Sue Young Histories

Johann Gottfried Rademacher 1772 - 1849

July 07, 2008

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.


Any views or advice in this site should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice or treatment, especially if you know you have a specific health complaint