Anthroposophical medicine is not identical to natural medicine (naturopathy). It is, however, sometimes called “natural medicine” when reference is made to the use of medicines that have been produced from natural raw materials.
Anthroposophical medicine is not phytotherapy (herbal medicine), despite the fact that about 250 medicinal plants provide the raw material and basis for Anthroposophical medicines. Medicines prepared from natural mineral substances are more widely used in this field and generally are considered more important than those made from plant materials.
Anthroposophical medicine is not simply some form of homeopathic medicine. Two things it has adopted from that discipline are the method of potentiation (although greatly modified) and the notation used for potencies (in Anthroposophical medicine potencies above D30 or 30X are seldom used).
Anthroposophical medicine is rooted in the Western scientific paradigm and views itself as an extended form of this medicine. It is not in opposition to contemporary conventional medicine, which works with the scientific principles and methods accepted today; it fully recognizes its principles. However, Anthroposophy adds further insights, gained through other methods described above, to what can be known about the human being through today’s recognized scientific methods, and out of this extended insight into the world and the human being, it finds itself impelled to work also for an extension of the art of medicine.
Fundamentally speaking, contemporary medicine can offer no objection to what Anthroposophical medicine represents, since it does not negate contemporary medicine.
In addition, Anthroposophical medicine fully accepts the values of other medical traditions, as far as they fulfill the criteria of being scientific and comprehendible. Anthroposophical medicine intends to understand and renew great old traditions like Greco-Arab medicine (Tibb), Ayurvedic medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine. Anthroposophical medicine seeks to make these old medical traditions accessible to modern thinking, consequently making them available to all people, which includes health care professionals and patients.
In this course, the relationships between Anthroposophical medicine and other leading medical traditions will be investigated, so that the various traditions may cross-pollinate each other.