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October 2021

Med Ges Gesch. 1997 ; 16(): 145-70.

[The reception of homoeopathy among Polish physicians in the 19th century]

Plonka-Syroka B.

The 19th century Polish academic community showed a consistently negative attitude towards the Hahnemannian doctrine. On the other hand, homoeopathy spread more and more widely in Polish society. Popular homoeopathic journals and advisory literature expressed scepticism towards science and materialism or adopted viewpoints close to spiritualism. Furthermore these publications aimed at linking homoeopathy with traditional religious folklore. Homoeopathic domestic medical literature gave the opportunity for medical self-help at a time when relatively few people had access to professional medical services - due to financial reasons in the cities and due to a lack of physicians in rural areas. Additionally homoepathy offered hope to those whose ailments could not be cured by the professional academic medicine. The reception of homoeopathy in Poland was nevertheless limited. The doctrine was commonly known nowhere near as popular as the medical self-help that derived from what is called traditional "folk medicine". Also homoeopathy never was a serious competitor to the therapeutic arsenal of late 19th century academic medicine.

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