Alexander Ostrovsky, director of the OLLO Homeopathic Center
The first record of Homeopathy in Russia dates to 1824. Shtegeman and Bizhel
may be considered the first Russian homeopaths. In 1827, Doctor Bizhel wrote the
scholarly work "A theoretical and Practical Trial of Doctor Hahnemann's
Treatment Methodology," for which the Legion of Honor order was conferred on
him. During the 1830 cholera epidemic, homeopathic doctors actively rendered
medical assistance to the victims of epidemic.
The epidemic's intensification and the difficulties in treating cholera
compelled the Russian medical community to send a letter to Hahnemann. The
letter contained a detailed description of the symptoms of the disease, as well
as a request to indicate appropriate remedies. Camphora, Arsenicum, Veratrum,
Cuprum were indicated by Hahnemann. The effect of the first application of these
remedies was remarkable and thereafter these remedies were extensively used
during cholera epidemics all over the world.
In 1830-31 statistics on cholera treatment by allopathic remedies were
published the by Foreign Ministry ( 63 percent mortality) and by homeopathic
treatment (11 percent mortality). Doctors practicing homeopathy must know the
glorious names of the public figures who saved thousands of people in those
disastrous times: admiral S. I. Mardvinov, S. I. Korsakov, A. I. Lvov, D.I.
Adam, Peterson, Cherminskiy. We would like to dwell more on some of the doctors
who contributed greatly to the promotion of homeopathy at that time.
Doctor Dal was born in 1801. In 1823, he entered the Medical University,
where Pirogov and Inozemtsev, P. H. D. scholars in medicine, studied at the same
time. Among the medical community of that time, which was stridently against
homeopathy, Dal had no equal in his opposition. However, watching the recovery
of homeopathic patients, he turned from persecutor into one of the most ardent
defenders of homeopathic treatment. Obtaining the position of head of the
management office at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Dal not only convinced
Minister Perovskiy of the benefit of homeopathy but persuaded him to open a
specialized homeopathic department of 50 beds at the Unskilled Labourers'
In 1898, in the eighth issue of the magazine " Doctor- Homeopath," a letter
written by Dal to the Duke Odoevskiy was published, where Dal's adherence to
homeopathic treatment was vividly expressed. The author described the false
croup his son was suffering from and how he managed to remove it, which made him
come to believe even more in homeopathic treatment.
The widely renowned chief doctor of Tiflis Military Hospital I. A. Pribylov,
who was highly respected by Ermolov and Arndtom, and who had accompanied The
Emperor Nickolas the first in his tour of the Caucasus, used Homeopathy
extensively not only in a private homeopathic practice but quite often in
The well known in homeopathic community doctor Graufogel in 1872, delivered a
course of lectures at Helsingfors Hospital but temporally quit this work, since
he was called to the bed side of the favourite of Alexander the Second, Duke
Allerberg. The patient was laid up with rheumatic paralysis and could not move.
The patient completely recovered in six weeks. Graufogel was awarded the Order
of Ann, second degree. During his brief stay in Finland, Graufogel became a well
known doctor and had a big practice, although the regional inspector's reference
about him was not satisfactory.
The first attempt to set up a homeopathic society was made in 1858. It was
the project of doctor - homeopath Deriker, who was one of the most ardent
defenders of homeopathy. Nevertheless, the attempt failed due to unfavorable
attitude of Lanskoy, Home Affairs Minister.
Several years later, in 1870, Minister of Home Affairs Timashev approved the
new charter of the Saint Petersburg Society of the Doctors Homeopaths. The
society was supported by the Tsar's family and high clergy.
The creation of this Society made possible the publication of the journal of
the Society of The Doctors Homeopaths. The journal was subsidized by Fleming,
the founder of the first homeopathic drug store in Russia.
Charity was always part of the Saint Petersburg Homeopathic Society's
activities. In 1874, an open letter from Doctor Deriker to the Red Cross society
was published. In this letter, Doctor Deriker tells of how doctors homeopaths
left for Serbia. He also suggests treating open wounds with arnica lotion, which
is especially helpful under war conditions. To bandage wounds, he recommended
dissolving one part Arnica tincture in 4-6 parts water.
