Iridology is a holistic practice that can detect current and future illnesses by examining the patterns, colours, and characteristics of the iris. It has piqued the interest of many due to its unconventional approach to health assessment. But where did Iridology originate, and what is the history of this alternative medicine technique? In this blog article, we’ll delve into the origins and history of Iridology to uncover its roots and evolution over time.
The Ancient Beginnings
Despite being regarded as a relatively new field of study, Iridology has origins in ancient cultures. Iridology’s earliest known history dates back to around 1,000 BC in a region known as Chaldea, which is situated in Central Asia. Ruins inscribed for the iris nearly 3,000 years ago, ruins inscribed for the iris were discovered on stone plates in this corner of the world. The Chaldeans, a Semitic people, are attributed with the earliest known practice of Iridology, making it a centuries-old tradition.
Additionally, according to archaeological findings from 3000 years ago in Egypt, China, and India, a lot of attention was devoted to the study of the iris and its relation to the organs of the human body. In the tomb of Tutankhamun (1400-1392 B.C.), silver plates with intricate illustrations of irises were discovered. Furthermore, doctors in traditional Tibetan medicine meticulously studied the condition of the eyes and linked markings to liver function and blood disorders.
However, while Iridology has ancient origins, its present form is quite different from its historical predecessors. Ancient iridologists relied on the study of the eyes to determine a person’s health, but their methods and interpretations were likely different from what is practiced now.
Pioneer of Iridology
Philippus Meyens, a German physician who published his research in 1670, is responsible for the modern concept of Iridology as we know it today. Meyens’ groundbreaking work classifying the iris in accordance with different body organs. His observations formed the basis for the development of Iridology as a distinct field of study.
Meyens’ research sparked curiosity about the connection between a person’s iris and overall health and represented a considerable divergence from more mystical and ancient methods of eye examination.
Learn more about who discovered Iridology by watching our video below.
Ignaz von Peczely and the Birth of Modern Iridology
Writings and works on iris markings and their implications were documented in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, primarily by medical practitioners. A Hungarian physician named Dr. Ignatz von Peczely was one of the first. When he was still a young child, he unintentionally fractured an owl’s leg. He noticed a mark forming in the owl’s eye, which evolved in shape and shading over time. At the Vienna Medical College, Ignatz von Peczely earned his medical degree in 1867. In the book “Discoveries in the Realms of Nature and Art of Healing,” he published the results of his systematic recording, correlating, and publishing of his research into the irises of patients before and after surgery. He created his “Iris Chart” in 1880. Ignaz is hailed as the Father of Iridology.
Nils Liljequist, a young Swedish boy, became ill in the 1860s after receiving a vaccination, quinine, and iodine doses. As the drug spots started to show, he realized that his once-blue eyes had changed in color. He wrote about his observations in an article titled “Quinine and Iodine Change the Colour of the Iris” in 1870, and he included his “Iris Chart” in his 1893 book “Om Oegendiagnosen.” The similarity between Liljequist and von Peczely’s “Iris Charts” should not come as a surprise.
Learn more about where Iridology came from by watching our video.
Iridology Through the Ages
Iridology has become more popular and is now practiced in many countries throughout the world as it has evolved. Iridologists improved their methods and theories during the course of the 19th and 20th century, which helped this alternative medical sector expand.
In the 20th century, American chiropractor Bernard Jensen made a substantial contribution to the study of Iridology. He was a major contributor to the popularity of Iridology in and outside of the US. Iridologists can benefit from Jensen’s influential iris or Iridology Chart, which he created by correlating distinct iris markings and patterns with various body parts and organs. His writings and teachings promoted Iridology to a larger audience and cemented its standing in the alternative and naturopathic medicine community. Bernard Jensen is regarded as a historical figure in natural medicine, notably in the context of Iridology, and his work continues to have a profound impact in this field.
Finally, Iridology, an alternative medical approach that studies the iris to evaluate health problems, has ancient roots reaching back to Chaldea in Central Asia circa 1,000 BC. However, Philippus Meyens’ work in the 17th century helped to shape modern Iridology as we know it today. Iridology has developed throughout the years and attracted practitioners from all over the world.
Despite its controversial reputation, Iridology is nevertheless an intriguing and unconventional approach to evaluating one’s health. Its roots can be found in a long tradition of human curiosity about the eyes and their potential to reveal valuable insights about our health.
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