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Salus Haus:  Strength In Nature

Salus Haus: Strength In Nature

The physician Dr. med. Otto Greither had been suffering from a severe illness for many years – until he found his own way to heal himself with his knowledge as natural scientist. With his Salus cure he laid the foundation for a comprehensive health system and created the basis of our company as manufacturer of natural medicines. 

"One forgets all too easily that we do not live from what we eat, but only from what we actually digest." (Dr. med. Otto Greither) 

To this conclusion came the physician and medical practitioner Dr. med. Greither after he became severely ill himself. Throughout his life Dr. Greither was curious and thirsty for knowledge. Soon after his doctorate in 1896 he trained further as neurologist and learned under eminent doctors. But that’s not all: He also studied veterinary medicine and in Berlin he added another field, that of dentistry. 

"That led me to learn about the importance of natural nutrition and the correct use of teeth when chewing the food as a prevention against the countless illnesses, which start in the digestion and the intestine." 
This knowledge helped him later, when he, who had never been sick before, became ill at the age of 30. "I became nervous, suffered from physical weakness. I felt miserable and could only recover slowly due to my chronic weakness." 

When his condition deteriorated, his doctors decided on a stomach operation. But, while preparing for the planned operation, the "miracle" happened, because enemas with water dissolved the blockages. However, the illness returned after a short while with a vengeance. Confined to bed again, he thought a lot about his illness. His extensive medical knowledge helped him in this regard. His experience with the previous illness made him believe that there must be a connection between his nutrition and his poor health. He did not rule out the possibility that inadequate digestion might also have triggered the illness. 

Therefore he restricted his diet and further developed the self-massage against constipation, which also life-reformer Viktor Prießnitz had used. Greither coined the term "abdominal thrusting", meaning the upwards thrusting and bulging out of the stomach in rhythmic movements. 

After he succeeded in healing himself by a restricted diet and the technique of abdominal thrusting, he set out on a migratory life as physician and researcher. He substituted in colleagues’ practices throughout Germany to study regional differences in their food habits. For six months he studied technical books and travel reports in the Prussian State Library in Berlin about the nature of nutrition all over the world. Later on, he travelled to far-distant countries. The stomach muscle training of an Indian tribe using a stone placed on the stomach, inspired him to develop his abdominal thrusting belt. 

Because of his previous illness Greither developed the Salus cure and founded the Salus works in 1916 in Munich on the Türkenstraße. The cure is based on the two principles: "Healing means cleansing" and "Healthy by yourself". A cure pack consisted of 900 grams of Salus oil for cleansing the intestines and two packets of Greitherna pastilles for purification. Sometime later came healing peat and healing clay for disinfection of the intestine, "Dr. med. Otto Greither's Munich health tea" to stimulate the metabolism and dissolve uric acid and Salus herbal drops as well as the abdominal thrusting belt, to intensify the stomach "thrusting". 

Salus health food shops 

Salus founder, Dr. med. Otto Greither opened his own health food shops: the "Salus sales and information sites". The company successfully expanded, and by 1928 there were already 50 shops. 

To document the connection with the Salus health food shops to the public, Otto Greither renamed the "Salus Werk" [Salus works] to "Salus Haus" [Salus house]. On 15 February 1929, he opened the "Salus health resort for natural healing methods, diet and massage, and healthy life reform" in Munich on the Bavariaring, which was later continued at Tegernsee. 

The organizational expenditure increased, so the company management decided to dispose of the health food shops. Subsequently the health food shops became Salus' most important customers. For 100 years Salus Haus has been part of the life reform and a reliable partner of the health food shops. The company grew together with the health food shops and today it is one of the largest health products manufacturers in Germany. 

At the end of the Second World War, in Munich about half of the entire city area had been destroyed; and 90% of the old city lay in ruins. Salus Haus had not been spared, either. Dozens of bomb attacks affected the production. "But something remained standing, with which we could restart after the war", remembers Otto Greither, eldest son of company founder Dr. med. Otto Greither. 
He took care of reconstructing the tea production. Little by little he and his colleagues succeeded in creating a room again for a mixing facility in the remaining buildings at Schönstraße 10. "And then we just started to make tea." 
Otto Greither assumed the role of the head of the family - for his brother Hans, but also for his friends. For the 20-year old orphan the employees of Salus Haus became a surrogate family. 

