Vergleich: Bad Pfäfer 
Siehe: Theorien + Doctrine of Signatures


[Whitmont, 1994]

Paracelsus once said that there is no illness for which some remedy has not been created and established to drive it away and cure it.To fully utilize what nature has provided, many more provings will have to be done

 [Ann Sorrell]

explores the life and career of  Paracelsus, the Swiss-German philosopher, physician, botanist, astrologer and general occultist. His philosophical view was that Nature itself was the source of knowledge.

Paracelsus was a 16th century Swiss German philosopher, physician, botanist, astrologer and general occultist. He is credited asnot only declaring: “what makes a man ill also cures him” – presaging a maxim of homeopathy, simillimum similibus curentur – but also credited with being the founder of toxicology.

But was he more homeopathic, say, than allopathic? “For the most part, Paracelsus was an advocate and practitioner of natural magic, and much of what constituted natural magic for “Paracelsus represented a fund of sound observations of a kind prerequisite for work in the experimental sciences developed in the course of the ensuing century” (Webster, 1982).It should be noted that in early modern Europe, ‘magic’ was the term given to the study and manipulation of many of those phenomena that could not be explained by the science of the time. Paracelsus certainly acquired a ‘magical’ view of the world but was this the inspiration that apparently turned him into an empirical investigator of Nature?  Let us investigate whether his natural ‘magic’ was really “a fund of sound observations” by comparing this proposition with Paracelsus’ own practise to see if his unique view of the world was indeed the inspiration that turned him into a scientist.

This Christian scriptural extract: “Honor the physician for the need thou has of him: for the most high hath created him” Ecclesiasticus 38:1 – was quoted by many Paracelsians a century after Paracelsus’ death and summed up the physical and spiritual aspects of the distinctive form of medicine that Paracelsus left. Paracelsus’ full and original name was Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1542) but he later called himself Paracelsus when he was thirty-four. Although Paracelsus had been born a Catholic, his practise of medicine was Protestant in principle, with his spiritual vision being more a natural philosophical view of the world. He was not alone – ‘Renaissance Man’ frequently leaned towards ‘magic’ to make sense of the surrounding turmoil prevalent in those times. Before looking at Paracelsus’ distinctive form of natural ‘magic’, it would be useful to investigate his family and social background first to see how they had influenced him and to throw some light on the complexities of Paracelsus’ view of the cosmos.

Theophrastus was born in 1493 in Einsiedeln, Switzerland and at nine years of age moved to Villach in Carinthia, close to Tyrol which was a boom town mining area owned

by the affluent Fuggers, within the Holy Roman Empire. His father was a respected physician there who had obtained his MD further north at Tubingen in Further Austria. Herr Doctor von Hohenheim taught his son mining, mineralogy, botany and natural philosophy, grounding him in an empirical approach to the sciences and where Theophrastus would have observed his efforts to cure ailments common to thriving industrial areas, like the miner’s diseases of silicosis and tuberculosis (Paracelsus, 1533).

His father’s practice would have followed the classic Galenic system with possibly some Swiss folk cures.

Theophrastus’ education did not end there: at twenty, his father sent him south for a cutting-edge medical education in a university in Italy where he managed to gain only

a minor degree at the humanist University of Ferrara with its illustrious lecturer Leoniceno (1428-1524);the minor degree was no doubt due to his increasing anti-Galenic attitude. According to Pagel (Pagel, 1974) this lesser degree only enabled him to practise merely as a surgeon, and not as a fully-fledged physician.

And so this volatile and impressionable young Swiss student drifted about, picking up medical knowledge where he could from either other Italian universities or various artisans and vagrants. Theophrastus also furthered his studies with atypical Church figures like the leading occultist (Cornelius) Agrippa von Nettesheim (1486-1535), and claimed to have been educated by the renowned Abbot of Sponheim, Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516), an exponent of magic and mysticism. As a result, Theophrastus became thoroughly imbued by mysticism and the occult.

However, mysticism and the occult were not always viewed with approval at that time because alchemists frequently took advantage of people who were ill. This allegorical print above (1558) is satirical and portrays an alchemist vainly pursuing the philosopher’s stone for gold – at the same time, his expensive alchemical ministrations have reduced a family to poverty. In the background the unfortunate family flee, forced to receive charitable support from a nearby hospital.  History repeats itself: contemporary society is still, by and large, having to resort to Big Pharma’s medical monopoly of often-expensive (chemical, or other noxious product) medicines for healing – the only difference being that the modern ‘alchemists’ of Big Pharma have finally managed to turn their mineral stones into a lot of gold.

