What Defines an Anthroposophic Drug?

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By: Annette Bopp, Dr. Jurgen Schurholz

Drug therapy within anthroposophic medicine is based on the ancient principle: as little as possible, as much as necessary. In cases of severe and chronic illness, or if a patient's own strength and reserves are exhausted, the use of allopathic drugs may be preferred. However, whenever possible, symptoms are not suppressed; instead the intention is to activate powers of self-healing with the aid of homeopathically produced anthroposophic drugs, and to stimulate the body into finding its own natural rhythm once more.

During treatment, anthroposophic doctors try to observe what special stimuli the organism could require to make a full recovery. For instance, bitter substances from the root of the yellow gentian or chicory stimulate the production of digestive juices and promote intestinal movement. Essential oils with warming properties extracted from the labiatae genus or from native Mediterranean plants can help ease muscular tension and promote blood circulation.

Additional substances tailored to the illness in question are also used; their composition is based on the general features of the disease picture. These include both whole plant extract preparations and those of mineral or animal origin.

Which substance a doctor selects, whether as whole extract or homeopathic concentration, depends on the type and course of the illness, the symptoms, pains, length of illness, patient strength, age, but above all the patient's internal and external activity levels.

Anthroposophic drugs are produced to pharmacopoeial standards of quality and wherever available to specific national, European and international pharmacopoeias.

Anthroposophic medicine's aim of understanding both patient and illness therefore also demands a pluralistic, holistic approach to drug therapy.

Excerpted with permission from Anthroposophic Medicine: Its Nature, Its Aims, Its Possibili­ties, Annette Bopp, Hamburg and Dr. Jurgen Schurholz, Filderstadt (Germany), published by the Medical Section, School of Spiritual Science, Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland.

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