Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/166

This page needs to be proofread.




published a pharmucopuia (Uieeptario) in 1498. The oiliest work of this kind in (iermany was writtefl by Valerius Cordiis, a Xureiiiherg physician (Dispen- satoriiim, 1546); then followed the Dispcnsatorivini of Adolph Occo in 15134, writtpn at the reciuest of the eity of AuKsburg, the Dispensatoriuni of Cologne in 1.3H,'), and finally in 1572 a similar work in \ ienna, which, however, was not printed. Not until 1(518 did Vienna receive a disponsatoriuin prepared from that of Augs- burg, which nail become a model for all Germany.

The Oriental trade in drugs was greatly facilitated liy the discovery of the sea route to the East Indies. Uninfluenced by exotic remedies of scholastic medi- cine, popular medicine offered poor people, in atldition to repulsive and superstitious remedies, a series of valuaole remedies derived from native plants and minerals. A long-known and popular remedy for syphilis was mercury, introduced into scientific thera- peutics by Paracelsus. To his adherents we are in- debted for the use of preparations of antimony and ar- senic, a popular remedy for skin diseases since ancient times. The first-mentioned preparations gave rise to a \-iolent struggle on the part of the Paris faculty, which opposed every form of progress. Guaiac wood, regarded as a specific remedy for syphilis, was brought from America in the sixteenth century. The most important drugs introduced in the seventeenth cen- tury were ipecacuanha and Peruvian bark. The lat^ ter, coming from Peru, became known in Europe be- tween 1630 and 1640. No remedy has had such a beneficial effect, but none has met with such opposi- tion on the part of many physicians as this, because its effect (reduction of fever without subsequent intestinal evacuation) was a direct contradiction of Galenic doctrine. Peruvian bark was introduced generally into therapeutics only after a long struggle, principally because important men like Sydenham advocated it. The latter as well as the Leyden school under Boerhave discontinued to a large extent the old Arab drugs, preferring in general simple remedies with a corresponding dietetic treatment. Besides the im- provement in lead preparations by Thomas Goulard (1750; a<jua Goidardi), we may mention the pharma- cological investigations of corniura, aconite, stramo- nium, etc., by Anton Storck (1731-180-3), in Vienna. Hahnemann's services in investigating native medici- nal plants have been previously mentioned.

The impulse to study mineral springs was in modem times given by Paracelsus. The majority of the modern European watering places of world-wide fame were already known to the Romans, but their curative properties were too little valued during the Middle Ages. Petrus de Tussignana wrote, about 11336, con- cerning the famous therma; of Bormio; Giacomo de Dondi in 1340 about Abano; the Vienna physician, Wolfgang Windberger (Anemorinus), in 1511, about the sulphur springs at Baden near Vienna; Paracelsus about Pfafers, St. Moritz in the Engadine, Teplitz. Karlsbad in Bohemia was much frequented towards the close of the sixteenth century, as were Vichy and Plombi^res. Helmont, who was the first to prove the existence of carbonic acid and of fixed alkalies, WTote about Spa. Highly meritorious also was the work in this field of Johanu Phillip Seip (Pyrmont) and of Friedrich Hoffmann, who wrote about Spa, Selters, Schwalbach, and Karlsbad, and taught the prepara- tion of Seidlitz salt (Bitlersalz) , artificial Karlsbad, and of artificial mineral waters.

Cold-water cures were introduced in ancient Rome for the first time by Asclepiades, but they were soon forgotten. In sporadic cases cold water was employed therapeutically in later times, e. g. by Rhazes for small- pox, by Edward Baynard in 1555 against the plague, by .lohn Floyer (1640-1734) for mania, and by sev- eral others. Cold water was not used .systematically until the eighteenth century. The brothers Johann Sigisiound and Johann Gottfried, and their father

Sigismund Ilahn (1662-1742), who in 1737 m.ade exten- sive experiments during an epidemic of petechial fever in Breslau, may be regarded as the founders of the cold water cure. The work of John Sigismund (Unterricht von ilcr Kraft und Wirkung drs kaltcii Wassers) is the best known, and laid tlie foundation of modern hy- dro! herapeutics. Towards the enil of the eighteenth century Johann Dietrich Brandis obtained good re- sults in the treatment of febrile diseases by means of tepid lotions. The subsequent development of hydro- therapeutics was largely influenced by the results ob- tained by WilHam Wright (1736-1819), and James Currie (1756-1805) in the epidemics of petechial fever in the years 1787-92.

Vaccination. Edward Jenner. — Even in the oldest times people seem to have possessed an efficient preservative against one of the most destructive epi- demics, smallpox (variola). From remote antiquity the Brahmins of Hindustan are said to have trans- ferred the smallpox poison (secretion of the pustules) to healthy persons by incising the skin with the object of protecting them against further infection by caus- ing a local illness. In China people stopped up their noses with the incrustations of smallpox. A peculiar transfer with a needle (inoculation) was in use among the Circassians and Georgians. This so-called Greek method became generally known in Constantinople to- wards the end of the seventeenth centurj-, and was introduced into England by Lady Wortley Montague, wife of the English ambassador, who had had her own son successfully vaccinated in 1717. Despite the loud approval of the court and aristocracy, inoculation met with violent resistance from the physicians and clergy. Carelessness, quackery, and its ill-repute caused the method to be forgotten, until in 1746 Bishop Isaac Maddox of Worcester, by popular teaching and the establishment of institutions for inoculation, once more proclaimed its value. Among physicians who favoured inoculation were Richard Mead (1673- 1754), Robert and Daniel Sutton (1760, 1767), Tho- mas Dinsdale (1767), Theodore Tronchin (1709-1781), and Haller. In Austria it was introduced by van Swieten, at whose suggestion Maria Theresa, in 1768, called to Vienna the famous naturalist Jan Ingen- Housz (1730-99), in spite of the opposition of the clinical professor de Haeu. In the meantime another opponent of inoculation appeared. In countries de- voted to cattle-raising it was observed that those who came in contact with cows suffering from smallpox frequently fell sick and had pustules on their fingers, but such persons were immune against the human smallpox. This incited the physician Edward Jenner (1749-1823) to further experimentation, which he continued for twenty years. On 14 May, 1796, he performed his first inoculation with the lymph of cow- pox (vaccination), an experiment of w-orld-wide im- portance. Jenner's discovery was everjTvhere received with enthusiastic approval. The first vaccinations on the continent were performed at Vienna by Jean de Caro in 1799, and by his contemporaries Alois Careno (d. 1811) and PaschaHs Joseph von Ferro (d. 1809); in Germany, by Georg Friedrich Ballhorn (1772-1805) and Christian Friedrich Stromeyer (1761 -1824); in France, by Rochefoucauld-Liancourt. Protective in- oculation with vaccine has been introduced into al- most every civilized state in the course of the nine- teenth century, partly from free choice and partly by laws enforcing compulsory vaccination.

Medicine in the Nineteenth Century. — The powerful political position of France in the first thirty years of the nineteenth century finds medicine in an especially high state of development in that country. After this period followed the golden period of the Vienna school and, in a wider sense, of German medi- cine. The development of modern medicine is the work of all civilized nations; yet all will regard Ru- dolf Virchow unqualifiedly as the chief worker. N<?t