History of Medicine – a brief study

davinchiDr Achamma Lenu Thomas

Pre historic era
History of medicine is related with the beginning of the mankind. Nothing documentary writing and evidences in respect of medical thoughts can be produced from storage of man, except certain drawings and specimens that have survived from stone age. In those ages medical professional personal were known as “Magicians”. A drawing on the wall of the trois freres cave in pyrenees is the portrait probably of an oldest medical man.

Every culture occurred in the world had developed a system of medicine. Numerous stones and tools probably of 15,000 B.C. have been employed as surgical instruments. Disease were viewed as a result of malevolent influences exercised by god or super natural being or another human being alive or dead. The method of primitive healing was not concentrated on logic and scientific data but on belief and crude methods of transference of evil sprits and using certain methods like herbs or animal extracts which was monopoly of certain group of people. It may be said that it is a mere exploitation than real healing and occasionally it occurred some natural process of healing and which was claimed as their credits or hereditary monopoly.

Study of folk medicines reveals many curious believes and creeds,a very important part of medical history. The use of remedies was not only internal but used to be carried as charms and talismans, as a part of treatment. The skin of snake, patella, of sheep, the nail of coffin etc. were used as charms. Another important aspect is put up coloured hangings in the sick room to prevent small-pox, red flannel used to prevent sore throat and to wear red thread with nine knots to prevent nose bleeding.

The problem of death was thought as a punishment for man’s disobedience. The basic things to the whole subject of folk medicine was full of superstitious and believes. But it will not be wise to under mine all their knowledge because specimen of trephining of skull evidently proves for their knowledge artisan skill which we have gathered from excavation.

Egyptian Medicine
Egypt had one of the oldest civlizations about 2000 BC. History of Egyptian medicine can be traced back to 2900BC. Main sources of Egyptian medicine are the “MEDICAL PAPYRI”, “CLAY TABLETS” and excavated materials like small knives. Archeological excavations, old paintings and engravings in the doors of tombs of the burial grounds have revealed many lights.

Egyptians invented the method of pictorial writings on papyrus and the best known medical manuscript was EBERS PAPYRUS. There are mainly six types of papyrus.

1. The first papyrus derived from KOHUN, it is the earliest recorded medical treatise , it was written by IMHOTEP. It deals with
a) Vaginal and uterine disorders.
b) Identification of pregnancy.
c) Determining sex of child in utero.
2. George Ebers Papyrus- It contains description about 800 remedies prepared from 700 drugs.
3. EDWIN SMITH PAPYRUS- This deales with peculiar class of surgery called traumatic surgery particularly of fractures, operations amputations and war wounds.
4. Herst Papyrus- This deals with incantation(magical formula)
5. Berlin Papyrus – treatise on paediatrics.
6. London Papyrus- Deals with preservations of bodies.

In Egyptian times the art of medicine was mingled with religion.
Egyptian physicians were co-equals of priests. Egyptian medicine reached its peak in the days of IMHOTEP(2800 BC) who was famous as statesman architect and physician. IMHOTEP was considered both a doctor and divinity (god of medicine), on whose name temples are erected. Egyptian physicians were trained in those temples. HORUS was considered as the god of health and he lost one of his eyes in fight with SET,the demon of evil. This was restored miraculously and was formed a design of Rx which was used as sign of danger and in the prescription of physician. There were no practical demonstration in anatomy, for Egyptian religion enjoined strict preservation of the human anatomy.

Egyptian considered that diseases were due to absorption of some harmful substance from the intestine which gave rise to putrefaction of blood leading to formation of pus. Diseases were treated with cathartics enema, blood letting and a wide range of drugs. They believed that pulse was the “speech of heart”

In the field of public health, Egyptians exelled others. They built planned cities, public baths and under ground drains(which even the modern might envy). Hygiene was very important in this civilization ie both social personal. There were also specialization like eye, ear and tooth doctors.

