Discover a fascinating lost episode of American pharmacological history! A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book!
The first comprehensive study of the American botanical movement, this fascinating volume recounts the rise and fall of nineteenth-century herbal medicine, the emergence of a second wave of interest arising from the counter-culture of the 1960s, and the recent herbal renaissance in the United States.
In the 1840s the American medical establishment was under attack. Its opponents in the botanico-medical movement claimed that herbs and other natural cures were more effective and considerably safer than conventional medicine. They were right. Conventional medicine at the time consisted of ”heroic” doses of mercury and antimony, supplemented by Spanish fly and croton oil, with copious bloodletting as a treatment recommended for everything from mania to miscarriage.
By contrast, many of the herbal cures espoused by the new wave of medicine were helpful or at least not actively poisonous. Unfortunately, the botanico-medical movement harbored its share of quacks as well. The history recorded in America's Botanico--Medical Movements includes useless or dangerous treatments as well as petty politics of the worst kind: schisms, public denunciations, physical brawls (with weapons up to and including small cannons), and vicious invective worthy of Hunter Thompson. The favored treatments and pharmacopias of Thomsonians, Neo-Thomsonians, physio-medicalists, and eclectic practitioners are all discussed in detail.
In addition to its fascinating narrative, America's Botanico--Medical Movements offers hard-to-find source documents, including:
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A SCHOLARLY NARRATIVE, EASILY READ, FASCINATINGLY PRESENTED. -- John M. Riddle, Alumni Distinguished Professor, Department of History, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
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