In the year 1670, the physician Philippus Meyens, in his book, Physiognomia Medica, described the division of the iris according to organ regions of the body. The Viennese ophthalmologist, George Joseph Beer (1763-1821), did not know of these old views on iris analysis. Yet, in his 1813 publication, Textbook of Eye Diseases, he wrote, “Everything that affects the organism of an individual cannot remain without effect on the eye and vice versa.”
A Hungarian, Dr. med. Ignaz Péczely (1826-1911), published a book in 1880 entitled, Discovery in Natural History and Medical Science, a Guide to the Study and Diagnosis from the Eye. This book achieved an international renown and he is considered the renaissance father of iridology.
During the first half of the 20th century, iridiagnosis (as it was called then) was utilized here in the USA primarily by medical doctors. The following is a quote from Henry Lindlahr, M.D. circa 1919. “The ‘regular’ school of medicine (allopathic), as a body, has ignored and will ignore this science (of iridology), because it discloses the fallacy of their favorite theories and practices and because it reveals unmistakable the direful results of chronic drug poisoning (pharmaceuticals) and ill advised operations.”
Due to increasing political and economic pressure upon medical schools by the emerging pharmaceutical industry, the teaching of iridology was removed from the curriculum. Eventually this art and science was lost within the allopathic medical practice. However, it was kept alive by naturopathic physicians in the latter half of the 20th century. Most notably, Bernard Jensen, D.C., N.D., Ph.D. of the U.S.A. was the champion of this valuable tool of assessment until his passing at 93 years of age. Also of significant import were two of Dr. Jensen’s contemporaries who were Heilpraktikers, Hp. Josef Deck and Hp. Josef Angerer of Germany. Today, iridology is practiced worldwide, and in Europe it has been used clinically for generations.
Dr. med. Ignaz Péczely (1826-1911)