There is a strange custom of preserving the human body after death by injecting cedar wood oil. Then putting the body in salt water, took out brain matter and emptied the abdominal cavity and filled with cassia and other spices. These cadavers were bandaged and soaked in heated resin. These were called as mummies and were kept in temples or tombs.
Egyptian system of medicine was dominant in the ancient world for so many years, until it was replaced by Greek medicine.

Mesopotomian medicine
Contemporary with ancient Egyptian civilization, there existed another civilization in the land of which lies between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

In ancient Mesopotomia basic concept of medicine were religious, and taught and practiced as, herb doctors, knife doctors, spell doctors—classification that roughly parallels our own internist, surgeons, and psychiatrists. Mesopotomia was cradle of magic and necromacy. Medical students were busy in classifying “demons”, the causes of disease. Geomacy, the interpretation of dreams and hepatoscopic divinity (the liver was considered seat of life) are the characteristics of Mesopotomian medicine. They were authors of medical astrology. Prescriptions were written on tablets, in cuneform writing.
Hamurabi, one of the earliest king of Babylon drew up code of medical ethics. In the ethics it was stated that if a doctor treat a gentle man and open his abscess with knife and may preserve the eye of the patient the doctor will get ten silver shekels and in the case of slave the master will have to pay two silver shekels. On the reverse, if doctor kills the patients or destroys the eyes his hands may be taken off in case of a gentle man and in case of a slave the doctor will have to replace the slave
At that time the nucleus of every thing in the medical thoughts was relating to some sorts of god or super natural power and their influences.

Greek Medicine
The Greek enjoyed the reputation – the civlizers of the ancient world and considered as pioneers of advanced medicine. They taught men to think in terms of why and how. They laid to the foundation of fundamental science of medicine ie. Anatomy, physiology and pathology.

AECULAPIUS of BC1200 was considered the leader greek medicine. He was considered as the grand son of ZEUS. He had two daughters—Hygea and Panacea. Hygea worshiped as the goddess of (preventive medicine) and Panacea as the goddess of medicine (curative medicine). They give rise to two system of medicine ie preventive medicine and curative medicine. These two first developed in Greek medicine. Staff of AECULAPIUS ie. Two serpents entangled on a rod was worshipped in the temples of AECULAPIUS. This is used as symbol of medical profession.

Important personalities of Greek medicine
The greatest physician in Greek medicine was HIPPOCRATES, who is often called the “father of medicine”. He was born about 460BC in the island of COS close to Asia minor. His contribution are He rejected the supernatural theory of diseases, challenged the tradition of magic in medicine. He attributed disease to disturbances of four humors—BLOOD,PHLEGM,YELLOW BILE AND BLACK BILE. He initiated a radically new approach to medicine ie. application of clinical methods in medicine. He knew little about anatomy and physiology. He had not the clinical thermometer nor the stethoscope, yet he practiced auscultation by placing ear to the chest and able to describe the friction sound of the pleurisy as creaking of leather. He tried to find out real causes of epilepsy and fever. He was able to forecast prognosis from the study of natural history of diseases.

The position of the patient, nature of respiration, appearance of sputum were stressed by him for prognosis. The classical term Hippocratic facies come from the description of the face of an impending death ie. “ sharp nose, hollow eyes sunken temples ears cold with lobes turn outward, the skin of the face parched and tense, the colour yellow or very dusky”. He observed the changes of finger nails of cardio vascular patients. He was first to recognize the role of environment in causation and maintenance of diseases. He did not confine his practice to medicine. He was a good surgeon. He drained pus, set fractures, reduced dislocation(using special bench or table and even trephined skull as he clearly describes in the work on wounds in the head. His use of tar for wounds was a surprising forerunner of the antiseptic method. He was first man to separate medicine from philosophy and set up high standards of ethics in the form of aphorisms in his collection of work (Corpus Hippocraticum). He formulated the code of conduct to physician which is called the Hippocratic oath. But unfortunately he made little use of drugs for the treatment and depended mainly oo nature(VIS MEDICATRICS NATURE) for cure.