Theophrastus was then employed by the Venetian Republic as a military surgeon, which took him to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, where he was also probably employed by the Danish king, Christian II. He later gained valuable practical experience in the Fugger mines near Villach and Schwaz, which would have exposed him to

the ongoing plight of the working-man’s health which, alongside their folk cures and mining myths, became very important to him as a proactive ‘Christian’ healer.

Yet the most important part of Theophrastus’ education originated through his penchant for travelling throughout Central Europe where he would have gained a lot of medical experience.  However, wherever he went, he inevitably came in conflict with authority figures, relationships which ended abruptly in self-inflicted expulsion due to his philosophical outlook. Another reason for his restlessness may have been due to his father’s disappointment in his poor academic achievement in Italy, so the disenfranchised Theophrastus became a wandering peripatetic. It should also be borne in mind that most European establishments followed what he considered were the pagan rites and philosophies of Galen and Aristotle, which he abhorred. Nevertheless, Theophrastus did have an opportunity to establish himself because around 1527 when he was thirty-four, he is recorded as having given first-rate medical advice to two eminent gentlemen, Froben the publisher and the humanist Erasmus, both of which led to his important appointment as Basel’s town physician.

However, after only a year this “Luther of Medicine”, as his enemies later called him, was ejected from Basel because: firstly he insisted on using his own syllabus based on

his own personal experiences instead of the classical writings; secondly he admitted non-scholarly barber-surgeons (which was unheard of); and thirdly he lectured in German instead of Latin(one of the languages used by scholars and especially physicians).  Nevertheless, his journeying among simple people had led him to folk cures from different European localities where he discovered that specific diseases had specific cures found in Nature, and that “species and diseases were localized phenomena” (Webster, 1982), all of which opposed the totality theory of Aristotelian medicine. These new concepts of disease and medicine of Paracelsus foreshadowed the reductionist view of medicine.

Furthermore, the medical authorities in Basel were annoyed when Paracelsus insisted that the esteemed learned practise of medicine by the highly-respected physicians be combined with lowly manual surgery. Coincidentally, this novel approach of Paracelsus was very similar to the different approach of the well-known medieval surgeon Guy de Chauliac (1298-1368) who wrote, “… the surgeon working in his art should know the principles of medicine” (Chauliac).

In a wider social context, Paracelsus was surrounded by health and political crises that affected all levels of society throughout Central Europe at that time. Plague was destroying most of the continent:  in 1527, the Duke of Saxony even ordered Martin Luther out of Wittenberg to avoid catching it.  Death was commonplace. Folk cures and ‘magic’ would have been resorted to but in many cases, in view of the extreme destruction of life all around, these methods would have had very little benefit.  The great pox was rife and most probably it was a devastating visitor in boomtown areas:  one sufferer, a certain Joseph Gruenpeck (1473-1532), is recorded as saying that in recent times he had seen scourges, horrible sicknesses and many infirmities from all corners of the earth, which would have included syphilis.

There were changes on the political front too:  in 1526, princes could now make their own decisions (the Diet of Speyer), and in 1529, the Schmalkadic League enabled several princes to become Lutherans, which meant that the faith of the prince determined the faith of the common people living on his lands. This would have changed the principles of the practise of medicine from what were considered as ‘pagan’ practises to ‘Christian’ ones. In addition, the Habsburg’s territories were continually being challenged by the Ottoman Empire and so Europe would have literally seethed with military campaigns. All of this, together with the Reformation of 1517, would have wrought total turmoil in society. It is clear that these complexities in Paracelsus’ educational and social background would have had an enormous influence on his worldview.

The distinctive form of Paracelsus’ natural philosophy worldview is now considered – it must be noted that Paracelsus worked within a ‘magical’ Renaissance tradition that would have caused tensions with the scholarly Aristotelianism of humanists because he was seeking a more Christian-based medicine than what he considered to be the current pagan one.  Basically, he transformed Aristotle’s four elements of water, earth, air and fire to nonmaterial prime matter from which essences, or seeds, from God were formed; and then he superimposed his tria prima of salt, sulphur and mercury which became the three developmental principles within matter.

Finally Paracelsus discarded the traditional medical system of balancing the humors with opposites(n.b.using opposites to heal is one of the principles of allopathy).

