History of Argentina

by  Dr. Gustavo Cataldi (September 2009)

In 1817, the year in which Hahnemann struggled to defend his ideas about a new therapeutically system - already enunciated in his principles by Hypocrites - there were first references about the use of homeopathic medicines in Argentina. At that time, General San Martín crossed the mountain range of Los Andes; bringing with him a homeopathic medicine kit given to him by his friend Don Angel Correa, who had recently brought it from Europe. This kit would help him to mitigate the sufferings caused by arthrosis and a gastro duodenal ulcer that pained him.

The information soon brings us to the year 1846. During this year, Dr. Guillermo Darrouzain, native of France and creator of the first homeopathic clinics in Buenos Aires and Montevideo in 1845, was persecuted and put in prison by the Council of Hygiene, in a particularly hard political moment of the Government of Rosas. It is known that Dr. Darrouzain could later work in Corrientes and Rosario - where he had perhaps been the first doctor between 1837-1838. He passed away on 27th October 1869, in poverty, after a self-sacrificing and disinterested performance towards the patients.

Other names of the time were those of Dr. Herculano Antonio de Fonseca, in Rosario; Dr. Amado Laprida - Francisco Narciso Laprida's son - who worked in San Juan; Dr. Miguel Jose Alves, in Buenos Aires; and Dr. Blas Aspiazu, "porteño" and doctor of the army. All of them carried out the Homeopathy in an eclectic way, practical form that did not agree with Hahnemann's thought, but yes with the thought of a Pleiades of homeopaths that exerted in Europe in the last century. This situation determined the spacing of the wise person of Meissen from many of his followers, especially in Germany.

It was in 1869, when the first homeopathic institution was born in our country: the Sociedad Hahnemanniana Argentina, whose device of diffusion was the Boletín that appeared until 1871. Its authorities were Dr. Claudio Mejía, as a president; Dr. J. Corradi, as a treasurer; Dr. C. Clausolles, as a secretary, and four assistants, two of whom were Dr. G. Granados and Dr. F. Mejía. Dr. Juan Corradi had already been a remarkable person because of his participation in the cholera epidemic that knocked down Rosario in 1867.

Dr. Camilo Clausolles was a recognized physician of the time that carried out great healings with Homeopathy, as it was told by the chronicles. They were times in which this therapeutic demonstrated its superiority to the methods employed in current use by the official medicine. Some outstanding people, like D. F. Sarmiento, N. Avellaneda, B. Mitre (all of them at some moment presidents of our country), as well as well known writers and thinkers noticed the difference with the habitually hard therapy, were the use of sanguinities was common.
The Society, in its bulletin, recognized to be born protected under the support of Dr. Alvarez Peralta, a Spanish who was passing by South America, in charge of business from Spain in this continent. Dr. Alvarez Peralta belonged to the Sociedad Hahnemanniana Matritense and showed a good knowledge of Hahnemann's ideas.
In 1871, fell on Buenos Aires the yellow fever, taking during this process special part the homeopaths of the epoch, specially Dr. Juan Petit de Murat, whom obtained better cures than the allopathic ones They were times of recognition for the results, gathering more than 20,000 signatures of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires that were brought to the Senator's Chamber, asking for the creation of a Homeopathic College, same as the ones in the United States of America. The voting was lost by two votes. Hot discussions that finished in the land of honor by the offenses interchanged were held between Dr. Luis Varela and the allopathic doctors who were against his petition.

In those moments existed the Sociedad Homeopática Argentina, created after the forced dissolution of the previous Society, whose president was the same Petit de Murat. Its device of diffusion was the newspaper "El Homeópata", that was published with the contribution of Mr. A. Jonas, whom also practiced the Homeopathy with great success. In spite of these profits, great pressures were exerted against its development: organizations such as the Council of Hygiene, the Medicine College and the Medicine Academy, in many forms rejected the attacks of the ones that were in favor of the Homeopathy.

