On this day, 201 years ago Dr Wilhelm Heinrich Schüßler (often written in English as Schuessler) was born in Zeischenahn in Germany.
While you may not know his name, you are more likely to know of his work and the products that are still used over nearly 150 years since he first published his paper on them – Schuessler’s tissue salts, or cell salts.
Schüßler was good at languages in school, and as an adult worked as a clerk and taught foreign languages. He wanted to be a healer, but ended up in conflict with medical doctors as he was working without a licence. To rectify this he enrolled at University and completed his studies as a medical doctor, setting up his practice as a Homeopathic Physician in 1858, at age 37.
Schüßler became very interested in the work of Rudolf Virchow, who was a pioneer in Pathology, showing that disease happens on a cellular level.
At the same time Schüßler was struggling with Homeopathy and the large number of remedies, plus the lack of concrete rules. He started to look at simplifying what he was doing, and looking inwards to the components of the cell.
Gustav von Bunge, with his work on nutrition and physiology, was another influencer, and worked with Schüßler to identify the minerals that make up each human cell. By examining the ashes of humans from a local crematorium Schüßler came up with his twelve tissue salts, and his theory of Biochemical healing was formed.
Schüßler believed that as all disease starts at a cellular level, the building blocks to heal are also innate within the cell. Instead of looking externally for a remedy to stimulate healing, as Homeopathy does, his Biochemical theory uses the mineral salts that are part of the body to correct imbalances and return to health. He identified twelve tissue salts, and prepared them using the homeopathic method of preparation to a 6x potency.
Schüßler published his new theory in 1873, calling it “An Abridged Homeopathic Therapy” and published a book the following year. As new theories often are, it was controversial, but his Biochemic therapy rapidly spread around the world.
Schüßler continued to practice and experiment, and in 1887 reduced his twelve cell salts to eleven, removing Calc Sulph from his list. (It was later added back in by other practitioners and continues to be considered a Schuessler tissue salt to this day). He also continued his work in facial diagnosis, believing that you could recognise the required tissue salts by analysing the face.
Schüßler passed away on March 30 1898, at age 77 from a stroke. His legacy lives on, although not used in conventional medical practice, Schuessler’s cell salts are used widely (and not just by Homeopaths) to treat and prevent a wide range of conditions. Watch for a post tomorrow discussing the twelve tissue salts and their application.