Albuquerque, NM—When German physician Hans-Heinrich Reckeweg, M.D., began experimenting with homeopathic remedies in the 1920s, he probably had little idea that the company he would soon found—Heel—would one day become a major force in the world of homeopathy. This year, the firm is celebrating its 75th year of manufacturing homeopathic remedies.

Reckeweg was a pioneer in “homotoxicology,” a term he used to describe the study of toxins and their effects on human health. The physician believed combination homeopathic remedies were more effective than single remedies and developed such formulas to treat his patients. In 1936, he founded Heel (which stands for Herba est ex luce or “Plants derive their healing power from light”) to mass-produce them. Reckeweg moved to Albuquerque, NM in 1979 and soon after began producing 50 homeopathic medicines under the company name, Biological Homeopathic Industries (which later was renamed Heel USA, still located in Albuquerque).

Today, Biologische Heilmittel Heel GmbH, headquartered in Baden-Bade, Germany, manufactures more than 700 formulations. The company has also grown since its founding; its international presence includes 11 subsidiaries in over 50 countries. In addition, Heel regularly conducts research on the mechanisms of action of herbal medicine in an effort to prove efficacy, and invests $15 million to medical research each year—including novel research techniques like genomics. “Using scientific evidence and a unique therapy concept, we are building the bridge between homeopathy and conventional medicine,” explains CEO Ralph Schmidt. Currently a global team of specialists is developing new medicines and continues to demonstrate the efficacy of Heel’s products.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2011