Anthroposophic Medicine

Anthroposophic Medicine is an integrative medicine. It is founded on evidence-based medicine and adds an anthroposophic understanding of the human being and the world. It was initiated in 1920 by the physician Ita Wegman MD and the founder of anthroposophy Rudolf Steiner PhD, and has since then been continually developed and elaborated. Anthroposophic physicians and therapists work to support the whole human being, which includes physical, vital-functional, mental-emotional and spiritual aspects. Anthroposophic Medicine is patient-centered and realistic, enriching diverse applied medical disciplines such as oncology, cardiology, pediatrics, neurology and psychiatry. It is currently practiced in 22 hospitals and a large number of outpatient practices and therapeutic centers worldwide.

There are many ways to begin learning about Anthroposophic Medicine. This is because it is committed to being scientifically and clinically verifiable, on the one hand, and on the other hand it aims to integrate a rich understanding of the inner soul and spirit of the human being. We can therefore consider Anthroposophic Medicine from four points of view within these wide-ranging lenses:

  • Anthroposophic Medicine in the context of evidence-based medicine and its contribution to the health-care system
  • Anthroposophic Medicine as a complementary or integrative therapeutic method
  • Anthroposophic Medicine as an art of healing, with the human being at its center
  • Anthroposophic Medicine as spiritual medicine 

Bartelme RR. Anthroposophic Medicine, an Introduction; and a Book Review of Anthroposophy and Science. Integrative Medicine 2017;16(4):42–46. Verfügbar unter https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6415628/ (17.07.2020)

Glöckler M. Was ist Anthroposophische Medizin? Wissenschaftliche Grundlagen, Therapeutische Möglichkeiten, Entwicklungsperspektiven. Dornach: Verlag am Goetheanum; 2017.

Selg P. Was heißt und zu welchem Ende studiert man Anthroposophische Medizin? Arlesheim: Verlag des Ita Wegman Instituts; 2017.

McKeen T. Anthroposophische Medizin: Einführende Vorträge und Aufsätze. Reprint. Berlin: Salumed Verlag; 2016.

Girke M. Menschenbild und Krankheitsverständnis in der Anthroposophischen Medizin. Einführung. Verfügbar unter https://www.anthromedics.org/BAS-0231-DE (04.06.2015).

Husemann A. Form, Leben und Bewusstsein. Einführung in die Menschenkunde der Anthroposophischen Medizin. Stuttgart: Verlag Freies Geistesleben; 2015.

Steiner R, Wegman I. Grundlegendes für eine Erweiterung der Heilkunst nach geisteswissenschaftlichen Erkenntnissen. 8. Aufl. Basel: Rudolf Steiner Verlag; 2014.



Research news

Yarrow liver compresses in cancer patients and their effect on the autonomous nervous system    
Liver compresses are frequently used in Anthroposophic Medicine for cancer treatment and are believed to have an energizing effect. In a randomized pilot study, the influence of this external application on the autonomous nervous system was now evaluated. For this study, heart rate variability was measured in metastatic cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy and suffering from cancer-related fatigue (CRF). A total of 20 patients (10 per group) were available for analysis. The results show that yarrow liver compresses led to increase sympathetic activity during the day in the intervention group, while increased parasympathetic activity was observed in the control group, which received no external application. The study is published open access: 
https://doi.org/10.1177/15347354221081253
Previously in 2021, Georg Seifert´s research group had demonstrated that liver compresses reduced (CRF) in this clinically relevant range. The current study clarifies the correlation.
https://doi.org/10.1186/s13014-021-01757-x


Further information on Anthroposophic Medicine