Sue Young Histories

Rudolf Arndt 1835 – 1900

January 04, 2009

Rudolf Arndt 1835 – 1900 was a German psychiatrist from Bialken, district of Marienwerder. Arndt was Professor of Psychiatry at Greifswald.

Rudolf Arndt, a psychiatrist and an advocate of homeopathy, and his colleague Hugo Schulz, are known for research of a phenomenon known as hormesis, which shows that toxins can have the opposite effect in small doses than in large doses, the Arndt Schulz rule.

From ‘… Schultz demonstrated that very low concentrations of yeast toxins increased yeast growth over 100 fold. Concurrently, the psychiatrist Rudolph Arndt developed his “Basic Law of Biology,” which states that weak stimuli slightly accelerate the vital activity, middle-strong stimuli raise it, strong stimuli suppresses it, and very strong stimuli halt vital activity.

These separate observations were formulated by Arndt in 1888 into one of the earliest laws of pharmacology representing the homeopathic effect, the Arndt Schulz rule, which states: every stimulus on a living cell elicits an activity, which is inversely proportional to the intensity of the stimulus.

This law was later restated by Ferdinand Hueppe as: for every substance, small doses stimulate, moderate doses inhibit, large doses kill.

Allopathic medicine, with its emphasis on moderate drug doses, works to inhibit undesired physical symptoms and to kill undesired pathogens. Homeopathic medicine begins with small doses and moves towards higher and higher dilutions to stimulate the body’s own natural electromagnetic forces…’

Hugo Schulz’s experiments in homeopathy were essentially triggered by Rudolf Arndt, who was an ardent advocate of homeopathy (*and possibly related to a homeopath), and he incorporated homeopathic ideology into his work.

From Rudolph Arndt, a German physician, found similar results in his research on the effects of low doses of drugs on animals. Arndt claimed that toxins in general produced stimulation of biological endpoints such as growth or fertility at low doses…

From Arndt studied in Greifswald and Halle under Felix von Niemeyer, Heinrich Adolf von Bardeleben, and Heinrich Philipp August Damerow (who was an advocate of homeopathy), and was conferred doctor of medicine on 20 February 1860. From 1861 he was in private practice, but also participated in the campaigns of 1864, 1866, and 1870-1871. It was a time when no German surgeon needed to suffer from want of work and study material. He was graduated in 1867 and was appointed Professor of Psychiatry at Greifswald in 1873. He died of angina pectoris.

Of interest:

*Hugo Emil Rudolph Arndt was a native born German who immigrated to America to become Professor of Materia Medica in the Homeopathic Medical College in 1927, and who delivered the Hahnemann Oration in 1896 in San Diego.

Hugo Emil Rudolph Arndt wrote A System of Medicine: Based Upon the Law of Homeopathy, A Practice of Medicine, First lessons in the symptomatology of leading homeopathic remedies (see also this translation), and he was an editor of Pamphlets - Homoeopathic, and he co-edited Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Arranged Upon a Physiological and Pathological Basis with Charles Julius Hempel.