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Medical ArticlesThe Real Truth About Salt And Sugar
First, let me remind certain food religionists: salt is salt ...
Lumbago differs from both paralysis and cramp of the lower bac...
To Prevent Cholera
_Camphor_ (_pellets medicated_ with the pure tincture) _Verat...
Toxic Disturbances And Heart Rate
Under this head it is not proposed to consider disturbances...
Tartar Emetic Or Other Antimonial Poisons
If vomiting is not present, induce it by an emetic. Give doses...
Acidity Of The Stomach
Often caused by unwholesome food, bad or deficient teeth, or b...
Diagnosis From Measles
In scarlatina the heat is much greater, and the pulse is much...
Brow The Weary
Sometimes in the case of a child at school, the result of over...
To Prevent Diarrhoea
Where it is prevailing as an _epidemic_, _Ipecac_ at night, a...
Symptoms Of Gastric Foreign Body
Foreign body in the stomach ordinarily produces no symptoms. ...
The Various Forms And Positions Of Strictures And Other Obstructions Of The Urethra False Passages Enlargements And Deformities Of The Prostate
Impediments to the passage of the urine through the urethra m...
The Development Of Allergies
There are three ways a body can become allergic. (1) It can h...
Conclusion: Help Yourselves If Your Physicians Will Not Help You!
And I am none of your water-enthusiasts, who pretend to cure ...
St Vitus' Dance
This proceeds from a simple irritation of the spinal nerves, a...
This is chiefly observed in children. The most frequently en...
The Dissection Of The Oblique Or External And The Direct Or Internal Inguinal Herniae
The order in which the herniary bowel takes its investments f...
The Organic Versus Chemical Feud
Now, regrettably, and at great personal risk to my reputation...
Ulcers Case Xxx
C. Cocking, aged 17, has an ulcer of the size of half-a-crown...
The Healing Crisis And Retracing
Certain unpleasant somatics that occur while fasting (or whil...
If one put into his mouth nothing but food, foreign body acc...
Source: Primitive Psycho-therapy And Quackery
JOHANN BAPTIST VAN HELMONT, a celebrated Belgian physician, scholar and
visionary, of noble family, was born at Brussels in 1577. At an early
age he began the study of medicine, and was appointed Professor of
Surgery at the University of Louvain. Becoming, however, infected with
the delusions of alchemy, and being possessed of an ardent imagination,
he inclined naturally to the study of occult science, and was infatuated
with the idea of discovering a universal remedy. He was, moreover, a
follower of the eminent theologian, Johann Tauler (1290-1361), founder
of mystic theology in Germany. Van Helmont has been described as an
enthusiastic and fantastic, though upright friend of the truth. He
adhered to the theosophic and alchemistic doctrines of a somewhat
earlier epoch, and was an admirer of the dogmatic pseudo-philosophy of
The German writer, Johann Christian Ferdinand Hoefer (1811-1878), said
that Van Helmont was much superior to Paracelsus, whom he took as his
model. He had the permanent distinction of revealing scientifically the
existence of invisible, impalpable substances, namely gases. And he was
the first to employ the word gas as the name of all elastic fluids
except common air. Van Helmont graduated as Doctor of Medicine in
1599, and after several years of study at different European
universities, he returned home and married Margaret van Ranst, a noble
lady of Brabant. He then settled down on his estate at Vilvoorden, near
Brussels, where he remained until his death in 1644.
Johann Hermann Baas, in his "History of Medicine," characterizes him as
a fertile genius in the department of chemistry, but denies that he was
a great and independent spirit, outrunning his age, or impressing upon
it the stamp of his own individuality. Van Helmont, like many another
irregular practitioner, achieved fame by some remarkable cures. It was
said of him that his patients never languished long under his care,
being always killed or cured within two or three days. He was frequently
called to attend those who had been given up by other physicians. And to
the latters' chagrin, such patients were often unexpectedly restored to
A lover of the marvellous, and credulous to the point of superstition,
Van Helmont became infatuated with erroneous doctrines. His
contemporaries, dazzled, it may be, by the brilliancy of his mental
powers, regarded him as an erratic genius, but not as a charlatan.
The term spiritual vitalism has been applied to the philosophy of Van
Helmont. He maintained that the primary cause of all organization was
Archaeus (Gr. +archaios+, primitive), a term said to have been
invented by Basil Valentine, the German alchemist (born 1410).
This has been defined as a spirit, or invisible man or animal, of
ethereal substance, the counterpart of the visible body, within which it
resides, and to which it imparts life, strength, and the power of
assimilating food. Archaeus was regarded as the creative
spirit, which, working upon the raw material of water or fluidity, by
means of a ferment promotes the various actions which result in the
development and nutrition of the physical organism. As life and all
vital action depended upon archaeus, any disturbance of this spirit
was regarded as the probable cause of fevers and other morbid