Anweisung für Kranke unter der baunscheid’schen Behandlung. [Instruction for Patients under the Baunscheidt Treatment]


Small handbill explaining the use of a homeopathic medical instrument called a lebenswecker or “life awakener,” a skin prick device developed by Prussian wood turner and mechanic, Carl Friedrich Baunscheidt (1809–1873).

Treatment with the device involved rubbing a toxic oil on the skin and then irritating the site with the lebenswecker. The idea of Baunscheidtism, as it was called, was to use the resulting skin inflammation to divert the body’s attention away from a more serious underlying illness, thus effecting a cure.

The instruction sheet for patients undergoing Baunscheidt’s alternative medical treatment explains that the procedure was relatively painless and describes post-operative care and diet:

Nach der Anwendung einer ziemlichen Anzabloperirten Stellen durch den “Lebenswecker” (welches nur ganz wenig schmerzhaft ist und Niemand jemals einigen Schaden zufügte,) fühlt der Patient fich erwärmt und zum Schwizen geneigt, und sollte fich deswegen für 4 oder 5 Tagen vor Zugluft Regen und jedem Nasswerden forgfältig hüten, den Aufenhalt in feuchten Kellern und das Schlafen an falter feuchter Wand vermeiden… Der Patient kann seine gewöhnliche Kost beibehalten, mit Ausnahme von sauren (besonders saurem Obst) hart gesalzenen u[nd]. streng gewürzten… Die Wasche des Patienten must recht trocken und warm sein. ... Das lästige Jücken kann, nach dem 3. Tage, wohlthätig dadurch gemildert werden, wenn man die operirten Stellen mit einer Bürste reibt oder mit Speichel benezt.

[{Approximate translation:} After the application of quite a few disturbed points by the “Lebenswecker” (which is only very little painful and no one ever caused any damage), the patient might feel warmed up and inclined to sweat, he should therefore guard against rain and wetness for 4 or 5 days and from drafts, and avoid staying in damp cellars and sleeping on damp walls ... The patient can maintain his usual diet, except for sour (especially sour fruit), hard-salted and strictly spiced ... The washing of the patient must be quite dry and warm. ... The annoying itching can, after the third day, be beneficially alleviated by rubbing the operated parts with a brush or using saliva.]

“While the method was particularly popular in Germany, where it had been invented, important centres developed among German populations in Ohio in the USA as well as in Switzerland and Russia. Baunscheidt sold a kit that contained the tool (‘Lebenswecker’) as well as a bottle of oil and a handbook. As result of his success the instrument, as well as the oil, were imitated widely, both in Germany and overseas, especially in the USA.”¹


Description: Anweisung für Kranke unter der baunscheid’schen Behandlung. [Instruction for Patients under the Baunscheidt Treatment]

[America? Mid-19thc.]. Handbill, double column. 3½ x 7 inches. Light foxing, small edge tear, old fold lines; very good.

[3728780]

Note. 1. Spennemann, “A Baunscheidt Homeopathic Medicine Kit in the Jindera Pioneer Museum” in Studies in German Colonial Heritage [http://www.nla.gov.au/nla.arc-70915] accessed online.


Price: $125.00

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