(384-322 BC)was born in Athens and was a student of Plato. He was a profound philosopher, great biologist and scholar in medicine. He laid the foundation of comparative anatomy and embryology. He dissected fishes and molluscus and gave description of entire living world and its classification.

Theophratus :  He was a botanist and explained the use of plants for therapeutics. He was a follower of Aristotle. His famous work “Historia plantarum” comprised morphology, natural history and their therapeutic use.

Aesclepiades : He is called “PRINCE OF PHYSCICANS”(124BC). He was the follower of Hippocratus, but denied to depend wholly on vis medicatrx naturae. According to him physician has an active role. He originated the idea that disease should be treated speedily,safely and agreeably (CITU, TUTO,ET JECUNDO). This theory of methodism was later replaced by BROUSSAIS as theory of irritation and by BROWN as brunonian theory of STHENIC and ASTHENIC states.

Dioscrides (
AD 60) was the surgeon to the emperor, NERO. He compiled books on materia medica and explained the use of lead, copper and 600 plants

Roman medicine
By the first century BC the centre of civilization shifted to Rome. They borrowed medicine largely from the Greeks whom they have conquered. Roman medicine also was very important by the 1st century BC. They were more practical minded than the Greeks. The religion of early Rome consisted mainly in the worship of Mars. Mars was an agricultural divinity but later become god of war and of health. The lives of people and their medicine dominated by these religious beliefs. Apollo and Mars, among many others, were the ancient protectors of health to the Romans. The Greek god of health, Aesculapius, assumed a similar role for the Roman people. They gave much importance to sanitation, provided water supply to all cities, built sewage systems ,and established hospitals for sick.

The important personalities during this period are:
– he is regarded as the “founder of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He described the signs for telling the maturity of the foetus, to be the first to bathe the eyes of new born, to empty the bladder with a catheter before delivery of the child, to develop measures for the protection of perineum during labour and to give rules for weaning and for contraception.

Celses [25BC – 60AD] explained cardinal principles of inflammation (rubour, et tumor cum calore et dolore, i.e. redness and with heat and pain). His book De re medica” contains description of diseases according to anatomical basis. He has been called “cicero of medicine”.he divided therapy in to dietetic, pharmaceutic and surgical.

Galen [ 130 – 205 AD ] He was considered as the “Dictator of medicine”. He accepted the concept of Humours. Recognized he predisposing and exiting factors ofdiseases. Conduct of dissection was considered as illegal and his explanations are based on dissection on Apes and Pigs. He described the bones and suture of of skull, named optic and olfactory nerves. Galen physiology followed his predecessors in the theory of pneuma as the essence of life, consisted of animal spirits, vital spirits and natural spirits.the heart was considered be the centre for the movement of heart and heat regulation. The liver was considered to be the center for nutrition and metabolism and the brain for sensation and movement. He assumed that there was communication between two ventricles of the heart by means of invisible pores. Thus, he had the animal spirit originating in the brain, the vital spirits mixing with the blood and the heart, and the natural spirits being developed from the blood via liver. Galen belived that pneuma breathed by man returned to its source of origin at his death becoming a universal pneuma.

Classified Diseasesas:
1.Affecting simple tissues & organs hin
3.diseaes due to general & humoral dyscrasia.

Herophilus [:BC 300]- Anatomist, who conducted practical dissection and named DEUDINUM&COUNTED PULSE.

Erasistratus [ BC 300 –Founder of physiology, distinguished. CEREBRUM & CEREBELLUM, SENSORY MOTOR NEURONE. He believed that air enters into the LUNGS and from the to HEART and there it is changed into VITAL SPIRIT, then carried to different parts of body

Indian medicine
The term Indian medicine usually refers to  Ayurvedic medicine. The Ayur Veda literally “Knowledge life,” is the name of the works that included the body of literature which gradually developed on subject of medicine in India. Hence Ayur veda is the science of longevity or preservation and prolongation of life. Its origin can be traced back to 1500BC where the treatment of diseases was mainly by spells and incantations derived from Rigveda.