But Paracelsus felt that a specific cure for the specific disease could be found in the Book of Nature and instigated a doctrine of signatures, reiterating his tutor Agrippa who believed that Nature itself was the source of knowledge, rather than knowledge from the ancients. He saw a strong correspondence between the operations of nature in the wider universe and the operations in the body, in the same way as Tycho Brahe did: “To deny the power and influence of the stars is to detract from divine wisdom and influence” (Webster, 1986).

Paracelsus’ natural philosophy promoted a human-centered world where individuality was paramount and where the onus was on the individual to discover his salvation through the medicinal quinta essential found in Nature which had been created by God for that very purpose. This concept will be familiar to homeopaths. On the other hand he also believed this quinta essential or final substance could only be extracted from traceable material effects using a philosopher’s stone. Paracelsus believed that man could only feel through his experience rather than relying on reason operating on objects viewed as external to him, as the subjective view, he believed, was personal contact with God. His natural philosophy appeared to have had its roots in his mining background, which would also have led him to firmly believe that “alchemy is nothing but the art which makes the impure into the pure through fire” (Paracelsus, 1520). Nevertheless, even though Paracelsus had renounced scholasticism and the ancients, his anthropocentric outlook corresponded with Aristotelian egocentricity as he had been influenced by Hellenistic philosophy during his formative years.  The revolutionary heliocentric theory in Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus (published in 1543) would only appear after Paracelsus’s death.

But was this natural philosophy, the occult arts, really a fund of sound observations? To verify, it is necessary to demonstrate how natural ‘magic’ can be viewed as empirical. Natural philosophy operated on the premise that most bodies had unseen powers that could affect other bodies, that is to say, the effects of planets on the earth and people,

or the effects of plants and chemicals as internal medicine for the body. They were called occult because their powers were not detected by the senses – their innate activity and effect on the human organism was unseen to the human eye. Aristotelians had problems with this at first because natural philosophy was based on what the senses detected – heat, cold, dry, wet.

Aristotelians were practical – to accept the imponderable was to admit defeat. In the medical practises of that time, the intrinsic powers within material medica could not always be explained by the senses, but as more and more botanical or mineralogical substances were introduced into medical use, so their active properties and ensuing results could not be disputed. Results were palpable. Aristotelians firstly suggested the effects were due to a natural causation, like unseen spirits or tiny particles, but significantly they had to accept their authenticity “by pointing to the empirically undeniable reality of their effects” (Henry, 2002). This clearly was the start of experimental sciences because sound observations could be made on the reliable effects on the human organism from their available material medica.

Finally, an analysis should be made as to whether Paracelsus made sound observations, bearing in mind his practise was based upon a natural philosophical worldview. Remember he grew up in a mining milieu and observed miners’ ailments at close hand and this, together with a neo-Platonic background, meant Paracelsus connected diseases with the spirits of minerals or metals, which led him to believe the core of disease, the starting point as it were, was spiritual. His practice of astrology directed him to what he believed were new diseases, writing in “Seven Defensiones”: “astronomy … teaches me to recognise such diseases” (Paracelsus, 1538), and he gave these diseases new names; a forerunner of allopathic diagnoses and the naming of diseases.

Even with Paracelsus’s patchy classical education, he was confident to write, “since Astronomiais rejected by physicians, these diseases and many others, together with their true causes, can be neither recognized nor understood” (Paracelsus, 1538). Therefore, obliquely, many ‘new’ diseases started to be recognised, named and treated. Paracelsus held that the macrocosm was the source of disease: “the fog has its origin in the firmament, there is also a fog in the mine, from which the miners’ sickness can arise …

it comes from the sphere Galaxae” (Paracelsus, 1533), illustrating his macrocosm-microcosm hypothesis.

Paracelsus also reasoned that as minerals and chemicals were found in the body of the earth, so they could be prescribed as internal medicines to work in the body of man – a ground-breaking approach (no pun intended) that mirrored the doctrine of signatures. It was principally Paracelsus who introduced chemicals into medicine, as seen in seventeenth century pharmacopoeias, and it was he who coined the term, ‘iatrochemist’.  He also introduced practical alchemical terms like distillation, extraction, separation and reduction and “his terminology -Experienz, Experiment, Erfahrung etc.- was to dominate the experimental philosophy of the seventeenth century” (Webster, 1982).

