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ORIGINS OF MODERNITY

physiology & medicine

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Helmont, Jean Baptiste van (1577-1644)
A ternary of paradoxes : the magnetick cure of wounds, nativity of tartar in wine, image of God in man.
London : Printed by James Flesher for William Lee, 1650.

Image from van Helmont's A ternary of paradoxes

This popular volume of writing by the alchemist van Helmont was edited by the physician Walter Charleton. Of particular interest is Helmont's discussion of the weapon salve, a cure for injuries caused by knives and swords. The unique feature of this ointment was that it was not applied to the wound but to the weapon which caused the wound! Needless to say, not all were convinced of its efficacy, though the treatment was widely discussed in the period.

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