According to Vedas DHANWATHRI, the Hindu god of medicine is said to have been born as a result of churning of oceans during a tug of war between gods and demons.

Susrtha was probably the outstanding medical personality in Hindu medicine. He was active between 400BC and not later than 300 B.C., possibly shortly after Hippocratus. His work includes medicine, pathology, anatomy, midwifery, biology, ophthalmology, hygiene and psychology of medical practice(currently known as the art of medicine). Important contribution was (Susrutha samhitha) collection of Susrutha. The collection of Susrutha was mainly surgical. It described more than a hundred surgical instruments. He treated fractures with bamboo splints and conducted caesarean sections, excision of tumours, Rhinoplasty, and is also considered as the pioneer of plastic surgery. Susrutha rearded as the father of Indian surgery.

Susrutha was aware of the soporific effects of hyosyamus and cannabis which he employed as surgical anesthesia. He also wrote that malaria is caused by mosquito and plague followed when many dead rats were seen, and promoted environmental sanitation. In the book he mentioned about 760 medicinal plants, ointments, sneezing powders and inhalations which were used as external applications

Charaka, the court physician to buddhist king Kanishka compiled the ‘Charaka samhitha based on the teachings of his master Atreya. Atreya is acknowledged as the first great Indian physician and teacher. He lived in the university of Takshashila. Charaka samhitha contains a description of more than 200 diseases and 500 drugs.

Hygiene was given an important place in ancient Indian medicine. The laws of Manu were a code of personal hygiene. The salient feature of Ayurveda is the tridosha theory or theory of three humors. It stimulates the four humor theory of the Greeks.

The three humors are VATHA(wind) PITHA(bile) and KAPHA(phlegm) and disease is an imbalance of these three doshas.
Health is defined as;
“Sama dosha; sama agnecha; sama dathu; mala kriya; prasanna atma; mana indreyi swastha; eva ithyadi”
The principles of treatment are:
Vridhy samana: sarvesham: [vridhy=increase]
Vipareetham: Vipareetha:
This means that an increase in similar increases all doshas, while opposites, will have opposite effect.

There are two methods of treatment
1. Vipareetha Chikitsa-
Hethu vipareetha
Vyadhi vipareetha
Hethu- vyadhi vipareetha

2. Tadhartheekari Chikitsa
Hethu- tadhartheekari
vyadhi tadhartheekari
Hethu vyadhi tadhartheekari
King Ashoka patronized Ayurveda as state medicine and established schools of medicine and public hospitals. The golden age of Indian medicine was between 800 BC and 600AD. Ayurveda declined during the Mughal period due to lack of state support.

Chinese medicine
Chinese medicine is said to have originated with three legendary Chinese emperors Fu-Hsi, Shen-Nung and Huag-Ti.
Fu-Hsi created the philosophy of the Yang and Yin in nature in about 2900 BC. Yang was considered to be the masculine elements, representing all positive qualities, the heaven, sun, light, force, hardness, heat, dryness, the eyes, the left side and the dominant quality. Yin was considered to be the feminine element, representing all negative qualities, the earth, moon dark ness, weakness, moisture, cold, ears, passive elements and right side of the body. The principles of Chinese medicine was based on these two opposing factors. Health was considered the harmonious balance between these two factors. Medicines were prescribed to excite the Yang.

In Fu-Hsi’s philosophy the number five was considered to have great important. Man and everything else in the world consisted of five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water). These five elements in turn corresponds with five senses, five viscera, five tastes etc.

Shen-Nung called as father of Chinese medicine. He wrote book PEN-TSOAS which contained description of 1000 drugs. His other contributions include (i) cultivation of plants and use of Agricultural tools.(ii)Compilation of herbals.(iii)Introduction of Accupunture.

