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October 2021

Med Ges Gesch. 1997 ; 16(): 171-93.

Homeopathy and the Russian orthodox clergy: Russian homeopathy in search of allies in the second part of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

Kotok A.

During about 40 years of the struggle of Russian homeopaths to spread homeopathy in Russia failed. They had been convinced that all their efforts to introduce homeopathy into the state medical system similar to allopathy, through attracting physicians to homeopathy, proved unsuccessful. In the 1860s-70s, homeopaths had tried to attract laymen, and the clergymen at first, not only as supporters from "above" but also from "below". The Russian Orthodox church rendered help on all levels of its organization taking an active part in the spreading of homeopathy in the Russian Empire when the rural clergy treated peasants with homeopathic medicines and urban clergy participated in activities of the homeopathic societies. Thousands of Russian rural priests treated people with homeopathic drugs in the villages within the unsatisfactory system of Zemstvo medicine until the First World War. The difficult socio-economic situation in Russia in the studied period, as well as an insufficient number of homeopathic physicians prevented wide diffusion of homeopathy among Russian clergymen and further spreading this form of treatment in Russia.

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