For instance, “Bismuth was one of the substances which he specially analysed and which he catalogued as a half metal. From this substance Madame Curie has eliminated polonium […].He discovered zinc […]. It was one of the many additions he made to pharmacy. Amongst them were preparations of iron, of antimony, of mercury, and of lead. Sulphur and sulphuric acid were items of especial interest and experiment … “(Stoddart, 1911). Paracelsus did not compound herbs like Galen but isolated their active principles and observed their effects, which was significant for the development of organic and inorganic chemistry. Apart from two pamphlets on the pox and a few booklets on astrological prophecy, the only work he had published while alive was his Big Book of Surgery in 1536.

After Paracelsus’ observations of heroic overdosing in medical practice – “I saw that nothing resulted from [doctors’] practice but killing and laming” (Porter, 1999) – he decided to promote moderate dosing saying, “a great artist … acquired his ability and skill through the experience of his hands” (Paracelsus, 1520) demonstrating his empiricism. And initialising early chemical analyses, he wrote: “sickness was to be understood not by conventional urine inspection (uroscopy) but by chemical analysis using distillation and coagulation tests” (Porter, 1999). But he also believed there was an empathy between individuals and nature: “he who would explore nature must treat her books with his feet” (Porter, 1999). Paracelsus held that simple folk and their remedies was the path to salvation because he had observed, “an unlettered peasant heals more than all of them with all their books and red gowns” (Paracelsus, 1538). Thus, Paracelsus’ ‘magical’ worldview does indeed unite with an experimental practice reliant on observation of outcomes. And this early form of research marked a move towards scepticism and empiricism that were to become the cornerstones of modern medical science (Pagel, 1958).

In conclusion, Paracelsus appears to have been an alchemical experiment himself – one who fashioned his own philosophical stone of mysticism which was later discarded by the scholastic establishment. His medical career began with a soupcon of Aristotelianism combined with neo-Platonism, Gnosticism, cabbalism and some Central European folk cures. A zealous fire was applied and the resulting amalgamation of alchemy, chemistry, religion and cosmology produced a distillation containing the quintessence of what was to become experimental chemistry and allopathic medicine. Natural philosophy for Paracelsus, then, proved to be a fund of sound observations that led to the empirical sciences a century later. His ‘magical’ worldview was an inspiration that turned him into an experimental investigator of Nature, a populariser of chemical remedies and a pioneer of contemporary global medical science and allopathic medical practise.



Griff diese Art der Heilmittelfindung aus der Volksmedizin auf: "(...) ich habe über 80 Bauern gekannt, die die Kräuter nur wegen ihrer Form und Anatomie mit den Krankheiten verglichen haben, und sie haben vor meinen Augen damit wunderbar und gut geholfen"/ Wenn sich die Natur dem Menschen also wirklich mitteilen will,

dann muss der Schlüssel zur Arznei auch einer sein, den bereits der Urzeitmensch zu gebrauchen wusste.

Farbe zu Farbe o. Form zu Form sind also uralte und bewährte Wege der Heilmittelfindung.

Abdomilon, Redel/Marianon, Klein/

Gentiana comp., Wala.

Paracelsus: “There is no illness for which a remedy has not been created and established to drive it away and cure it” (Sherr, 1994:3).

Serpentina bezeichnet die Schlangen- o. Drachenwurz, eine Aronstabart aus dem Mittelmeergebiet, wahrscheinlich Arum italicum, die er vor allem als Wund- und Knochenmittel verwendete. Mit Mumia ist tatsächlich eine Mumie gemeint, die man früher als magisches Allheilmittel gebrauchte und auch Paracelsus schätzte die

Wirkung sehr. An einer anderen Stelle verglich er das Wasser von Bad Pfäfer mit der Wirkung von Canthariden und der Flamula, dem Scharfen Hahnenfuß, beides

Mittel zur Ableitung über die Haut.

Er war außerdem der Meinung, dass man die Wirkung des Bades bei gleichzeitigem Gebrauch der wesensverwandten Pflanzen deutlich verstärken kann.

Die Indikationen von Bad Pfäfers, die Paracelsus angab, sind der Wirkung der oben genannten Heilpflanzen sehr ähnlich.

