September 18, 2013 | Posted in Concepts in Anthroposophic Medicine

Rudolf Steiner’s work with the writings of Goethe, with the science of his time (1861-1925), and his own reflective investigations resulted in significant cultural contributions to the world.


His epistemological works, most notably Theory of Knowledge and Philosophy of Freedom, pointed to thinking as the foundation of understanding reality, and the individual’s moral faculty as the measure of morality.

Steiner, working at the same time Darwin was formulating his theory of evolution, articulated a cosmology of the universe and creation which updated Genesis and showed the spiritual origins of material existence. He ordered an understanding of the make-up of the human being on physical and spiritual levels, using specific terminology for the spiritual structures. He described their functions within the human being and indicated their relationships to the rest of creation including nature and the spiritual worlds.

The body of his work is called ‘anthroposophy’ and is the foundation of the cultural initiatives he created.

Anthroposophic medicine was founded through the co-working of Ita Wegman MD and Rudolf Steiner PhD, and is based on his picture of the human being, creation, and nature.

Treatments are derived from

  • substances from nature as herbal extracts or low potency homeopathic remedies,
  • nursing techniques,
  • massage,
  • movement (eurythmy),
  • art therapy including painting, music, sculpture, and speech formation.

The arts are an important aspect of anthroposophic medicine.

Anthroposophic doctors use their standard medical training as a foundation for anthroposophic medicine, and may also use standard prescription drugs and procedures when needed.

Waldorf education, Biodynamic farming, Camphill communities for the handicapped, and the Christian Community are other major cultural initiatives from Rudolf Steiner, each dedicated to renewing their respective aspects of civilization.

In the latter part of Rudolf Steiner’s life, he addressed the understanding of human karma and destiny. He has authored 45 books, and his approximately 6000 lectures are collected into many volumes.

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Anthroposophic Society in America,

Rudolf Steiner Archive

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