Sue Young Histories

Christian Freidrich Langhammer 1786 - 1850

January 24, 2009

Christian Freidrich Langhammer 1786? - 1850? MD was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy.

Langhammer was a student of Samuel Hahnemann and he also knew Carl Franz, Frantz Hartmann, Christian Gottlob Hornburg, Mathias Roth and Karl Friedrich Gottfried Trinks.

Frantz Hartmann says : (N. W. J. Hom., Vol. IV., p. 189. Med. Couns., Vol. XI., p. 243.) “A few words must be said about Langhammer. I would prefer to pass him in silence if I could do so, but the frequent mention of his name by Samuel Hahnemann necessitates my speaking of him.

“He was a small, somewhat ill-shaped man, and this defect of body seemed to be reflected in his mind. Ten years my senior, this dwarfed mental condition could only be accounted for by an unwillingness to make the necessary exertion, lack of diligence, the cherishing of barren ideas and speculations and a fondness for the farniente, characteristics which he could not master, even at the University, which, however, were brought into prominence by his poverty.

“At heart he was a good fellow, but timid, diffident, suspecting, all this largely because he was conscious of his intellectual weakness. It may create surprise that I describe so painstakingly the faults of Langhammer, but I am talking about the first provers’ union and the results of their work as shown in the provings. The symptoms of each prover partake more or less of his individuality.

“A man’s individuality, however, does not wholly depend upon his natural temperament or gifts, but is also a true mirror of the passions, habits, etc., which affect not only his acts, but his sensations, expressions and the functional activity of his organism. This was the case with Langhammer. If he did not live in a world of dreary imaginings he was wont to give his mind to sensuous dreams of ecstacy. This accounts for certain peculiarities in the mental and sexual symptoms of the remedies proven by him, and their similarity in the various remedies. His other symptoms have scarcely any particular value, owing to a lack of exactness in the description of his sensations, and of clear, precise language.

Samuel Hahnemann was usually obliged to name for hint appropriate terms, of which he then made the selection.

Gustav Wilhelm Gross in the Archiv says of Langhammer: (Archiv fur die hour. Heilkunst, Vol. XX., pt. I., p. 76. British Journal of Homeopathy Vol. xix., p. 626.)

“Most of the provers who are introduced by name into Samuel Hahnemann’s work are personally known to me, and I remember one person whose observations in a certain direction appeared to me from the very first liable to suspicion.

“I mean Langhammer, who was my fellow student at Leipsic, who with much feebleness of body was certainly a healthy young man, but lived in very straitened circumstances, by which his otherwise timid disposition was made still more retiring and rendered more liable to sorrow and care. For this reason all the moral symptoms which he observed in himself are of little or no value.

“Let any one compare the symptoms of Ledum palustre (117.150): Cicuta virosa (203.204): Calcarea acetica (227.229): Cyclamen European (139.192): Acidum mur. (211): Ruta grav. (254); Conium mac. (274); Spigelia anthelmintica (530): Verbascum thapsus (140); Stannum (44;):

“Feels discontented with his neighbors, and shuns them: withdraws into solitude with tendency to weep: anguish as if he had committed some crime; deep reflection on the present and the future.” - often repeated in the same words, but are conditions which must in his circumstances have been pretty natural to my good friend Langhammer, so that, practically, they lose all their value. Also a great number of symptoms under the different medicines show that he was quiet, absorbed in himself, not inclined to speak.”

Constantine Hering says: (Hahnemannian Monthly, Vol. Vii., p. 176.) “Chr. Fr. Langhammer was one of the most zealous provers, and one of the most careful and successful. He was a hunchback, rather peculiar, and often the butt of ridicule to the class, but much favored by Samuel Hahnemann.

“He cured a blind girl, of great beauty and some income, who married him out of gratitude, and they lived together very happily. He looked upon his old classmates with great contempt, because his success in life had offended them. A stream of slanders has since been poured over him, and, of course, all has been carefully repeated by the would be critics.”

Arnold Lorbacher says: (British Journal of Homeopathy Vol. XXXII., p. 457) “The least important among the members of this early circle of Samuel Hahnemann’s disciples was undoubtedly Langhammer, a man deformed in body and mind, without energy, who spent his time in unprofitable brooding, and who never could acquire any enthusiasm for the cause.

“Unfavorable outward circumstances, for the successful combating of which an energetic nature was necessary, may have contributed materially to his depressed disposition. On these accounts the value of his contributions to the Materia Medica is, to say the least, doubtful.”

An interesting account of the provings of Langhammer may be found in the Homoopathische Vierlejahrschrift, Vol. xiv., p. 406.