Rudolf Steiner Archive 


Medical Research.

Fruits of Anthroposophy.

This article is an exerpt from the book “The Fruits of Anthroposophy — an Introduction to The Work of Dr. Rudolf Steiner”, published in 1922 by The Threefold Commonwealth, London. The book was compiled and edited by George Kaufmann, M.A. Cantab.

V. Medical Research.

Clinical and pharmaceutical research has been carried on for a number of years by medical practitioners and scientific chemists on the lines indicated by the Anthroposophical Science of man and of his relation to the surrounding world. The successful and promising work which was thus begun by individual workers, has recently taken shape through the following institutions. A considerable impetus was given through Dr. Rudolf Steiner's courses of lectures to medical men at the Goetheanum, Dornach, in the spring of 1920 and 1921. (See above, under IV; see also the article by Dr. E. Kolisko in this book.)

  1. The Arlesheim Clinical and Therapeutical Institute (Dr. Ita Wegmann), Arlesheim near Basle, Switzerland. The following is an extract from the Prospectus: —

    “The Institute originated from a perception that the medical science of the present day needs to be placed upon a broader and deeper foundation of anthroposophical science. ... Anthroposophical science does not start in dilettante ignorance of all that has been done before it. Far from disregarding the results of physiology and anatomy, it does full justice to all that these sciences have already achieved. But it goes beyond them in its methods and aims. — Practical pathological knowledge is very considerably enlarged, and the possibilities of therapeutical treatment materially extended. The treatment of patients in this institute is in no way contrary to modern medical theory and practice. It is an extension of them. — We do not go in for unique and exclusive methods of treatment ... We aim at all-roundedness, both in diagnosis and clinical practice. Due attention is paid to the psychic constitution of the patient, — his way of thinking, his feeling, his will, — without for one moment forgetting, that diseases have their seat in the physical organism. There is nothing hazy or mystical about anthroposophical science. Its methods are directed at arriving at a profounder knowledge of the physical human being, his nervous and sensory system, his rhythmic system, and the whole process of chemical changes throughout the body. Research along these lines results not only in a qualitative acquaintance with individual drugs, but also in a knowledge of the quantities proper in the individual case, — when, for instance, to administer minimal doses, as in homoeopathy, or when a drug must be used in larger bulk, as in allopathy. In addition to the old and recognised remedies, also in use, certain new and specific ones are employed, which were brought to light by anthroposophical research, and have been tested in clinical practice. Treatment of patients is further carried on by means of Rest-, Light-, and Sun-Cures, ... Hydro- and Electro-Therapeutics, Psychotherapeutics (in a rational form and extent), Medical Eurhythmy ...” The Clinic is of course, from its whole idea, in close connection with the School of Spiritual Science (Anthroposophy), the Goetheanum at Dornach.
  2. The Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research Laboratory and Manufactory of the Futurum Co., Ltd., at Arlesheim near Basle, Switzerland. (See below, under VI.)
  3. The Clinical and. Therapeutical InstituteDer Kommende Tag,” Stuttgart, Gänsheidestrasse 88, (see below, under VI). The aims and methods of this Institute are identical with those of the Arlesheim Institute described above. A staff of 5 Doctors is attached to the Clinic. Adjoining it, there is a large, up-to-date and well-appointed Pharmaceutical Research Laboratory, where Doctors (in constant communication and consultation with their colleagues in the Clinic and outside) are working at the elaboration of medicaments on the lines suggested by Spiritual Science. An effort is thus being made to restore the living contact, so largely lost in recent times, between the Doctor and the Medicaments he uses.
  4. The Chemical Works at Schwäbisch Gmünd, Württemburg, (see below, under VI). Manufacturing Department for the Clinical and Therapeutical Institute. Medicaments suitable for manufacture on a large scale are here prepared on the lines indicated by research work at the Institute.

New Medicaments.

A remarkably full list of ready-prepared medicaments has been issued in the form of a vademecum for the use of Doctors. It indicates in each case the general nature of the Medicament, and gives exact particulars as to Diagnosis, Dose, and Method of Application. Obtainable by Doctors free of charge from the Arlesheim Clinical and Therapeutical Institute, Arlesheim, near Basle, Switzerland. (The same applies to the medicaments in experimental quantities.)

Other Scientific Research.

The Institute for Scientific (Physical, Chemical and Biological) Research. Founded at Stuttgart, in 1921, by the Kommende Tag Company (see below, under VI). New and up-to-date laboratories have recently been fitted. Experienced chemists, physicists, technicians and biologists are working on the lines suggested by Spiritual Science, which tends to overcome the abstraction of the inorganic sciences from the sciences of the world of life and consciousness. Cf. the following:

  1. Scientific Lecture Courses by Dr. Rudolf Steiner. (Bibliography, 111–118, 117).

  2. Lectures by Dr. E. Kolisko on “Chemistry and Physiology as Complementary Sciences,” also other Lectures and Essays mentioned in the Bibliography under 226, 233, 284, 294.

  3. Scientific Lectures at the first Anthroposophical University Course, Goetheanum, Autumn 1920, — especially the following: Dr. H. v. Baravalle: “Fundamental Problems of Physics in the Light of Anthroposophical Science”; Dr. E. Kolisko: “Chemistry without Hypotheses, in the Sense of Spiritual Science.” Shortly to be published in one volume by the Kommende Tag Publishing House, Stuttgart.

Technical and Industrial Research. Engineers and Technicians who attended the Public Congress of the Anthroposophical Movement at Stuttgart in September, 1921 (see above under IV.) held several conferences to consider the wider — social, cultural and economic — aspects of their profession. As a result, definite working groups were formed, with the object of encouraging and co-ordinating investigation of the following:

  1. The efficient and socially beneficial use of Heat-Energy.

  2. Science of Industry in general.

  3. Personal efficiency. The best use of professional talents and skill in craftsmanship.

  4. Costing.

  5. Educational questions. Schools of Technology and their connection with industrial life.

  6. Handicrafts. Artistic development of industry.

  7. Questions judicial and economic.

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