Paracelsus hob die ausleitende und stoffwechselaktivierende Wirkung hervor. Seine Worte: "indem es die materia, aus der die Krankheit kommt, herauszieht, zum andern, indem es diese materia auflöst", verweisen auf die resolvierende Wirkung, z.B. bei Grieß, Nieren- und Blasensteinen, aber auch bei Arthritis, Gicht und Rheuma, die er

alle als Indikationen aufführte. Er schrieb:

"So ist also dies Bad Pfäfers eine Purganz, um das herauszuziehen, was die inneren emunctoria (Ausscheidungsorgane) nicht ausscheiden können, es zieht heraus, und

zwar mit Macht durch Fleisch und Haut." Ferner soll es bei Gebrechen der Frauen helfen, bei Auszehrung, Zittern, chronischen Fiebern und Tendenz zur Gelbsucht

sowie bei schlecht heilenden Wunden und auch bei alten Brüchen soll ein Bad Wunder wirken.

Seit dem 17. Jahrhundert benutzt man das besonders mineralarme Wasser übrigens auch für Trinkkuren bei Magenentzündungen und bei Nierenleiden zur Ausleitung.

Paracelsus war von der universellen Wirkung absolut überzeugt und keine andere Quelle wurde von ihm derart lobend erwähnt. Seiner Meinung nach ist die Heilwirkung

aber nicht durch natürliche Einflüsse entstanden, sondern direkt von Gott gegeben; er schrieb: "in den warmen Quellen, wie hier in Pfäfers, zeigt sich Gott selbst als der Nächste für alle Kranken, die er damit erquickt und heilt."

Paracelsus stayed in Bad Pfäfers in 1535, but he was engaged with this thermal springs in a publication before that. One may assume August 31st 1535 as reliable date 
for his stay in Pfäfers. Only few details are known about this stay. We know, however, that he wrote a bathing script in Pfäfers over the micro- and macrocosmic importance and effect of the springs. The document was published and edited several times. Historically, however, he cannot be characterized as a balneologist. 
For abbot Johann Jakob Russinger of Pfäfers living at that time, Paracelsus wrote a report, a medical consilium, in which he particularly stressed the stomach problems 
of the abbot. This paper preserved in the archives of the abbey of Pfäfers (today in the archives of the abbey of St. Gallen) represents the last autographic writing of 
the famous physician.
Der Hintergrund der paracelsischen Arzneiwirkungslehre wird in folgender, das Ähnlichkeitsprinzip zum Ausdruck bringenden Formulierung, dargestellt. 
„Das Gestirn wird durch das Gestirn geheilt.“

Aur-met.: „nach Paracelsus "das göttliche Licht in der Welt der Metalle"

