Homeopathy in Sweden

Homeopathy in Sweden

Professor George Wahlenberg of Uppsala did not practice but knew Stapf in Germany. He discussed homeopathy with several others, including Peter Jacob Leidbeck of Stockholm who began practice and visited Hahnemann in 1832.

A journal was published in Stockholm in 1855-56. The first Organon in Swedish was translated by Liedbeck in 1835.

The practice of homeopathy was "almost unknown in 1902." There was one pharmacy with low potencies in the country. There were eight homeopaths listed in 1911.

In 1907, a journal called Homoeopatiens Seger (The Victory of Homeopathy) was published, under editor Dr. Helledag. It lasted five years. In 1909 the first homeopathic association was established-Hahnemann-föreningen- in Göteborg. Its aim was to start a free clinic for poor people, and also to start a homeopathic hospital. However, for different reasons, it was never really maintained.

In 1912 Svenska homeopatiska Läkarföreningen (Swedish Homeopathic Society for Physicians) was started by Dr. Gröndal and Dr. Helledag. All practicing homeopathic doctors were members. In 1912 the faculty of four medical schools refused to recognize homeopathy as a legitimate practice. Said the 1911 Directory: "Many allopaths use homeopathy on themselves and their families, but are afraid, due to inexperience, to try it on their patients."

During this time there were also conflicts between medical doctors practicing homeopathy and several practicing homeopaths who were not licensed physicians, and whose skill level was sorely questioned. In 1915 Svenska föreningen for Vetenskaplig Homeopati (Swedish Association for Scientific Homeopathy) was established. The main aim was to make homeopathy reach the same status as allopathy. The association published a journal, called Sigyn. In 1919 the name was changed into Homoeopatiens Seger and the editor, once again, was Dr. Helledag, The association still exists and its journal today is called Tidskrift för Homeopati (Journal of Homeopathy).

In 1919, the Government decided homeopathic remedies could be sold freely, without a prescription. In 1928 an association for non-medical homeopathic practitioners, Svenska Homeopaters Riksförbund, was established. Its name today is Svenska Homeopraktikers Riksförbund (SHR). Three times- in 1944, 1952 and 1955- the Government attempted to ban the sale of homeopathic medicines, but all efforts to do so failed. In 1941 and 1950 there were attempts to forbid lay homeopaths from practicing, but these also failed.

In January 1961 the prevaling law concerning the practice of homeopathy came into force. Even though there are limitations on practicing homeopathy, it was a victory for the homeopathic community. One of the laws forbids homeopaths (and other alternative practitioners) treating patients under eight years old.

Harald Ramme, wrote several short materia medicas based on his own experiences. In 1971 he founded the first school in Sweden, Arcanum in Göteborg, which is now run by his son. The school also runs a publishing enterprise, and has translated some homeopathic books into Swedish. The elder Ramme also started producing homeopathic remedies. The pharmacy is called DCG Farmaceutiska AB, and it is the main supplier of homeopathic remedies in Scandinavia.

In 1985 Svenska Akademin för Klassisk Homeopati (SAKH) was established with 15 members, growing to about 90 during its 13 years of existence. Today, practicing homeopaths in Sweden can belong to the SAKH, the SHR, and the Hahnemann Collegium (HC), founded in 1988. Two organizations whose members use different therapies including homeopathy are Svenska Naturmedicinska Sällskapet (SNS) and Svenska Naturläkarförbundet (SNLF).

The total membership in the three homeopathic organizations is about 250 (some are members of two organizations). In Stockholm (one million population) 40 homeopaths are in the yellow pages. Medicina Futura (MF), started in 1995, teaches from the ECCH guide lines. The homeopathic part of the school is a three year, part-time course.

Nordiska Akademi för Klassisk Homeopati (NAKH), is a three year part time school of homeopathy. Students have to have a nurse's level of medical training to be accepted. It started teaching in 1986. Naturmedicinska Fackskolan (NMF), is a five year part-time, or two year, full-time, school of medicine homeopathy and other alternative methods. It started in 1975. Nordiska Hahnemann Institutet (NHI), provides a course of homeopathy, and is associated with a school for medical studies.

Practical training for graduate homeopaths is a problem in Sweden, since there are few well-trained homeopaths with experience. There are eight pharmacies, several of them making their own remedies. The country is represented in the LMHI.