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The history of our homoeopathic system of medicine has been enriched with numerous stalwarts right from the founder Dr. Hahnemann to present day maestros. But among all these, Dr. Constantine Hering stands as a Colossus. Born on the 1st of January, 1800, at Oschatz - a small village, he grew up in the vineyards of Saxony in Germany.

At a very early age he developed a keen desire for natural sciences and under the guidance of Dr. Robbi - an eminent surgeon of his time, he took admission in the University of Leipzig. At the age of 26 years, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Wurzburg. In 1821, he received a dissecting wound on his right index finger and was advised amputation. One of his close aides persuaded him to try a minute dose of Arsenic alb, which he agreed. He gradually recovered. At this, Hering remarked “the last obstacles placed between my eyes and the rising sun of the new healers are vanished. The finger is still my own.”

This was Hering’s first tryst with homoeopathy. It was instrumental in compelling him to master the healing art of homoeopathy of which he himself was cured by. He penned his thoughts to Hahnemann regarding his wishes to delve into the therapeutics of homoeopathy to which the Master replied “your active zeal for the beneficial art delights me... I would like to become better acquainted with you.”

Hering worked as an instructor in Natural History before serving as a botanist at Paramaribo in Surinam. In 1828, he resigned as a botanist and settled there to practice homoeopathy. It was then, that he had an opportunity to prove “Lachesis” after potentising the venom of Surukuku snake. Subsequently he proved 104 remedies upon himself.

In 1831 Hering married Madame Charlotte Van Kemper and they bore a son. Unfortunately his wife died the subsequent year. During his stay, he taught homoeopathy to his first pupil - George Bute, a Philidelphian missionary, who was to become an important link in bringing Hering to the United States. After coming to Philadelphia, Hering settled in his homoeopathic practice.

His life took a turn when he was approached by several doctors of adjacent areas to accept the post of President and establish a homoeopathic school. Finally, on 10th April, 1835 The North American Academy of the Homoeopathic Healing Art better known as “Allentown Academy”- the first in the world, was inaugurated. All courses were taught in German.

Hering married Madame Marianne Husmann in 1834 and had 4 children. But she died in 1840. So in 1846, Hering was married 3rd time to Madame Therese Bucheim and had 8 children.

Homoeopathic pharmacy was another area of Hering’s interest. He convinced Dr. Samuel Dubs to prepare the first “decimal potencies.” Hering was a voracious writer and from 1835 up to his death he wrote and published many classic treatise on Homoeopathy: Domestic Physician (1835), Comparitive Materia Medica (1867), Materia Medica (1873), Analytical Therapeutics (1875), Condensed Materia Medica (1877) and Guiding Symptoms - 10 Volumes (1880). He was also the editor of North American Hom. Journal, the Homoeopathic News, the American Hom. Materia Medica in the years between 1851-71.

On July 23rd, 1880, Hering saw a patient in the afternoon, had supper with his family and retired in his study to work on the 4th Volume of “Guiding Symptoms.” He experienced heaviness in breathing and by the time Dr. Rane, the physician who was called had arrived, Hering’s soul left his mortal remains. The funeral was held 5 days later and it coincided with the 52nd anniversary of his first Lachesis proving.

In every fibre of his soul he was a Homoeopath. On His 134th Death Anniversary, it shall be a fitting tribute to Him, if by following his life and works, we may in some way improvise our knowledge of our system and renew our commitments towards the goal of our lives, just as He did.

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Comment by Dr. Aadil Chimthanawala on July 25, 2014 at 1:27am

ASWK Dr. Wequar Sahab! Thanx a lot for ur comments. BTW today i.e. 25th July is Birthday of another great homeopath - Dr. G. Vithulkas.. Happy Birthday to him.

Comment by Dr. Wequar Ali Khan on July 24, 2014 at 11:25am

Thank you Dr Chimthanawala,for short biography on Dr Herring. It was refreshing.

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