Huang-Ti was the author of one of the most ancient as well as one of the greatest medical works called the Nei Ching[Book of medicine]
The other famous medical personalities there Chang-chung-king was called Chinese Hippocratus because of his observatory facts in the treatment of fever.
HAUTU was a famous surgeon who used Cannabis Indica as anaesthetic before operating patients. He described 200 varities of pulse and said that disease may be diagnosed by pulse.
The first Chinese to study medicine abroad was WON- FOOn who graduated from Edinburgh. His work was a foundation hospitals and medical school.
Chinese medical men are pioneers of immunization and practiced variolisation against small pox. They developed accupunture system and bare foot doctor system. Chinese medicine gave importance to hygiene, dietectics, hydrotherapy massage and drugs therapeutics which is relevant today.

Medicne Of The 17th Century

The seventeenth century was fundamentally the most creative of the three periods of periods of renaissance, seventeenth century and eighteenth century. It had no distinctive name as did the fifteenth and sixteenth( the renaissance ) and the eighteenth century( the age of enlightment). From the view point of world history, the greatest achievement in the world history seventeenth century was development of modern science. The seventeenth century was also an age of religion.

During the seventeenth century the different schools like Idealism, Materialism and Substaritialism continued to speculate and interpret their observations in their own methods. Advancements in physical science provided the materialism with an upper hand over the other schools and as the quantitatives such as mass, height were already separated(once again) from the qualitatives such as form, odour colour e.t.c. by Gallileo in the latter part of the seventeenth century, the materialistic interpretations dominated not only the more exact sciences like physics, chemistry but also the more inexact sciences(inexact because their phenomena can not be completely explained by the laws of physics, chemistry or mathematics)this lead to the ‘confusion of categories. Biology began to branch off from philosophy and it too wandered in the notion that matter is the pricipal element of the Universe. It depended too much on physics and chemistry.The qualitative came to be neglected.

The two philosophers profoundly influenced the seventeenth century and also had its effect on the medicine were Bacon and Descartes.

Francis Bacon(1561 – 1626)
He is considered as the father of objective and realistic tradition ii modern philosophy developed a methodology depending on the inductive logic which gave a positive direction to that age. He indicated the method of achieving real successes in any sphere of human activity and discussed the obstacles which stand in the way of mans realizing the truth and nothing but truth. He stressed on the importance of learning in general. Bacon taught men to take reason directly from the pages of nature. He emphasized that “truth is the daughter of time, not of authority” .According to Bacon man using his “art’ could do nothing but bringing things nearer to one another and the rest is performed by Nature, the ways of Nature being quite unknown. Thus art can give only certain powers a particular direction and medicine is the art by which such a particular direction is given to certain powers of natures to enable them to check disease, alleviate pain or prolong life. All therapeutics are only giving certain powers of nature a particular direction .He believed in free experimentations pointed out the necessity of specific medicines for the cure of well ascertained diseases He favoured experiment as opposed to argument. To him truth was derived from experience. He brought out the faults of the Aristotelian system of syllogism ( reasoning from the general to particular – deductive reasoning). He lead no new school of philosophy he simply revived the platonic method of reasoning in his book “NOVUM ORGANUM”. He developed inductive reasoning which is reasoning from the part to the whole, from individual to the universal.

Rene Descartes(1596 – 1650)
He devoted his entire life to scholarship in the field of mathematics and philosophy. He invented analytical geometry and the statement of geometrical relation in algebraic terms. He was major contributor to the modern theory of momentum, an explorer in the optics of vision, the proposer of an understandable dynamic theory of mechanism of mind( soul) and the inventor, in rough way , of reflex action. He taught that all things in nature, animals and man are machines which are composed of substances in movement. Descartes believed that an intelligent soul was located in the pineal gland of the brain and that soul caused movement in the body by stirring up the brain thus generating animal spirits in the cerebral ventricles with the spread of these spirits to cause movement of blood. His ‘tractatus de homine’ was published in 1662 and has been described as the father of the subjective and idealistic tradition in modern philosophy.

