By Boericke & Tafel, Presented by Sylvain Cazalet
In 1835, Andrew Jackson was President of the United States. We lit our homes with whale oil lamps traveled from city to city by stage coach, and cooked our meals in Open fire places Life expectancy was approximately 40 years for women and 38 years for men. In 1835, Constantine Hering, the Father of American Homeopathy, was in practice in Philadelphia and Hans Burch Gram in New York.
Dr. Hering was one of the founders of America's first homeopathic medical college where lessons were taught in German. That same year, William Radde, Senior in Philadelphia and Junior in NY were managers of stores which later became a part of Boericke & Tafel. Their advertisement in Herring’s The Domestic Physician offered readers: "All works on Homeopathy, as well as pocket cases of homeopathic medicines, prepared by approved hands and very neatly arranged." In 1848, Hering established the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania, which later became the Hahnemann Medical College, the nation's leading homeopathic medical school.
In 1849, a cholera epidemic swept the nation. Because of the superior results achieved by homeopathic physicians, many orthodox doctors took up the practice of homeopathy. At the same time, many of the intelligentsia were attracted to homeopathy because of its scientific basis in experimental pharmacology. In 1853, Dr. Hering persuaded Francis E. Boericke and Adolph J. Tafel to enter into the manufacture and sale of homeopathic medicines. Ten years later, Dr Boericke acquired the Radde pharmacies in Philadelphia and N. Y.
By this time there were over 2400 homeopathic physicians in the United States with over 700 in New York and over 325 in Pennsylvania. Keeping pace with the continuing growth in the practice of homeopathy, Boericke & Tafel established pharmacies in New Orleans, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Chicago and Cincinnati in addition to the two in New York City and Philadelphia.
As pharmacists, Boericke & Tafel has been privileged to serve the founders and pioneers of homeopathy, including Christian Hering and James Tyler Kent. In a letter dated July 30, 1903 recommending B &T's Skinner potencies to another physician, Kent wrote: "I am the one who urged the firm of Boericke & Tafel to put in a Skinner potentizer…I have a full set of Skinner potencies- they work well - I know how they are made."
Boericke & Tafel has an equally distinguished record as publishers. They were responsible for issuing over a hundred titles, approximately eighty-five percent of all homeopathic books published in the United States, including the American Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, the sixth edition of Hahnemann's Organon of Medicine (translated by William Boericke), and Boericke's Materia Medica with Repertory, which is today the standard U.S. materia medica and an integral part of most homeopathic computer repertorization programs.
Starting in 1915, a concerted effort on the part of the American Medical Association resulted in a steady decline in the number of homeopathic medical schools, homeopathic physicians, and homeopathic pharmacies. During this bleak homeopathy almost ceased to exist in the United States. Fortunately, the worldwide reputation that Boericke & Tafel medicines had earned for purity, quality, and efficacy generated sufficient export business to enable the firm to survive in spite of greatly diminished U.S. sales.
In 1980's and 1990's, the growing interest in the environment, natural products, and the individual's assuming responsibility for his or her own health initiated a renaissance in homeopathy. The number of practitioners increased, study groups were formed, naturopathic medical colleges developed courses in homeopathy, homeopathic medicines became available nationwide in health food stores and a small number of pharmacies, the Food and Drug Administration issued a Compliance Policy Guide regulating the manufacture and marketing of homeopathic medicines, and several European homeopathic pharmaceutical firms entered the U.S. market.
In 1987, Boericke & Tafel became a part of Hom Int (Homeopathy International), a federation of homeopathic firms doing business throughout the world, sponsoring basic and clinical research and professional and lay education and development programs. With its new state-of-art headquarters and the nation's most advanced full-line homeopathic production facilities, Boericke & Tafel, America's oldest pharmaceutical firm, has combined the best of both worlds.