The history of Homoeopathy will only be complete if proper and honest assessment is made and imbibed, of the glorious past of our fore-bearers, whose dedication and contribution have enriched our science. There are innumerable stories and numberless life histories of our forbearers, which are of extreme value to us in the present day. Dr. Adolph Von Lippes life deserves special mention because he was a staunch and uncompromising bearer of the torch of strict Hahnemannian Homoeopathy.
Birth: Lippe was born on 11th of May, 1812 in Goerlitz
Family: Lippe was a young member of a very aristocratic old and illustrious family of Goerlitz of Prussia. Count Ludwig was his father and Countess Augusta zur Lippe was his mother. His fathers estate was situated near Georlitz town.
Education: His parents wanted him to study law, but Lippe was very much impressed by the new method of the healing art and made up his mind to become a homoeopathic physician.
After his school study he went to Berlin for his medical education and graduated in 1837.
Then, Lippe decided to go to America to study Homoeopathy. During that time the only existing homoeopathic college was Allentown Academy of Hering. Lippe took admission and studied for four years in this college and completed his homoeopathic education. Lippe was very fortunate to receive his diploma on 27th July 1841 from the hand of Dr. Constantine Hering, the founder of Allentown Academy.
Homoeopathic Practice: Lippe started his practice as a homoeopathic physician in Pottville, P.A. though he practised here for a very short time. From Pottsville he moved to Carlisle where he distinguished himself by successful cure of the sick people in an epidemic prevailing in the Cumberland valley.
Finally he moved to Philadelphia where he established himself and practised till the last day of his life.
Lippe was a steadfast, loyal devotee of Hahnemannian homoeopathy. Throughout his life he followed Hahnemanns instructions in letter and in spirit. He was an ardent supporter of Hahnemanns Organon of Medicine and to him Organon was the last word in the science and art of healing. Lippe considered Homoeopathy as the only and sole means of cure for both acute and chronic diseases. He said that other systems of medicines were palliative and harmful.
Although Lippe was the author of few books, the number of his contributions to Homoeopathic literature remains unexcelled. Many of his papers were elucidations of homoeopathic philosophy, many to the methods and rules of correct homoeopathic practice. Many of Lippes papers enlighten us about the finer points of the Material Medica and enhance our ability to prescribe correctly. Lippe published a series of writings named Fatal Errors in the American Homoeopathic Observer, in which he vigorously opposed and criticized the vitiation of Homoeopathy; he considered this to be the cause of gradual downfall of the system. Dr. Adolph von Lippe is one of the few master guides who endeavored to perfect themselves in the art of prescribing according to the law of similars, for, probably this remarkable man was one of the most accomplished prescribers in the history of Homoeopathy. His style was clear and forceful, his arguments logical. Among the important contribution of Dr. Lippe in Homoeopathy should be considered his reports of “Clinical Cases.”
Lippe possessed a deep knowledge of Materia Medica. He was a keen observer and with uncanny accuracy he used to pick up the essential indications of the case, frequently making use of symptoms which seem trivial or having no evident connections with the patients ailment. He was a master in the art of presenting, the essential indications and unlike other writers, always told why he gave the remedy that cured the case.
Today we are often unsuccessful in our practice because of many reasons, the most common being an improper understanding of rules and time for repetition of the dose. Dr. Lippe was a master in this field and a devoted believer and practitioner of single remedy and single dose.
About Lippe, Dr. Harvey Farrington wrote- “Dr. Lippe once made a statement that I thought the most audacious that I had ever heard. He said that if he could visit a case of Diphtheria the first time before anybody had a chance to spoil it, he would generally cure the case with one remedy and often with one dose.”
His literary Contributions:
Adolph Lippe was co-editor of Homoeopathic News from 1854 to 1855 and of Hahnemannian monthly from 1865 to 1868.
1854– Key to the Materia Medica of Comparative Pharmacodynamics (This is the first and only number of a series which were to contain a characteristic Materia Medica).
1865– Who is a Homoeopathician? (A lecture delivered before the Hahnemannian Institute and published by order of the same).
1865– Cactus Grandiflorus (Translated from the original, with preface and notes of Dr. Russell.)
1866– Valedictory Address delivered at the 18th Annual Commencement of the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania.
1866– Text book of Materia Medica.
1870– Liberty of Medical Opinion and Action (Read before the Central New York Homoeopathic Medical Society).
1876– Diphtheria (Printed by the American Institute of Homoeopathy for use at World Homoeopathic Convention, Philadelphia).
1877– A reply to professor William is Peppers Insult to Homoeopathic School of Medicine in his Opening Address delivered at the University of Pennsylvania.
1878– The Genius of the Homoeopathic Healing Art. (Preface to the second volume of Materia Medica Pura by S. Hahnemann. Translated by Adolph Von Lippe.)
1885– Cholera: Its Treatment by Homoeopathy.
1886– What is Homoeopathy? A lecture delivered on 10th May 1886 before the Womens Homoeopathic Association of Pennsylvania at the Medical Surgical and Maternal Hospital, North 20th Street and Susquehanna Avenue.
Demise: After a long successful practice and exemplary service to Homoeopathy for 46 years. Lippe died on 24th of January 1888 in Philadelphia.