Pavel Soloviev is also known as an ardent promoter of Homeopathy. It was he
who laid the cornerstone of the Homeopathic Hospital named after Alexander the
The lecture " On Homeopathic Douses" delivered by P.H.D. Doctor in medicine
L. Brazol was a landmark in the development of Homeopathy. The effect of the low
concentration of substances was summarized in this lecture. In particular, he
described high sensitivity to Ipecacuanha and experiments conducted by Doctor
Mollen on the effect of Tartarus oemeticus (Antimonium tartaricum) in 6D
solution, which transforms lung tissues. He also spoke about experiments carried
out by Professor Arnold on the effects of one millionth of a gram of Strichninum
on frogs, which provoked symptoms of tetanus. The lecture emphasized the high
sensitivity of unhealthy organs and body systems as well as the importance of
this factor for the effect of the small doses.
L.Brazol arrives at the conclusion of the dominating importance of the
similarity principal. He considered the dose issue to be of minor importance. He
finished this lecture with the words "endlessly minor causes entail endlessly
serious consequences and thus a human body, as everything in the natural world,
is none other than a homeopathic laboratory."
The magazine "Doctor Homeopath," edited by A.F. Fleming, began to be
published in 1890. Articles written in Russian as well as translations of
foreign articles that summarized cases cured by homeopathic remedies were
published in this magazine.
Thus, in the course of the the 19th century, Homeopathy survived thanks to
individual enthusiasts, who were supported by high ranking persons loyal to
These people managed to create a community of like-minded people and promote
Homeopathic methodology in different parts of the country.
In January 1896, apart from the Saint Petersburg Society of Homeopathy
Adherents, there was the Saint Petersburg Society of Doctors Homeopaths, two
hospitals and a drug store operating under their auspices. There also were
societies of doctors homeopaths in Kiev, Odessa, Chernigov, Charkov, Poltava,
Warsaw, Vilnus and Moscow. Members of the State Council, relatives of the Tsar's
family and representatives of the clergy belonged to Homeopathic Societies.
Further, we will give a short record of the history of The Moscow Homeopathy
Adherents Society. It was inaugurated in December of 1894. General N. F.
Fedorovskiy was elected the president of the society.
A year later, N.K. Boyanus became the chairman of the society's council
board. The favorable attitude of the Minister of Home Affairs, as well as of the
Moscow public, increased the membership of the society to 166 people in one
year. By 1896, two homeopathic drug stores and one hospital had been set up in
The head of the hospital D. S. Trifonovskaya, doctors V.N. Dunkel, P.A.
Muchin and V. U. Shtrub were the most active advocates of Homeopathy in
Doctor Frenkel, who moved from Saint Petersburg to Moscow and started a big
private homeopathic practice, played an essential role in the promotion of
Homeopathy in Moscow. He wrote two books, "The Pathogenesis of Homeopathic
Remedies" and " Treatment of Internal Disease by Homeopathic Remedies". The
magazine "Homeopathic Review" was edited by him too.
The major event in the life of the Homeopathic community was The All Russian
Homeopathic Congress, which was held in Russia from 20- 22 October 1913 in Saint
Petersburg. Delegates from all over the country took part in the congress. The
congress was held in the assembly hall of the Kalashnikova Grain Exchange and
was very well organized.
X.X. Roop was elected the chairman of the first Russian Congress of
Homeopathic Adherents. There were two papers presented, "What Is Homeopathy" by
L.E.Brazol and "Biological Bases of Homeopathy" by Dunkel. Doctor Lutsenko gave
a talk on "Cancer Treatment by Homeopathy" and Doctor Frenkel discussed "The
Possibility of Organizing Homeopathy Department in Russia."
The most vital issues of the future development of Homeopathy in Russia were
considered at the Congress. The creation of a homeopathic pharmacopoeia was one
of these issues. The W. Schwabe pharmacopoeia was suggested as the basic
pharmacopoeia, supplemented with new remedies. It was recommended to start
medical educational homeopathic courses. Medical inspectors were supposed to
control the preparation of homeopathic medicine. Some of the issues raised at
the Congress are still vital.
At this point, we can complete the review of the pre-Revolutionary period in
the development of Russian Homeopathy.