The important personalities in the field of medicine in se century are
1. Athanasius Kircher (1602 – 1680)
2. Robert Hooke (1635 – 1702)
3. Marcello Malpighi(1628 –1694)
4. Anton Von Leevonhoek(1633 – 1723)
5. William Harvey(1578 – 1657)
6. Robert Boyle
7. Christopher Wren(1632 – 1723)
8. Richard Lower(1631– 1691)
9. John Mayow(1643 – 1679)
10. Francis Glisson(1597 – 1677)
11. Thomas Willis(1621 – 1675)
12. Thomas Sydenham(1624 – 1689)
13. Richard Wiseman(1622 – 1689)
14. Jacob Bontius(1592 – 1631)
15. Renier de Graaf(1641 – 1673)
16. Theophile Bonet (1620 –1689)

Athanasius Kircher (1602 – 1680)
He published a work in 1646 which included a chapter on the wonderful structure of things in nature, investigated by the microscope. He published physico-medical scrutiny of contagious pestilence in 1658. This was certainly the first clear statement on the ‘germ theory’ of contagious diseases based upon microscopical studies

Robert Hooke (1635 – 1702)
Published ‘micrographia’ in 1665 and showed the histology of vegetable structures. He was apparently the first writer to employ the term cell. He was noted for his biological drawings.

Marcello Malpighi(1628 –1694)
His anatomical observations on the lungs in 1661 showed that the lungs are made up of numerous air vesicles in which the bronchioles end, and that a capillary anastomosis exists between the small arteries and veins. Malpighi’s ‘De formatione pulli in ovo’was published in 1666. he has been called the father of embryology. He also published on plant morphology.

Anton Von Leevonhoek(1633 – 1723)
He described large number of bacteria and protozoa. He has been described as the father of protozoology and bacteriology.

William Harvey(1578 – 1657)
He published the demonstration of circulation of blood in his ‘De Motu cardis’ which in 1628. Harvey’s work introduced experimental physiology to his own and succeeding generations.

Robert Boyle
He published his first book in 1660. this volume contained his law, at a stated temperature a given mass varies inversely proportional to the pressure. He studied respiration, combustion, the chemical nature of blood and urine, magnetism, electricity and almost every thing exept for astronomy. He was considerably influenced by Lord Bacon. He asked the physicians to dismiss prejudice and blind authority.He wanted the physicians to concentrate more on the “uncertainities’ of diseases than the ‘certainities” because he visualised diseases as phenomena and he believed that restoration of the sick and relief of sufferings depend on the uncertain aspects of diseases. He was against mixture prescription.He criticized the blind methods of Galen and also Hippocrates’ imitation of Nature, in their therapeutics. He asked the physicians to find out substances which exercise a directly curative power-a power of neutralising the causes of diseases, without producing any disturbing effects on the body. He considered such medicines as and he wanted the employment of medicines singly and in smaller doses, smaller doses because their must be ternatural1y energetic upon a part preternaturally sensitive. He criticized the futility of the search for the imaginary causes of diseases such as acidity of blood etc.

Christopher Wren(1632 – 1723)
He experimented with infusions in 1656. he injected wine, opium, ale and other substances into dogs intravenously and led the way for blood transfusions.

Richard Lower(1631– 1691)
He successfully transfused the blood of one animal to another in 1665 and transfused a poor and debauched man with blood of a sheep without complication in 1667. he published his ‘Tractatus De corde’ in 1669. it contains anatomy of heart and physiology of the heart and respiration and his method of transfusion.

John Mayow(1643 – 1679)
He believed that nitro – aerial particle (later named oxygen by Lavosier) were necessary for life.