Property entails obligations 

"Of course we made sure that they all had something to eat. I never ate bread alone, if someone hungry was sitting next to me." At an early stage he also adopted the clause "Property entails obligations" from the Bavarian Constitution as the guiding principle. "I can do what I want with my property, and I do, of course, but I must share it if I can. This is how our society functions." 

Otto Greither did not need to advertise his teas. "The customers grabbed everything that we produced." More difficult than selling was production. In order to be able to manufacture tea in the winter as well, he needed firewood and matches, which he got - like many other everyday things – for "compensation". Barter trade blossomed. "Now no one can imagine how difficult it was to get a bag of cement." Greither needed cement to reconstruct the buildings on the company premises. Through "agents" he could exchange, for example, 100 packs of tea for a bag of cement. 

Managing director at the age of 20 

At the age of 20, Greither was not yet an adult in those days, with the age of majority not being until 21. He was therefore not permitted to lead the company. But a notary confirmed that - because of his military and entrepreneurial experiences - he could be regarded as an adult, so he was finally registered as the managing director of Salus Haus.After the first year of reconstruction, Salus was able to enter production again, things were looking up. Increased employees returned home from the war. They all needed work, they wanted to be involved. At that time, Salus Haus had already taken on 20 employees. The experience and worldly wisdom from this time of need after the war continue to influence Otto Greither’s philosophy to this day and form the basis of the Salus company culture. 
At the end of 1962, Otto Greither bought the Floradix pharmaceutical factory in Wiesbaden from the Wilhelm Blumenthal company that, inter alia, manufactured products such as Energetikum and Kindertrunk, as well as Floradix. It could not have been imagined at the time that Floradix would become the highest revenue-earner for Salus and probably the best-selling alcohol-free tonic to prevent iron deficiency the world over. 
"One hundred millilitres of the tonic contained just two to three milligrams of bivalent iron", remembered Professor Dr. Heinz Schilcher (deceased 2015), former manager of the Salus scientific department. The present-day Floradix contains, by comparison, 82 milligrams of bivalent iron per 100 ml. The pharmacist found a natural source with high iron-II content, the yeast fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The yeast could be "fed" with a bivalent iron compound. In an experiment, Schilcher was able to prove that 30 percent of this iron contained in the yeast could be absorbed by the human body. He developed a new recipe for Floradix based on iron-containing fruit juices and "iron-yeast" that contained 45 mg of bivalent iron in 60 ml of tonic. At the same time, through pasteurizing – the process also used to increase the shelf life of milk - he introduced a technological innovation for bottling. The scientists at Salus Haus have continuously improved the composition of the iron tonic; the current recipe was formulated in 2008. 

Popular in sports and around the globe 

In most export countries Floradix® became a bestseller. Christel Gursche, who distributed the Salus products in Canada together with her husband, said that her husband successfully launched Floradix onto the Canadian market with tremendous passion and also relished drinking it. 

Also top athletes discovered the effect of Floradix. At a meeting of the health food industry in Sankt Moritz, a ski race was once organised with a prominent participant - the skier Christa Kinshofer, who used to reside in Rosenheim at the time. Kinshofer was to hold a brief presentation in front of 200 participants, after she had won the race. Spontaneously, she decided to speak for half an hour on how much Floradix had helped her win. "I was completely speechless" remembers former sales manager Richard Mayr. 

It turned out that many other winter sports athletes use Floradix, too. And so between 2006 and 2010 Salus became an important sponsor for Magdalena Neuner, Martina Beck (née Glagow), Verena Bentele, Martin Braxenthaler, Theresa Kempfle, Andrea Rothfuss and Gerd Schönfelder. At the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada, these athletes sponsored by Salus won 21 medals, including 14 gold. The athletes advertised Floradix not only on posters and advertising spots, but even at autograph signings. 

Since the middle of the year 2015 Otto Greither has been supported in the management by his successor Dr. Florian Block. The business economist and lawyer wants to continue the company philosophy: "Practical innovations, a sustainable approach, social corporate responsibility and consideration for the environment are the cornerstones of a history of success." Learn More Here

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