Up to the present day the contributions Johann Christian August Heinroth (1773-1843) made to the development of psychosomatics have been little acknowledged. This paper points out that it was Heinroth who introduced the term 'psychosomatic' into medical literature and examines his concept for psychosomatic ideas. Quotations from his work, among them the passage in his famous 1818 Textbook of Disturbances of Mental Life, are presented and interpreted in their context. All this shows clearly that Heinroth's approach reveals distinct psychosomatic ideas, especially in his concept of body and soul, the etiology and pathogenesis of mental illnesses. For Heinroth soul has the primacy over the body and both interact in many ways. Consequently, mental and many somatic illnesses are caused by the soul, i. e. psychogenetically. Hence Heinroth is of major importance for the history of psychosomatic medicine, not only because he introduced the name, but also due to his holistic and anthropological approach.