Reverend Sebastian Kneipp „Forefather of Naturopathy“

Pommelsbrunn / OED. OCTOBER 2019. One day European health-related knowledge for the ERASMUS program „Fit for Europe“.
Sebastian Kneipp is one of the most famous naturopaths and hydrotherapists in Germany. He developed a „free medicine“ for everyone, so that even poor people could treat themselves. Good for the people – good for the planet!

Sebastian Kneipp, *May 17, 1821 – + June 17, 1897

Sebastian Kneipp is one of the most famous naturopaths and hydrotherapists in Germany. He developed a „free“ medicine for everyone, so that even poor people could treat themselves.  

Sebastian Kneipp came from a poor Weber family. He had 4 sisters. At 11, he had to work as a cattle herder. He observed how the animals help themselves when they became ill. Kneipp was very intelligent. This aroused the interest of the pastor, for it was customary to teach the cleverest boy in the village at school and to enable him to become a pastor as well. 

1844 admission to the high school Dillingen in Bavaria. At High School he got tuberculosis (TB), a deadly, very contagious lung disease. Nobody was allowed to know that, because otherwise he would not have been allowed to start his scholarship for the seminary in Munich in 1847. 

He had to heal himself secretly. He researched and discovered the book „healing power of water“. The whole winter he marched every night through the Danube near Dillingen. In the seminary, he secretly healed fellow students by water applications unsing a watering can  from the same disease – Kneipp’s hydrotherapy “The Kneipp Cure” was born. 1852 priestly ordination. In 1853, he was first accused of quackery because he had treated a maid with cholera. 1854 followed an  accusation by a pharmacist. 

1855 he was transfered for disciplinary reasons.to the nunnery Wörishofen as confessor of the Dominicans. Here he built up a functioning agriculture. Until 1871 construction of the health resort „Bad Wörishofen“. Kneipp was accused several times. From 1883 cooperation with the young Dr. Bernhuber. 1886 Publication of the book: „My Water Cure“. After 1890 Europe-wide travel activity. Audience at Pope Leo XIII. who was treated by him. 
Kneipp has many followers in America. Since 2015 „Kneippen“ – the „traditional knowledge and the practice after the teachings of Sebastian Kneipp“ belongs to the UNESCO cultural heritage. His recipe for whole wheat bread, called Kneippbrød, is the most commonly eaten bread in Norway

Kneipp’s 5 Main Tenents:

Hydrotherapy – The use of water to treat ailments

Phytotherapy – The use of botanical medicines was another of Kneipp’s specialities

Exercise – Promoting health of the body through movement

Nutrition – A wholesome diet of whole grains, fruits & vegetables with limited meat.

Balance – Kneipp believed that a healthy mind begot a healthy person