They contrasted conventional medicine with naturopathy, chemical pest control with ecological agriculture, increasing meat consumption with the vegetarian lifestyle - the "life reform", the concept surfaced for the first time in the 1890s, was a reaction to the changed life conditions and social grievances, which arose with urbanisation and industrialisation.
Terms such as "natural lifestyle", "the art of healthy, sensible human life", "dietetics" were terms used as synonyms for life reform. Core of the movement were vegetarianism, the naturopathy movement and naturism. This epoch also brought wholefoods and muesli to the fore. Known proponents of naturopathy were the agriculturists Vinzenz Prießnitz (1799-1851) and Johann Schroth (1798-1856) as well as the priest Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897).
Products of the reformers were first offered for sale by the Berlin merchant Carl Braun (1858-1943) in a special department. This was the ancestor of all health food shops: In 1887 he opened a health food shop at Potsdamer station in Berlin, which he called "Health Centre". The first health food shop to bear this name was opened by Carl August Heynen in 1900 in Wuppertal. In this way, distribution and sales of the products was no longer by the manufacturer direct to the end customer but through the health food shop (department store) as a specialist line. Over the decades, a "health food shop network" developed and expanded all over Germany. By 1925, there were already 200 health food shops across the country. In 1925, a number of them decided to form a union of German health food shop owners, out of which grew a cooperative in 1927, which in 1930 assumed the name "Neuform Vereinigung Deutscher Reformhäuser e.G." (Neuform cooperative of German health food shops).
Salus health food shops
Also 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 organisational 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 manufacturer in Germany.