[Iwailo Schmidt]
Genie, Querdenker, Revolutionär 
Wirkung und Bedeutung einer historischen Figur
Das Schriftwerk des Theophrastus Phillipus „AureolusBombastus von Hohenheim, genannt Paracelsus, enthält wesentlich mehr, als die Aufsätze der Philologen und Medizinhistoriker erkennen lassen. Paracelsus, Mediziner und Universalgelehrter, lebte 1493 - 1541, wurde nur 48 Jahre alt. Er hinterließ ein erstaunlich kompaktes 
Wissen auf tausenden von Seiten.
Eine 10-bändige Ausgabe seiner Werke erschien 1591 bis 1598. Als Naturforscher, Philosoph, Mystiker, Prophet, Astrologe, Magier und Alchemist schien er die 
Teilbereiche ineinander übergehen zu lassen, ganz im Gegenteil zur heutigen Wissenschaft, bei der die Fachleute durch ihre Spezialisierung von immer weniger immer 
mehr wissen, bis sie eines Tages von nichts alles wissen.
Die alten Meister benutzten Gedichte, in denen sich Rezepturen verbargen, fertigten Zeichnungen an, deren Symbolwert klare Vorschriften für die Medikamentenherstellung enthielten. Sie mussten ihre wertvolle Arbeit immer wieder verbergen. Die Verschlüsselung von Texten und Zeichnungen sorgte für Irrwege, die den Adepten (= Schüler 
der Hermetik) häufig um sein gesamtes Vermögen brachten.
Paracelsus’ Weltbild fußte auf den Lehren Hermes Trismegistos, der als Begründer der Hermetik gilt. Diese Jahrtausendealte, aus Ägypten stammende Lehre sieht den ibisköpfigen Gott Thot als Hüter der Weisheitssuchenden an. Ziel ist es, den Menschen wieder in Harmonie mit den kosmischen Kräften zu bringen. Das kann u.a. 
mit wohl durchdachten und hoch wirksamen Heilmitteln geschehen. Der Gott Thot wurde von den Griechen Hermes und von den Römern Merkur genannt. 
Als Götterbote brachte er den Menschen das Wissen über Astrologie, Medizin, Alchemie, Musik und Dichtung.
Um Paracelsus entschlüsseln zu können, ist es also notwendig, die Hermetik zu studieren, sonst fehlt einem der Übersetzungscode für seine Schriften. Aus Gründen der kirchlichen Verfolgung entstand ein Schweigegelübde unter den Hermetikern. Einer ihrer Meister war Harpokrates, der mystische Gott des Schweigens. „Wisse, wolle, 
wage und schweige“, lautet daher einer der ersten Hermetik-Leitsätze.
Paracelsus lebte in der Zeit der Renaissance. Die Wissenschaft wandelte sich unter den Einflüssen Byzants, griechisches Medizinwissen und spätantike Schriften gelangten 
in den deutschsprachigen Raum. In dieser Zeitepoche finden wir neben Paracelsus Zeitgenossen wie Nikolaus Kopernikus, Nostradamus, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Albrecht Dürer, Agrippa von Nettesheim und Martin Luther.
Die wichtigsten Werke der arabischen Medizin gelangten als lateinische Texte nach Zentraleuropa. Aus Italien kamen Impulse zur medizinischen Alchemie. Wichtigste Autoren medizinischer Schriften in dieser Epoche waren Geber, Rhazes, Hippokrates, Dioskurides, Galen und Plinius. Da der Buchdruck damals große Fortschritte machte, konnte das Wissen gut verbreitet werden.
Paracelsus wurde bei Einsiedeln in der Schweiz geboren. Seine Mutter war Leibeigene des dortigen Klosters, der Vater gehörte einem schwäbischen Adelsgeschlecht an und war Arzt. 
Das Geburtshaus lag direkt am Jakobspilgerweg nach Santiago de Compostella. Die berühmte Schwarze Madonna des Ortes zog schon damals viele Pilger an. Nach dem Tod der Mutter übersiedelten Vater und Sohn 1502 nach Villach in Kärnten.
Paracelsus lernte neben der Medizin durch seinen Vater ebenso den Bergbau und den Umgang mit Mineralien kennen. In der Alchemie waren mit hoher Wahrscheinlichkeit der Abt Johannes Trithemius und Agrippa von Nettesheim seine Lehrer. Sigmund Fugger, Alchemist und Inhaber des größten Kupfer- und Silberbergwerkskonzerns in Österreich und Ungarn, diente Paracelsus ebenfalls als Lehrer. 1509 bis 1515 studierte Paracelsus Medizin an deutschen, italienischen und französischen Hochschulen. Am längsten studierte er in Ferarra, wo er in der Inneren Medizin und der Chirurgie promovierte. Danach war er wie ein Walzbruder bis 1524 in ganz Europa unterwegs. „Ich habe über 
80 Bauern gekannt, die die Kräuter nur wegen ihrer Form und Anatomie mit den Krankheiten verglichen haben, und sie haben vor meinen Augen damit wunderbar und gut geholfen. Denn wenn man dies beim Lichte besieht, gelangten die sichersten Künste fast alle vom gemeinen Manne und unachtbaren Leuten an uns. Würden alle derartigen Erfahrungen ungefälscht durch Rezepte und Rezeptemacher in ein einziges Büchlein geschrieben werden, dann wäre mir das lieber als alle Kommentare des Galenus und Avicenna.“
