• Full Name:
    Dom Rosendo Salvado
  • Role:
    Lay prescriber
  • Occupation/s:
    Clergy, lay homœopathic prescriber
  • State:
    Western Australia
  • Date first identified using homoeopathy in Australia:
    1850s or 1860s
Early days: Dom Salvado

  as a Benedictine monk

        at New Norcia


          Later Years:  Bishop Salvado

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


Dom Salvado was a Spanish Benedictine monk, who came to Australia in January 1846 and founded the monastery at New Norcia, about 130 kilometres north of Perth in Western Australia. After an extended stay in Rome and Perth beginning in 1848, he returned to New Norcia in 1857. There are several early books on homœopathy in the monastery’s library, and it is considered possible that Dom Salvado brought some of these works with him on his return to New Norcia. It appears that Dom Salvado may also have brought to Australia an extensive chest of homœopathic medicines and it is possibly at that time that he began to use homœopathy in the treatment of the monks, local people and aborigines near Perth. Monastery records at New Norcia suggest that homœopathic medicine eventually became the main form of medicine used by the community.


It appears that Dom Salvado was the first person to introduce homœopathy to Western Australia.  Some have also suggested that he may have been the first person officially recorded as practising homœopathic medicine in Australia, before practitioners in the Eastern States.


However, this latter statement is untrue. It appears that Dom Salvado’s knowledge of homœopathy was acquired some time after 1851 (and possibly as late as 1857 when he returned to New Norcia or 1860 when Father Coll arrived at New Norcia), as prior to 1851 he claimed to be completely ignorant of medicine. More evidence may come to light with the translation of other papers.


[See also the entries for Dr Stephen Simpson, Dr William Sherwin, and John Bell Hickson.]


Kits of homœopathic medicines thought to have been brought to New Norcia by Dom Salvado on his return to New Norcia in 1857 from a trip to Europe:

  • The large kit of English 30C homœopathic medicines (to the right) is housed conveniently, but misleadingly, in a box featuring Chinese script on the inside of the lid.
  • The smaller kit of 6C homœopathic medicines (to the left) prepared in Coethen, Germany is shown in more detail in the photo on the right.


                        Kit of 6C homœopathic medicines, prepared in Coethen, Germany.

For more information about homœopathy, Dom Salvado and New Norcia, see:  Francis Treuherz Strange, rare and peculiar: Aborigines Benedictines and homeopathy from Homeopathy (2006) 95, 182-186. Treuherz states: “I found no evidence that Salvado or Coll actually practised homeopathy; but someone did, it may or may not have been them.”


© Barbara Armstrong


(All photographs displayed for this entry are courtesy of Peter Torokfalvy, and obtained with the kind permission of Dom Christopher of New Norcia Monastery)


  • Created:
    Monday, 25 May 2009
  • Last modified:
    Sunday, 10 August 2014