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Sebastian Kneipp

Sebastian Kneipp (May 17, 1821, Stephansried, Germany – June 17, 1897 in Bad Wörishofen) was a Bavarian priest and one of the founders of the Naturopathic medicine movement. He is most commonly associated with the "Kneipp Cure" form of hydrotherapy, a system of healing involving the application of water through various methods, temperatures and pressures.

In Norway he is mostly known for his bread recipe based on whole wheat. Kneipbrød (Kneipp Bread) is the most commonly eaten bread in Norway.

Although most commonly associated with one area of Naturopathic medicine, Kneipp was the proponent of an entire system of healing, which rested on five main tenets:

In the 19th century, there was a popular revival in the application of hydrotherapy instigated around 1829, by Vincent Priessnitz, a peasant farmer in Gräfenberg, then part of the Austrian Empire.[1][2] This revival was continued by Kneipp, "an able and enthusiastic follower" of Priessnitz, "whose work he took up where Priessnitz left it",[3] after he came across a treatise on the cold water cure.[4][5] Kneipp's own book My Water Cure was published in 1886 with many subsequent editions, and translated into many languages.

During his time in Bad Wörishofen, Kneipp was able to counsel many people. Tens of thousands came from all over the world to receive his healing advice. He was the author of the books "My Water Cure", "Thus Shalt Thou Live", and "My Will".


  1. ^ Claridge, Capt. R.T. (1843). Hydropathy; or The Cold Water Cure, as practiced by Vincent Priessnitz, at Graefenberg, Silesia, Austria. (8th ed.). London: James Madden and Co. Retrieved 2009-10-29.   Full text at Internet Archive ( Note: The "Advertisement", pp.v-xi, appears from the 5th ed onwards, so references to time pertain to time as at 5th edition.
  2. ^ Metcalfe, Richard (1898). Life of Vincent Priessnitz, Founder of Hydropathy. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd.. Retrieved 3 December 2009.   Full text at Internet Archive (
  3. ^ Metcalfe, Richard (1898), p.117
  4. ^ Metcalfe, Richard (1898), p.120
  5. ^ Kneipp, Sebastian (1891). My Water Cure, As Tested Through More than Thirty Years, and Described for the Healing of Diseases and the Preservation of Health. Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood & Sons. Retrieved 3 December 2009.   translation from the 30th German edition. Full text at Internet Archive (

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