Title: La Médecine et la Chirurgie des Pauvres, qui...
Publisher: Antoine Ferrand, Rouen
Publication Date: 1782
Book Condition: Good+
8vo (165 x 95mm). , 454pp., [14 of table]. Contemporary French calf; (some splitting and worming at hinge, spine chipped, wormed and some edgewear, otherwise good, given the wide use of this kind of work). Sold as is. Alexandre’s humanistic and holistic approach to medical treatment for the less fortunate. Several editions appeared between 1714 and 1782; this popular work was frequently reprinted until the 19th century. Dom Alexandre was a French Benedictine monk who favored the virtue of charity and sought to provide the poor with easy ways to relieve their infirmities. In reaction to the expensive imports of pharmaceuticals, numerous books appeared on the subject of medicine and pharmacology directed at the poor. This genre of medical literature addressed the substitution of cheaper pharmaceuticals to treat disease but also propagated a holistic approach to medicine. Writers, like Alexandre, argued that environmental causes were making the poor ill and that local herbs and plants provided the best remedy. Alexandre states in the title that these select remedies, among mixtures of powders, concoctions, salves, and elixirs, are "easy to prepare and at no expense" to the reader. The diseases he covers in this handy manual are everything from maladies of the organs, indigestion to migraines to various inflammations, to frenetic behaviors and excessive sadness and tears, to which wine is a "tres-bon remède." His collected advice reflects the Enlightenment’s attitude toward illness, seeing it as caused by faulty environment rather than punishment of God. This book was an indispensable tool to the able practioner and the contents remain clear and curious. Bookseller Inventory # D8823
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