In the same College, theses against Homeopathy were presented, being particularly hard the one of Dr. Luis Maglioni, a well-known physician and president of the Medical Circle; whom, years later, recognized the goodness of Homeopathy and turned himself towards it. The offered resistance made that the terapeutic did not go further in the way that was expected. It was lost in the time the goal of the Sociedad Homeopática and the aim of men such us Petit de Murat and Clausolles.

Until 1932, there have being individual efforts of doctors like F. Ortega, A. Dominguez, M. Fuguerto, P. Segress, Ronces, Burgos,J. Tuati and Benavídez. In that year, the Sociedad Homeopática Argentina was born -having the same name of the previous one. Years later it would adopt the name of Asociación Médica Homeopática Argentina, whose president was Dr. Godofredo Jonas, grandson of whom had done so outstanding work in the epidemic already mentioned. It was his vice-president Dr. A. Grosso; Dr. R. Semich as a secretary, Dr. E. Anselmi, as a treasurer, and assistants like, Drs. E. Bonicel, F. Monzo and T. Paschero. It was born there what would be a brilliant future for the Homeopathy in our country.

HDr. T. Paschero improved his knowledge with Dr. Grimmer in the United States, who was a disciple of J. T. Kent. It was that way that his ideas predominated after his education in Argentina. The School of Graduated of the Association, with professors such as the same Paschero, Jonas, Grosso, J. Masi Elizalde, Anselmi, Marzetti and Gringauz, among others, soon reached an international recognition. It was then created, in 1972, the Escuela Médica Homeopática Argentina, where Paschero continued its teaching together with remarkable professors like E. Candegabe and A. Masi Elizalde. The last one was then the creator of the Instituto Internacional de Altos Estudios Homeopáticos James Tyler Kent.

Tomás Paschero is the only Argentinan who was president of the LMHI, from 1972 to 1975, moreover to was one of the only three physicians -together with Pierre Schmidt and Proceso Sánchez- awarded whit the "Símbolo del Sol" for being one of the biggest teachers of the homeopathy in the world. Also Dr. Paschero has been one of the few physicians that the L.M.H.I has given him the title of honorary president after his death.
The Medical Homeopathy Association of Argetine continued with professors of the stature of Francisco Eizayaga, Bernardo Vijnovsky, and Micaela Moizé. The Homeopathy also received importance in Cordoba, where the Centro de Estudios Médicos Hahnemanniano was created in 1974, and in Tucumán, with the presence of Dr. Prebisch. Up to here the officially written history, recovered from the tasks and registries of Teachers who were hard workers of the Homeopathy. They had something to do with the organization of entities that continue today with the arduous job for a better Homeopathy.

What did the primitive members of the Sociedad Homeopática really generate? Which was in fact their work and what happened to its members? Who was indeed Dr. Joaquín Alvarez Toledo, whom in 1910 published in casa Jacobo Peuser what we think it is the first book on Homeopathy in the country: "Conócete a ti mismo"? And what about Dr. G. A. Fernandez Molina, person in charge of the first edition of the Organon of Hahnemann, in Spanish, in our country (ed. Marite, Buenos Aires, 1967)?

Within the country, we do not have to forget Drs. Moizé and natalio Bainstein, in Santa Fe and Cordoba; Drs. Cesar Juan Romualdo Cremonini, Roberto Echegoyen, J. Volmer (of German nationality) and many more that we do not mention because we do not know them, but whom still ignored by official chronicles. They quietly and humbly fought thousands of battles against the pain and the disease, consolidating solid foundations and respect from the very early times of the history of the country without much support than their idealism and desire to cure more quickly, smoother and permanently. Following the norms of the Homeopathy. For that reason we need your support, dear readers. It will be the work of all of us to recreate the force of the historical movement of the homeopathy in Argentina. Any data on these pioneers or fight that they maintained to assure the persistence of the Homeopathy in the time will be welcome.

Many other prestigious educational doctors collaborated and continue collaborating propagating the Hahnemannian's ideals of the treatment so that the man reaches his high aims. A conclusion to the light of the development of the present Homeopathy in Argentina: we can say that the sacrifice of so many was not in vain.