Baron Clemens von Boennighausen, MD

(1785 - 1864)

 

 

 

Dr. Von Boennighausen was born to one of the oldest noble families of Westphalia, Germany. His full name was Clemens Maria Franz Baron Von Boennighausen. 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. Boennighausen 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 Boennighausen to try homoeopathic treatment. Fortunately for Boennighausen and for homoeopathy, Dr. Weihe cured him.

Being greatly impressed with his treatment Boennighausen 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. Boennighausen'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. Boennighausen died at the ripe age of 79 in 1864.

The outstanding contributions to the advancement of Homoeopathy by Boennighausen were:

1. Classification of Characteristic Symptoms, and
2. Compilation of the First Repertory of Anti-Psoric Remedies.

Boennighausen classified the characteristic symptoms into seven categories. They are:

1. Quis (Personality of the Patient)
2. Quid (Peculiarity of Complaints)
3. Ubi (Seat of Disease)
4. Quibus Auxilus (Concomitant Symptoms)
5. Cur (Causations)
6. Quamado (Modalities of Time)
7. 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. Boennighausen 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.