History 1

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By V. C. Medvei CBE, MD, FRCP (auth.)

o background of endocrinology will be written with no reference N to Sir Humphry Davy Rolleston, whose huge research of the topic seemed in 1936 lower than the modest subtitle: The Endocrine Organs in health and wellbeing and illness with an ancient assessment. It was once in accordance with the author's Fitzpatrick Lectures on the Royal university of Physicians of London in 1933 and 1934. The lectureship, which dates from 1901, is dedicated to the historical past of medication. Rolleston's paintings as regards scholarship and supply can't be passed and may stay the forged foundation for to any extent further research. it truly is of curiosity to notice that Rolleston gave the Fitzpatrick Lectures while he was once seventy one years of age and had his e-book released whilst he was once seventy four. through that point he had completed so much of his expert goals and all of the honours a wonderful clinical occupation can provide (see part II). He perceived in actual fact that endocrinology was once "an huge, immense topic in a so much lively degree of growth", which "recently has got most dear aid from natural chemists, who've dedicated a lot time to the elucidation of the constitution, isolation and synthesis of the hormones". He remarked that the information of endocrinology used to be increasing with severe rapidity, and it's been prompt that during this admire it'll seem to be itself inspired via a progress hormone. He persevered: "Before 1890 there have been relatively few courses facing the ductless glands, yet in 1913, A.

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It was a sort of organotherapy, using the liver, spleen and heart in the form of 'homoeopathic magic', but by no means isotherapy in the sense of 'like cures like'I. Its practitioners became detached from the temples and priests and were magicians. The chief god of healing was Apollo Alexikakos, the averter of ills, who could produce epidemics or prevent and cure them. He was also the court physician to his fellow-gods, whom HE 39 A HISTORY OF ENDOCRINOLOGY he cured with the peony root, hence his name 'Paean'; physicians were often called 'sons of Paean'.

To Aristotle the nature of the semen was similar to that of 'brain; its matter is watery, and the heat is an additional factor'. But he denied that semen and marrow are similar. Natural sterility was caused primarily by birth defects and secondarily by obesity and disease, because the semen was produced in less quantity, or became fluid and cold. "To test for fertility, put semen in water; if it sinks, it is fertile; if it floats, it is not"30. The Hippocratics knew that mumps can be followed by orchitis and sterility.

Egyptian medicine proper had, however, become stationary and stale, especially from the time of Herodotus. In the Alexandrian period, it was the influence of Greek medicine which acted as a rejuvenator. Elliot Smith, in a study of the Royal Mummies, found examples of slim, almost cachectic women, for example, the Queens Nofretari and Nedjmet and the Lady Rei. There were also very stout women like the Queens Henut-tawy and Inhapy. g. the High Priest Masaherta, but the Pharaoh Tuthmosis 22 THE EGYPTIANS IV looked very emaciated 16 .

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