Francis Glisson(1597 – 1677)
Introduced a fundamental concept in development of physiology in 1654, that of irritability as a property of living tissue. His monograph published on rickets in 1654 and contained best account of the anatomy of the liver. He described the sheath around the portal vein hepatic artery and duct. This is now known as Glisson’s capsule.

Thomas Willis(1621 – 1675)
He was the elder member of the oxford group. He originated neurology, the term for this speciality of medicine. He also wrote the doctrine of brain. He published his “Cerebri Anatome” in 1664 and blood vessels at the base of brain and their connections. These vessels are now known as the ‘circle of Willis’. He was the first physician in Europe to note the sweet taste of diabetic urine. He made descriptions of influenza, typhus and typhoid fevers and noted constriction of bronchioles in asthma.

Thomas Sydenham(1624 – 1689)
He has been referred to as the “English Hippocratus”. He opposed iatro-physical an iatro-chemial view, instead suggested observation and recording of clinical phenomena. He preferred simple remedies. He opposed treatment of fever-by cooling method, anaemia by iron, syphilis by and malaria by cinchona. He advised specific for disease conditions and to observe and to follow nature. He tried to place the whole living man in front of a physician trying to cure the sick. He went back to the Hippocratic method of recording the sick phenomenon.. He put two alternatives before the medical profession – either to follow Hippocrates and imitate the methods of nature, or to attack the maladies directly with specifics. Sydenham maintained that as different diseases have relative affinities for particular parts of the body and which cannot be explained different remedies have particular affinities for particular parts, tissues or organs of the body for some mysterious reasons. He opined that the art of healing would attain full maturity only when specific medicines for all the prevalent diseases are discovered. He could not live up to his ideals due to the ‘shortage’ of such specifics.

Richard Wiseman(1622 – 1689)
His ‘severall chirugicall treatises’ was published in 1676 and represented a land mark in the history of British surgery.

Jacob Bontius(1592 – 1631)
He produced the first authoritative work on tropical diseases and the first description of beri-beri in the European literature.

Renier de Graaf(1641 – 1673)
He published treatise on pancreatic juice in 1664. He described an illustrated method of collecting the juice through the cannula. He obtained blie from the bile duct and saliva from the parotid gland by same method. He published a volume containing three treatises in 1668 on the anatomy of the male and organs of regeneration. The follicles of ovary were described and have been called graffian follicles. This work also described clysters and discussed this popular therapy, the method of injection and medicines used and his syringe.

Theophile Bonet (1620 –1689
He produced sixteen medical books. His first publication was the ‘sepulchretum’ in 1679. this ranks few medical books of importance and gave impentus to study of pathological anatomy.this was an encyclopedia which contained a record of each recognizable disease from ancient times to that date.

Anatomical Discoveries of Physiological Importance
Seventeenth century also brought many anatomical discoveries which had physiological importance they were.
Described by Year
1 Lacteal vessels          Gaspero Aselli 1622
2 lymphatic duct           Pecquet 1651
3 Pancreatic duct         Wirsung 1642
3 Maxillary antrum        Highmore 1651
4 Submaxillary duct      Wharton 1656
5 Haversian canal         Havers 1691
6 Cowper’s gland         Cowper 1694
7 Pacchionian bodies   Pacchioni 1697
8 Conjunctival glands   Meibom 1666
9 Duodenal glands       Brunner 1682
10 Graafian follicles     Graaf 1672
11 Parotid duct           Stensen 1672
12 Lymphoid follicles in the inestine   Peyer 1662

Important epidemics of plague and typhus continued through seventeenth century.

During the seventeenth century, the advances made in medicine and in sciences during the renaissance were consolidated. Philosophy anscience were able to reestablish close relation between man and nature. The demonstration of the circulation of the blood by William Harvey was the outstanding scientific achievement of this century.

Dr Achamma Lenu Thomas. BHMS,MD(Hom)
Medical Officer, Dept. of Homoeopathy, Govt. of Kerala

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