Some early eighteenth century geological Materia Medica
Published:January 01, 2013
The transition from the late seventeenth to the early eighteenth century represented an interesting time in the development of the Materia Medica, with the traditional ‘Galenical’ approach being progressively replaced by the ‘Chymical’ approach, a necessary precursor to modern pharmacology. Four surviving complete and partial Materia Medica cabinets belonging to Sir Hans Sloane, John Vigani, John Addenbrooke and William Heberden form the focus for a consideration of changing practices in the medicinal use of geological materials over this period. The working and teaching cabinets contain both processed and unprocessed specimens of geological simples. Of these, some were waning in...
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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.