In post-Revolutionary times, the most important step in the life of Russian
Homeopathy was the foundation of the All-Russian Homeopathic Society of Doctors
Homeopaths in Moscow in 1920. Doctor Sokolov, the remarkable promoter of
Homeopathy, became its first chairman. It was he who was the head of the Moscow
delegation at the first Russian Congress of Homeopathic Adherents. V.N. Sokolov
managed to collect around him such talented doctors as V. V. Postnikov, V.N.
Dunkel and some others. In The All-Russian Society of Doctors Homeopaths, they
studied Homeopathic methodology, published Russian and foreign literature and
promoted Homeopathy among the medical community. In 1938, during the time of
Stalin's repression, the society was closed. V.V. Postnikov and D. Kegeli died
of serious diseases after they were released from prison. In 1936, homeopathic
clinics were opened in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and Riga. One of the oldest
Homeopathic drug stores functions in Riga. It is 150 years old now. In 1958, The
Moscow Homeopathic Society was opened. V.I. Ribak was elected its first
president. The society held clinical analytical sessions with patients,
republished classics of Homeopathy and organized the training of doctors
homeopaths. A number of remarkable doctors played a very important role in the
promotion of Homeopathy both in the 19th and 20th centuries. They are Moscow
doctors N.M. Vavilova, S. A. Mukhin, I.M. Lipnitskiy, V.I. Varshavskiy. Their
high professional skills and effectiveness in treating patients promoted the
stability of Homeopathy and preservation of Homeopathic methodology. It also
helped to educate a new generation of doctors. Each of them wrote a manuscript
and trained disciples who continued their Guru's cause. The books written by
N.M. Vavilova and T. M. Lipnitskiy are still used as manuals for doctors
The Public Health Services Administration doubted the efficiency of the
Homeopathic method and repeatedly arranged experiments to study the comparative
efficiency of homeopathic and conventional methods. Four clinical experiments
were conducted from 1937 to 1975.The experiments were carried out at hospitals
practicing conventional methodology. Quite often the professors and specialists
responsible for the experiments had a negative attitude to the research they
participated in. However, the obvious positive results of treatment and
objectivity of some participants in the experiment made the survival of the
homeopathic method possible in Moscow and some other cities in the Soviet Union.
The period between 1968 and 1974 was the most difficult time for Soviet
Homeopathy. In 1968, the notorious Order 610 was issued. It banned the teaching
of Homeopathy as well as the publishing of Homeopathic literature. The Moscow
Homeopathic Society was disbanded and 20 Homeopathic remedies were banned.
In 1975, by the order of the minister of Public Health Services, an
experiment is conducted at six Moscow clinics and research centers in Moscow to
test the efficiency of Homeopathic Method of treatment. The names of the doctors
who took part in this experiment must be mentioned. They are Doctor Lipnitskiy,
who was in charge of the experiment, doctors L.E Seletskiy, L.S. Korsakov, V.G.
Glaz, A.B. Khazanova, A.C. Trubitsin, O.G. Chaikin, N.P. Vavilov, S.O. Sarapina,
L.A. Kaplan, E.G. Klimova, A.M. Shelepenko, Z.P. Freyman, N.M. Kononova, Y.Z.
Lubchin, L.D. Umanskiy, S.G. Order, A.D. Sokolova, L.O. Zilbertrud.
These doctors, skillfully using S. Hahnemann's method, achieved the best
possible results in this experiment. It is impossible to disregard the
activities of the Popov family dynasty. D.V. Popov and his daughter T. D. Popova
organized a Homeopathic service in Kiev and later on in Ukraine. The Popov's
commitment and great experience in homeopathic treatment contributed to the
creation of the Popov Homeopathic School.
The positive constructive attitude of the Ministry of Public Health made
Homeopathy an officially recognized method of treatment. A Federal Center on
Homeopathy and Conventional Medicine has been set up. Scientific research Center
"Farmatsie" is playing a key role in the promotion of Homeopathy and the
creation of a pharmacopoeia.
As the final point of our review, we would like to emphasize that, in the
course of the historical development of Homeopathy in our country, it remained
practical medicine, which has repeatedly demonstrated its efficiency at the
bedside of the sick, helping our compatriots to get over their ailments.
Homeopathy has always been and still remains a method that, besides profound
knowledge and intuition, undoubtedly requires love and a desire to help the
sick. We believe that, in the future, mankind will be able to defeat many
incurable diseases with the help of Homeopathy.