A History of Geology and Medicine
The historical links between geology and medicine are surprisingly numerous and diverse. This, the first ever volume dedicated to the subject, contains contributions from an international authorship of geologists, historians and medical professionals.
Rocks, minerals, fossils and earths have been used therapeutically since earliest times and details recorded on ancient papyri, clay tablets, medieval manuscripts and early published sources. Pumice was used to clean teeth, antimony to heal wounds, clays as antidotes to poison, gold to cure haemorrhoids and warts, and gem pastes to treat syphilis and the plague, while mineral springs preserved health. Geology was crucial in the development of public health. Medical men who made important contributions to geology include Steno, Worm, Parkinson, Bigsby, William Hunter, Jenner, John Hulke, Conan Doyle, Gorini and various Antarctic explorers.
A History of Geology and Medicine will be of particular interest to Earth scientists, medical personnel, historians of science and the general reader who has an interest in science.
The managed exploitation of thermal and mineral waters began at British spas in the middle of the 16th century when the first scientific treatises were written. The peak in popularity was reached in the 18th century, after which usage declined. Britain’s spa heritage is well preserved at some sites and 14 of these are selected for detailed discussion. These heritage spas are divided into three groups on the basis of their hydrogeology. In the first group, spa locations are both controlled and constrained by the hydrogeological conditions. Flows are reliable and the waters are generally highly mineralized as a...