a headache? The Common Cold, Stomach Cramps? You ask the Bilz-book! This reference book provided were around 1900 a whole new Generation with health tips for all life. At the same time, it made its author, Friedrich Eduard Bilz as the “father of the folk Naturopathy”. As a self-made man, he built a naturopathy-Empire, its own publishing house, a Sanatorium, a bathhouse, and a range of Reform-food.

In the process, Bilz, in 1842, in the Saxon town of Arnsdorf was born, not a licensed doctor, but self-taught. His father sent him with 14 in a Weber teaching. 14 hours he had to work in enclosed spaces, the half-day Sunday, often in artificial light.

These experiences shaped his life: The young, depleted Bilz was lung suffering, got stomach cramps and interested from then on, for a cure. So he ended up later, after he, with the support of the father-in-law in the town of Meerane, near Zwickau, a colonial store had opened, at the Association for health care and natural healing.

in order Bilz was in the Trend of the time: As a counterpoint to industrialization, urbanization, and materialism of the life reform movement won the end of the 19th century. Century to the inlet. Natural healers, vegetarians, followers of the then-popular, free-body culture and civilization dropout living a life in accordance with nature propagated. Also Bilz criticized: “The man is with his life more and more to the art product.” In terms of medicine, he called for more natural healing approaches. Finally, many Doctors treated their patients with mercury preparations, copper or zinc vitriol.

Of “laxative” to “duodenal cancer”

In the health club, the Bilz dedicated, discussed with the members about alternative medicine. However, the high engraved scholarly writings with foreign words for normal people to be completely incomprehensible. Bilz gathered in the study room over his Shop now a mountain of writings and notes, tried to understand the health Teachings and tested on themselves, a number of water applications, which had made the Catholic priest Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897).


After Bilz had studied for many years disease and alternative methods, he published in 1888 a dictionary: “Bilz, the new method of healing, a teaching and reference book for everyone in the healthy and the sick days”. The thickness of the ham was the first for 75 pennies and developed from Nothing to a million bestseller.

He spread about the natural healer and the book of acts, also thanks to intensive advertising and the agents went through the country, and the books by door-to-door business to the people. They offered even installments, so that everyone could afford the work. In 1900, the 100 was already. Pad printed, until 1938, 3.5 million were sold “Bilz-books”, and Translations have appeared in a dozen languages, including English, French, and Russian.

Bilz’ secret of success: simple, vivid explanations of medical facts and recommendations, the reader could easily implement at home. It revised the self-taught natural healer, author Jürgen Helfricht describes it in his Bilz-biography, the work is repeated. The 1918 pages swelled the output of 1902, ranging in alphabetical order from a laxative on boils, chicken eye, and inflammation of the kidney up to duodenal cancer.

With fresh air and avoiding meat consumption against cancer

Always Bilz described the disease, called causes and natural cures. In addition, he gave General advice about clothing, food or foot baths. A convertible model of the human body on the cover should allow for biology, “to touch”.

The book made Bilz rich. But also to the enemy of the Saxon Physicians. The “Committee for the suppression of Quackery, defendant”, the reader will stirred up “in a homicidal way for resistance against important provisions of the state epidemiological legislation, as well as against recognised and proven medical principles”. Similar conflicts such as today, herbalists learning there was already a good 100 years ago – even then it is considered a medical practitioner for negligence to be fatal to a Tumor with foot baths cure.

The Doctors refer to the disease of cancer. Bilz division of operational treatments and advised simply to water applications, meat-free food, fresh air and Sleep with the window open. He also encouraged his readers against the former smallpox vaccination: “the Best means for the abolition of the poisoning effect of the vaccination, immediately after vaccination, the injection nozzle suck vigorously with his mouth.”

Despite all the criticism, the Bilz-book tremendous success. So the controversial nature healer, went a big step further, and bought, in 1890, in the former municipality of Oberlößnitz (now part of Radebeul), a vineyard property with neo-classical Villa, ponds, stables and watchtower. He converted the terrain to a natural healing Institute, initially for up to 15 guests.

Barefoot in the morning dew

The crowd was so large that Bilz left the Sanatorium to expand, until it was ultimately beds for 180 patients. The complex comprised baths, a large Park with a 20 “air huts” where visitors to the Spa in the light and air were able to rest, society halls, a bowling alley, billiard tables, and in Winter, ice Skating and tobogganing facilities. When you eat Bilz on diet, especially in vegetarian dishes and fruit or grape cures.

Each Kurtag began on the barefoot lawn: The Trouser legs rolled up, waded Bilz with his guests in the morning dew on the Meadow, the immune system toughen. A doctor examined the sick, the Bilz established the treatments: water treatments such as Full-, foot -, or carbonic acid baths, steam, sun and light baths, massage, Gymnastics. In this case, the Sanatorium took on all sorts of cases of disease and, of patients with migraine, stroke, or venereal disease to the brain and spinal cord diseases.

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just like the Bilz-book the Sanatorium attracted the wrath of the medical Profession. They spread pamphlets about allegedly failed treatments, and catastrophic hygiene conditions; in the meantime, the institution stood in front Of the, Bilz led several processes. The patient’s onslaught, however, remained unbroken.

Bilz wanted the Natural medicine was not the sole preserve of well-heeled Spa guests. He, therefore, opened in 1905, in the middle Kötzschenbroda the Bilz light air bath, with separate gender-oaks, Tennis and football swimming space as well as gym equipment. There, visitors were able to enjoy in a lighter swimwear the nature. “The light-air baths, toughen the body, make him resilient and exhilarate the mind. They form, therefore, a Universal preventive against diseases”, has recruited a prospectus. A specially composed song would fit: “do you Want to stay young and beautiful, you need to go to the Bilzbad.”

“The Breasts completely free swimsuits”

But even here, the authorities morals looked strictly to the Intervention urged. “Several women are not even with the law, but the Breasts completely free ends bathing suits, let to be dressed”, and also some men hurt have granted a “moral view”, – was stated in a complaint, which landed in the court files of the competent higher administrative court. The bathroom had to temporarily close; a true storm of protest, including a petition brought by the re-opening.

in addition to publishing, Sanatorium, and bath-enterprising entrepreneurs to reform food discovered as a further part of the business. Widely known as the magic potion advertised Bilz-Brause, a gold-colored soft drink fruit-based was nervous, according to the label, “for the stomach, -, -, rheumatism – and lungs-to recommend suffering.” The Name Bilz wore a highly visible, to food such as food grade salt, food grade salt-cocoa and chocolate, almond milk-Nährbiskuits or malt coffee.

With the First world war, the flowering of the Bilz Empire ended. However, his creations survived the nature’s healer for a long time. The last edition of his book appeared in 1956, the Sanatorium was requisitioned in 1941 by the Wehrmacht, the part of the luxury apartments are situated in it today. The Bilz-bathroom exists in Radebeul, still as a swimming pool, along with the 1912 built-in wave machine. And the Bilz-Brause is sold under the name Sinalco.

Friedrich Eduard Bilz was 79 years old and died at 30. January 1922 in Radebeul. His grave is right next to the adventure writer Karl May, a long-time friend. For the grave stone Bilz had chosen this sentence: “nature was my guiding light, would you be the guiding light for posterity”.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.