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Dr. Willmar Schwabe

Although Hahnemann had left behind a wide range of knowledge and a guide to manufacture homeopathic remedies in his "Organon of Healing", "Materia Medica Pura" and "Chronic Diseases", he did not leave behind detailed methods required for large-scale manufacture.

At that time, in the middle of the 19th century, homeopathic preparations were already in great demand. The preparations of those days were manufactured by pharmacists, varied, however, dramatically in quality and were sometimes even of questionable quality.

It was the young German pharmacist Dr. Willmar Schwabe (1839-1917) who was so dissatisfied with this situation that he set out to develop analytical methods and to define pharmaceutical technical processes. He introduced quality controls and organised the cultivation of his own medical plants.

In 1863 he took up the practical study of homeopathy and of Hahnemann’s specifications. By 1865, two years after his qualification as a pharmacist, he founded his own company "Homöopathische Centralofficin Dr. Willmar Schwabe" (Central Homeopathic Dispensary) in Leipzig, Germany. There, he had homeopathic remedies produced in compliance with Hahnemann’s stipulations and in addition described the manufacturing process in detail. The dispensary consisted of the wholesale and export business as well as the homeopathic central pharmacy.

His enterprise developed with such exceptional rapidity that it soon achieved European and few years later worldwide recognition. In accordance with his stringent quality criteria, homeopathic preparations were produced in industrial quantities. By and by, more than 700 regional dispensaries, distributed throughout Germany, Europe and all over the world, were added to the original "Centralofficin" in Leipzig. Having inaugurated the first homeopathic policlinic in Leipzig, Schwabe started his activities in the fields of health and social politics.

In 1866 he founded a publishing house specialising in literature for both the medical profession and the public (1866-1945). In 1872 Dr. Schwabe produced the standard work for homeopathic pharmaceuticals - the "Pharmacopoea Homeopathica Polyglottica", which gave minutely detailed instructions on the production of homeopathic preparations. Soon, Schwabe’s work gained world-wide importance and was translated into many languages, like English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian. It was published in rapid sequences, appearing in the 5th (1901) to the 9th (1912) edition as the German Homeopathic Pharmacopeia and thus became legally binding in Germany.

In 1917 the founder of the company died, but his son Dr. Willmar Schwabe II continued his work. He published the next edition in 1924 as the Dr. Willmar Schwabe’s Homeopathic Pharmacopeia (Dr. Willmar Schwabe’s Homöopathisches Arzneibuch) and managed the company.

By 1935, the regional dispensaries beside the original "Centralofficin" in Leipzig distributed homeopathic products throughout the whole world. Even in Asia, especially in India, homeopathy became very popular and numerous dispensaries were founded. Since 1890 Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals is an integral part of in the Indian market place. The production of Indian homeopathic remedies complies with the regulations of the German Homeopathic Pharmacopeia. After World War II, in 1946 the third Schwabe generation relocated business from Leipzig to Karlsruhe, Germany. At that time, Schwabe produced both homeopathic and phytotherapeutic products with great success.

In 1978 the first edition of the official German Homeopathic Pharmacopeia (=HAB), based on the Schwabe edition, was published by the Federal Ministry for Youth, Family and Health as a part of the German Pharmacopeia (=DAB). This meant that finally, homeopathy and its preparations had achieved official recognition like all other pharmaceuticals. Until today homeopathic remedies are produced in accordance to the official Homeopathic Pharmacopeia. In the tradition of Hahnemann, homeopathic remedies are still potentized in stepwise dilutions and succussed by hand. Modern industrial technology guarantees state-of-the-art production of homeopathic medicines.