability until 1844 when called to a larger field in Carlisle, PA.

J. C Guernsey, the son of H. N. Guernsey, wrote in his rendering of the history of homeopathy in Pennsylvania that “by Dr. Lippe’s labors in Carlisle and the neighboring counties where homeopathy was unknown, he opened a large field for our school.”

Throughout this time, Dr. Lippe made a name for himself with his treatment of various epidemics common in the Cumberland Valley. Then in 1850 Lippe moved permanently to Philadelphia and took two gentlemen from Carlisle with him to pursue the study of homeopathy.

Dr. Lippe held the position of Chair of Materia Medica at the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania from 1864-1869. He helped launch several of the best homeopathic journals ever to be published, including the Organon, the Hahnemannian Monthly, and the Homeopathic Physician. His unswerving commitment to pure homeopathy was unparalleled, even in his day!

Considered by many to be one of the most clinically successful homeopathic physicians in our great legacy, Dr. Lippe’s multitudinous publications provide a blueprint for homeopathic practice. From his suggestions on how to study Materia Medica to his exposition of Hahnemannian homeopathy, Dr. Lippe gives us incontrovertible evidence of a highly successful homeopathic method.

Emigrating to the United States in 1839 he presented himself to the sole school of the homeopathic practice in this country

  • the old Allentown Academy of the Homoeopathic Healing Art. After assiduous application he was granted his diploma from Dr. Constantine Hering, as President of the institution, on July 27, 1841.

Removing to Pottsville, Dr. von Lippe practiced with success and growing ability until called to a larger field, at Carlisle. Here the prevalent epidemics of the Cumberland Valley gave him a new distinction, by means of which he was, six years later, induced to settle in Philadelphia. Here he speedily attained a marked distinction in the most fashionable practice of his day.

Aside, however, from his strictly professional labors, Dr. von Lippe had been a regular contributor to homeopathic literature and an active correspondent with his confreres in foreign parts, and more especially with David Wilson in London and Rocco Rubini in Naples.

The correspondence, now turned yellow with the lapse of years, is both interesting and instructive and quite fully attests the warm friendship of many admirers. Rocco Rubini’s original pamphlet in Italian, introducing the Cactus Grandiflorus, is particularly valuable.

Dr. von Lippe filled the Chair of Materia Medica in the Homoeopathic College of Pennsylvania from 1863 to 1868 and with distinguished success. He also translated valuable Italian, German, and French Homoeopathic essays and treatises, that are now standard.

He augmented and improved the homeopathic meteria medica, and by his clinical reports has shown how this may be rendered practically available and utilized in the application of homoeopathic knowledge and principles.

Adopting homoeopathy after careful examination, when qualified to institute and conduct it; believing it to be progressive rather than stagnant, and having devoted the best years of a prosperous life to establishing its claims in this country, he absolutely rejected all claims and solicitations that would have recalled him to Germany.

Adolph wrote Key to the Materia Medica Or, Comparative Pharmacodynamic, Keynotes of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica, Text Book of Materia Medica, Key notes & red line symptoms of the materia medica, Valedictory Address Delivered at the Eighteenth Annual Commencement of the … , Who is a Homoeopathician?: A Lecture Delivered Before the Hahnemannian … , Cholera; Its Treatment by Homoeopathy, Cholera: Lecture Delivered at the Homœopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania, What is Homœopathy: A Lecture, the preface to Samuel Hahnemann’s The Genius of the Homœopathic Healing Art: Preface to the Second Volume of … , The Healing Art. A Higher Medical Education. A Reply to Prof. William Pepper … , A Reply to Prof. William Pepper’s Insult to the Homoeopathic School of … .

Constantine Lippe 1840-1885 was Adolph’s son and he was also a homeopath. He died as a result of wounds received during the American Civil War, when he suffered a shattered fracture of his tibia and refused amputation. Constantine graduated alongside notable homeopaths such as Ernest Albert Farrington, Thomas Lindsley Bradford, Edward William Berridge and Walter James, all of which contributed in major ways to the profession.

In June of 1876, Dr. Adolph Lippe gave a dinner party at which were assembled Dr. Edward Bayard, Dr. Henry N. Guernsey, Dr. Constantine Lippe, Dr. Samuel Swan, two or three others whose names it is impossible now to recall, and the writer …

Constantine Lippe wrote Repertory to the More Characteristic Symptoms of the Materia Medica.


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