Hippocrates to Harrison : Therapeutics introduction


HIPPOCRATES TO HARRISON


Introduction
Classical Works
Anaesthesia
Surgery
Anatomy
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Internal Medicine
Pathology
Infection and Immunity
Neurology and Psychiatry
Public Health
Tropical Medicine
Therapeutics
Evolution and Genetics
Physiology
Authors A to Z
Who was Harrison?
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Therapeutics

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The dissociation of therapeutics from folk medicine and magic was achieved only after alchemy gave way to chemistry and traditional remedies were subjected to the formal appraisal of efficacy.

Botany is the science most closely allied to therapeutics. In mediaeval practice plants were chosen to treat diseases based on the doctrine of signatures which used fanciful associations of leaf or flower morphology with anatomical sites of disease. During the eighteenth century many doctors became fascinated by the parallels between the classification of disease and the classification of the "vegetable kingdom". They wrote scientific "Flora" based on Linnaeus' system, many as beautifully illustrated as the "Herbals" of an earlier era. The prescribing of herbal remedies however was little improved except in the recognition of the correct species.