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History of Iridology

Based on Foreign text by unknown authors, compiled by Leo Bongaards ND MH Dip Ir

Hypocrites ( 480 – 360 BC) is said to have used the eyes for diagnosis 

Philippe May de Fransconie ( Often refered to as Philip Meyens) was the first in modern history  to publish a work on iridology named Chiromantia medica. This was in 1670 in Desden, Germany, this book made an interesting study of iris signs and its relations to illnesses and had a small map of the Iris with respective areas of some parts of the human body.

Next was  Johann Sigmund Eltzholtz (Nürnberg, 1695), who expanded on the studies of Philippe and almost a century later, in Göttingen, Christian Haertls, who based his findings on the studies of Phillippe and Eltzholtz, launches a controversial and important work. However it was the Hungarian physician Ignatz von Peczely (1822-1911) that made Iridology  well known in Europe.

According to this fabel's history, von Peczely only a boy than, hunted an owl and broke it's leg in the trap, he saw a fine trace appear  in the inferior region of the corresponding Iris of the owl. The young von Peczely was curious about the marking that appeared. He nursed the owl to good health and noticed that the trace in the Iris virtually disappeared, to leave only one very tenuous mark. He studied  other authors on the subject and when Peczely became a physician he developed his knowledge even more and was able to do comparative research in hospitals.

He made many discoveries and in 1881, after many difficulties, he launched his first work (Entdeckungen auf dem Gebiete der Natur- und Heilkunde – Anleitung zum Studium der Diagnose aus dem Auge). Rather a mouth full.

Many works on the subject have appeared later in Europe, mainly in Germany. The priest Emanuel Felke (1856-1926) made iridology more popular still and Iridology  spread throughout the whole of  Europe. In the beginning of the decade around 1900 Iridology was introduced in the United States by Dr. Nils Liljequist, a Swedish homeopath, who had noticed iris colour changes when he took medication, he may have exchanged information with von Peczely as they both worked on iris charts around the same time.

In more recent times it was a North American,  Dr. Bernard Jensen, who published the map of the Iris, based on Lindlahr's chart,  that is still in use all over the world. After Dr. Jensen’s passing his daughter in-law Ellen Tart-Jensen has revised and updated the chart.

A boost for the study of iridology was created when In Germany between 1950 and 1954 clinical trials on 640 patients where conducted by Dr. Walter Lang and  Joseph Deck in the hospital in Karlsruhe under the supervision of  Dr. Vida. The patients where diagnosed by iridology as well as by traditional means.  At this time  The reliability was found to be around 75%, however when a follow-up study was done 5 years later 95% of the original iris diagnosis was now found to be correct . (Patients had the problems seen at the iridology examination)This shows that iridology can "Predict" where problems can and often will  occur in the body. It was postulated  that 5% of the population may NOT have the exact same recording mechanism as is the norm.

In Holland the Rijksuniversiteit Limburg found that there was no relationship between the iris is the eye and the presence of gall stones. The iridologist in this trial could not diagnose the gallstones in the patients. In the USA a study was conducted that included  Bernard Jensen. He also fell into the trap when he was asked to diagnose Western medicine conditions and could not. (see www.eyeronec.eu/Holland for further comments on this trial and what they are up to now) Also note that some of the skeptic doctors have been taken to court for spreading unsubstantiated lies about natural therapies an lost.

Critics make much of these (fake) studies but one must remember that the iris can only reveal tendencies to under or over activity, it records medical events and it tells a lot about the constitution of the person. There is no doubt a lot more is to be found in the iris and sclera of the eyes but the reductionist view of Western medicine will never be sattisfied as there is no printout of medical condition names and there prescribed drugs.

The very latest research in Italy into birth order relationship issues and the time line research by an English scientist John Andrews claiming to have 20.000 case studies are just a few of the on-going research projects into the secrets the eyes can reveal. Modern digital cameras make observations so much easier, the equipment can show individual fibers and record colour changes from visit to visit . 

As practitioners we must observe and ask questions from our patients to learn more and more of this wonderful science. 

 

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