“Throughout history, medical treatment was supported on three legs. The first leg consisted of herbal selections, the second of animal products, and the third leg was the use of minerals such as healing earths.” With this statement the author launches his account of how minerals have been used in medicine by different societies over the centuries. The focus of this account is very strongly on historical aspects, as indeed is indicated by the title, and the author has been indefatigable in his search for relevant material, referring extensively to rare book collections held in private and public libraries in many...

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