Dr. Clemens Von Boenninghausen
Dr. Boenninghausen was born to one of the oldest noble families of Westphalia, Germany. His full name was Clemens Maria Franz Baron Von Boenninghausen. He was Baron by inheritance, a lawyer by profession, and an agriculturist by natural inclination. He held respected and responsible posts in Germany and enjoyed a life of position and influence.
As a Doctor of Law, Dr. Boenninghausen practiced as a lawyer for some time and later became a judge. Because of his interest in horticulture, he was made Director of Botanical Gardens at Munster. Here, he came to be known as the "Sage of Munster." It was in 1827 that he developed purulent tuberculosis.
When he did not find any relief from the best orthodox treatment, and the physicians gave no hope of his recovery, he wrote a letter to his friend, Dr. A. Weihe, expressing his hopelessness for life and bidding him his last goodbye. Dr. A. Weihe was a homoeopath and asked Boenninghausen to try homoeopathic treatment. Fortunately for Boenninghausen and for homoeopathy, Dr. Weihe cured him.
Being greatly impressed with his treatment Boenninghausen took deep interest in studying homoeopathy and devoted his remaining years to the cause of homoeopathy. During this time he maintained regular correspondence with Dr. Hahnemann. Most of his systematic works concerning homoeopathy were published between 1828 and 1846. He was a regular contributor of articles on homoeopathic subjects to the journals.
On account of Dr. Boenninghausen's great learning and practice, King Wilhem IV, in July 1843, issued a Cabinet Order bestowing upon him all the rights and immunities of a practicing physician. Boenninghausen died at the ripe age of 79 in 1864.
The outstanding contributions to the advancement of Homoeopathy by Boenninghausen were:
- Classification of Characteristic Symptoms
- Compilation of the First Repertory of Anti-Psoric Remedies.
Boenninghausen classified the characteristic symptoms into seven categories. They are:
- Quis (Personality of the Patient)
- Quid (Peculiarity of Complaints)
- Ubi (Seat of Disease)
- Quibus Auxilus (Concomitant Symptoms)
- Cur (Causations)
- Quamado (Modalities of Time)
- Quando (Modalities of Circumstances).
The second task allotted to him by Hahnemann was to prepare a 'Repertory' to make it easier to choose the correct homoeopathic remedy. It was very difficult and time-consuming to select the simillimum from the vast 'Materia Medica', hence the idea of 'Repertory' was the only answer. Boenninghausen knew about the Scheme of Hahnemann (the sequence in which the proved symptoms of homoeopathic remedies were arranged by Hahnemann). He knew all the proved anti-psoric remedies and their characteristic symptoms. Hence he was best fitted to compile the first 'Repertory'. Dr. Hahnemann used the 'Repertory' and found it very handy and useful.
The Whole Health Now website includes the full text of Boenninghausen's article, The Characteristic Value of Symptoms, translated in 1908 by Tafel.
Another related article is this account of translating Boenninghausen's Therapeutic Pocketbook for RADAR Software.
Books by Clemens von Boenninghausen
- Pocket Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica
Boenninghausen is often the first real materia medica to be studied; he offers a satisfying amount of information about a goodly number of remedies. A boon to inexperienced homeopaths.
- Boenninghausen's Characteristics Materia Medica and Repertory
Cyrus Maxwell Boger collected and translated essentially all of Boenninghausen's work into this one book. His translation of Boenninghausen's original German rubrics into English is considered to be more accurate than that of Allen. In addition, there is an excellent and exhaustive Index enabling one to readily locate symptoms.
- Lesser Writings of Boenninghausen
All the magazine articles penned by Boenninghausen, as well as a few of the smaller pamphlets. Collected by T.L. Bradford and translated into English by H. Tafel.
- New Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica
William Boericke created this reformatted version of Boenninghausen's classic pocket manual.