Es war klar, dass sich dieser Arzt ungeheuer unbeliebt bei seinen ärztlichen Kollegen und Apothekern gemacht hatte, da diese nur selten über umfangreiches Wissen und Handwerkskunst verfügten. Paracelsus wirkte in Salzburg als Arzt und betrieb ein Labor, in dem er Naturstoffe bearbeitete. Die so entstehenden Medikamente und die damit verbundenen Fertigungsabläufe nennt man Iatrochemie. Paracelsus gilt heute als Begründer dieser Wissenschaft.
In Tübingen und Freiburg verfasste er den „Herbarius“ und die „Archidoxis“, Bücher über ein langes Leben und die tartarischen Krankheiten. 1529 schuf er in Nürnberg zwei Bücher über die Syphilis und 1530 das Werk „Paramirum“ in Regensburg. 1536 druckte in Ulm ein Verleger die „Große Wundarznei“. In Kärnten entstand 1537 – 1540 die „Philosophia Sagax“. In Salzburg fand er dann seine letzte Ruhe.
1960 wurden die Überreste von Paracelsus exhumiert. Die Gerichtsmediziner fanden einen zu Lebzeiten zertrümmerten Schädel vor, der einen gewaltsamen Tod oder einen Unfall bewies, auf keinen Fall handelte es sich um einen natürlichen Tod.
Aus dem Schatz des Paracelsus:
Der Mensch wird von drei Gewalten eingeschränkt: Alter, Krankheit und Tod. Besonders die Krankheit macht auf die menschliche Unzulänglichkeit aufmerksam, auf die Sehnsucht nach Gesundheit, Harmonie und Geborgenheit. Krankheit und Unglück sind Geschwister. Die Ursache von Erkrankungen liegt nicht bei Säftedysbalancen, wie fast alle Ärzte dieser Zeit glaubten, sondern das Ungleichgewicht der Säfte ist lediglich die Auswirkung einer Erkrankung. Nur wenn das Milieu des Patienten bereits ge schwächt ist, kann es zu Disharmonien der Säfte oder zu einem Erregerbefall kommen.
Das gilt auch für Pflanzen. Nur ein bereits geschwächter Baum wird von einer Mistel heimgesucht, von Blattläusen und Borkenkäfern. In der Regel denkt man ja meist, dass erst der Schädling den Baum in eine Erkrankung stürzt. Paracelsus dagegen sieht die Krankheitsursachen metaphysisch.
Für einen Therapeuten ist das ständige Lernen wichtig, so Paracelsus. Dafür stellt er folgende Regeln auf: 
1. Regel ist das lebenslange Studium, denn das Leben ist kurz und die Kunst ist lang, wie er schreibt. Wer glaubt, ausgelernt zu haben, hat das Wesentliche nicht begriffen.
2. Regel ist der Respekt vor dem Wissen und der Erfahrung anderer. „Der Arzt lernt nicht alles, was er können und wissen soll, auf den hohen Schulen, er muss auch zeitweise zu alten Weibern, Zigeunern, Schwarzkünstlern, Landfahrern, alten Bauersleuten und dergleichen mehr unachtsamen Leuten in die Schule gehen und von ihnen lernen. Denn diese haben mehr 
Wissen von solchen Dingen, als alle hohen Schulen.“ Dafür ist es erforderlich, auf Wanderschaft zu gehen und das Studierstübchen zu verlassen, „weil keinem der Meister im Hause 
wächst und weil keiner seinen Lehrer hinter dem Ofen hat. Nicht alle Künste sind im Vaterland eines Menschen verschlossen, sondern sie sind in der ganzen Welt verteilt.“
3. Regel betrifft die Lebensweise. Diese sollte auf der einen Seite bescheiden sein, auf der anderen aber auch im Einklang mit den kosmischen Gesetzen stehen. Auch wenn einem das nicht sofort und perfekt gelingt, das ist nicht das Entscheidende, viel wichtiger, so meint Paracelsus, ist, dass man es anstrebt. Dabei sollte man jegliche Einseitigkeit und extreme Verhaltensweisen meiden.
4. Regel nennt er die Erfahrung. Denn nur die Summe an Erfahrung jedes einzelnen Arztes macht ihn eines Tages zum Meister seines Gebietes.

Grundsatz von Paracelsus, „die Praxis sollte nicht von der Theorie geleitet werden, sondern, im Gegenteil, die Theorie muß der Praxis folgen."

The Doctrine of Signatures is an ancient idea which predates Paracelsus. It is the belief that each element and plant carries a signature which signifies the plant's use in medicine. A heart-shaped leaf may signify a potential application for heart disease. A yellow plant root may point toward jaundice.

"All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates a poison and a remedy." Paracelsus

When a substance is administered the defense mechanism will respond accordingly by displaying specific manifestations which is a direct indication of the substance’s action upon the organism.

If a substance is given in a poisonous/toxic dose every organism will react to it, however, as mentioned above, the reaction will be too gross (e.g. coma, vomiting, diarrhoea etc.) and thus of no value in homoeopathy. In order to elicit an array of relevant symptoms in a homoeopathic schema infinitesimal and potentized doses are used (Vithoulkas, 1981: 145-146).

"Der Tod sitzt im Darm."

Paracelsus: "Die Leber. ist der Alchimist. im Bauche"


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