Hemp or Cannabis in Ancient Greece and Rome

The image of an intoxicated ancient world goes against the idea that moderation was the key to life. By Dr. Alan SumlerProfessor, Modern Languages DepartmentUniversity of Colorado Denver The ancient Greeks and Romans used hemp fiber for their boat sails, ropes, wicker-work, clothes, and shoes. Although no piece of Classical scholarship has focused on hemp[…]

Drugs and Medicine in the Graeco-Roman World

The best physicians were well schooled in pharmaceutical lore, with an armamentarium of drugs. By Dr. John ScarboroughProfessor of Medical HistoryUniversity of Madison-Wisconsin Introduction The doctor stepped softly out of the sickroom, where Licinius was breathing his last. Rattling, rasping, wheezing, gasping for air, the senator had accepted death and requested that his friend and[…]

Ancient Peoples and Psychoactive Plants

Our early ancestors had complex relationships with psychoactive plants. By Dan Reist, Nicole Bodner, and Rielle Capler Early Humans and the Earth Like modern humans, early humans had a range of built-in desires—a desire to live in groups, a desire for fun or relief from daily struggles, and a desire to understand and prosper in[…]

Everything You Need to Know about Studying for Nursing Certifications Online

Lifelong learning is important for all of us. It leads to better job prospects, more fulfilling lives, better mental and physical health, and is even good for the wider economy. This is true regardless of the industry you work in, however, there are some fields in which continued education is particularly important. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one[…]

The ‘Goat-Gland Doctor’: J.R. Brinkley and Medical Quackery in the Early 20th Century

Even though the medical community thoroughly discredited his methods, he was able to continue his activities for almost two decades. Introduction John Romulus Brinkley (later John Richard Brinkley; July 8, 1885 – May 26, 1942) was an American quack who fraudulently claimed to be a medical doctor. He had no legitimate medical education and bought his medical degree from a[…]

A History of Medical Quackery and Pseudoscience since the 17th Century

These widely marketed “cures” first came to prominence during the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain and the British colonies. Introduction Quackery, often synonymous with health fraud, is the promotion[1] of fraudulent or ignorant medical practices. A quack is a “fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill” or “a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, qualification or credentials they do not possess;[…]

The Vienna Dioscurides: A Medical and Scientific Text in Ancient Byzantium

The manuscript was produced around 512 C.E. for the imperial princess Anicia Juliana in Constantinople. By Dr. Courtney Ann TomaselliProfessor of Art HistoryElon University Introduction For many, the term “Byzantine art” conjures otherworldly images of holy figures in golden icons and mosaics. But opening the pages of the large, sumptuously illustrated Byzantine manuscript known as the Vienna Dioscurides (the colloquial[…]

Opium Use in 19th-Century Britain: The Roots of Moralism in Shaping Drug Legislation

Prior to the 1868 Pharmacy Act, which restricted the sale of opium to pharmacists, opium was widely available, typically purchased at the grocer. By Dr. Stephanie NgYale School of Medicine The topic of addiction in psychiatry remains contentious, riddled with moral arguments that skew public sentiment and policy. Since the 1970s, when a “War on[…]

Band of Angels: Sister Nurses in the Spanish-American War

The need for trained nurses was heightened — and the work of the sister nurses in the Civil War was not forgotten. By Dr. Mercedes GrafFormer Professor of PsychologyIllinois School of Professional PsychologyGovernors State University Introduction Although thousands of patriotic women rushed off to care for the sick and wounded during America’s bloody Civil War[…]

Analyzing 18th-Century Medical Innovations That Led to Vaccination

Today we talk easily of viruses, but in Edward Jenner’s day they were completely unknown. The time is ripe to recall the contributions of the physician-scientist who first put vaccines on the map, Edward Jenner.  Some claim that Jenner saved the lives of more people than any other figure in history, yet his contributions are[…]

The Origins of Inoculation

Vaccination led ultimately to the eradication of smallpox, one of the great achievements of medicine. By Arthur Boylston Introduction Early in the 18th century, variolation (referred to then as ‘inoculation’) was introduced to Britain and New England to protect people likely to be at risk of infection with smallpox. This triggered a number of important developments.[…]

The Cult of Asclepius: Alexander the Great and Medicine

Alexander’s connections with Asclepius and his use of these links to portray himself as a healer. Abstract During the expedition and campaign across Asia, Alexander and his army had been involved in a lot of circumstances that deserved the attention of some professionals of the medicine. The relationship between Alexander’s army and the Physicians is[…]

“I Swear by Apollo Physician”: Ancient Greek Medicine from the Gods to Galen

A great deal of Europe’s knowledge of ancient Greek medicine and culture entered Europe through Italy in the fifteenth century. Introduction Many foundations of modern Western medicine lie in Classical Greece, from about 800 B.C.E. to about 200 C.E. During this period, Greek medicine departed from the divine and mystical and moved toward observation and[…]

Tips for Dosing Cannabis Edibles for Great Results

Cannabis foods and drinks are becoming quite popular in recent years, and it is for a good reason – marijuana has incredible benefits on your body. However, consuming marijuana can be tricky, especially if you don’t follow the right dosage. Perhaps, you have heard numerous stories about individuals who fatally overdosed cannabis and had adverse[…]

How Bubonic Plague Reshaped the Streets of Mumbai in the 19th Century

In fact, you can’t really understand Mumbai without understanding the bubonic plague. Introduction On a leafy uphill road in Mumbai’s Bandra suburb, a fire burns at a Catholic shrine. Garlands adorn a cross and idols of saints below it as pedestrians walk by wearing masks. A nondescript sign at the back of the shrine tells[…]

A 300-Year-Old Tale of One Woman’s Quest to Stop a Deadly Virus

Science and determination turned the tide against one of the worst diseases humanity has ever endured. Three hundred years ago, in 1721, England was in the grips of a smallpox epidemic. “There were people dying all over the place,” says Isobel Grundy, a professor emeritus of English at the University of Alberta in Canada. “Social life[…]

23 Medicinal Plants the Native Americans Used on a Daily Basis

Many modern remedies and medicines are based on Native American knowledge of plants and herbs they used for thousands of years. Introduction Native Americans are renowned for their medicinal plant knowledge. It is rumored they first started using plants and herbs for healing after watching animals eat certain plants when they were sick. In order[…]

A History of Traditional Medicine

Scientific disciplines which study traditional medicine include herbalism, ethnomedicine, ethnobotany, and medical anthropology. Introduction Traditional medicine (also known as indigenous or folk medicine) comprises medical aspects of traditional knowledge that developed over generations within the folk beliefs of various societies before the era of modern medicine. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines traditional medicine as “the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on[…]

5 Common Mental Health Myths That Need to Be Busted

Modern society has progressed in myriad ways. Smart homes, connected cars, VR gaming, digital money – this is just a glimpse of the numerous technological advancements that have resulted in the fast-paced development of our society. Today, it’s possible to accomplish nearly everything from the comfort of your home. But there’s one crucial aspect of[…]

A Modern History of the Search for a Vaccine to Vanquish the Plague

There are three types of plague infection — bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic — and all are caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria. The plague is best known for wiping out as much as a third of Europe’s population during the Black Death pandemic of the 14th century, but it’s not entirely a thing of the[…]

Competing Theories of the Medieval ‘Black Death’

Several possible causes have been advanced for the Black Death. Introduction Theories of the Black Death are a variety of explanations that have been advanced to explain the nature and transmission of the Black Death (1347–51). A number of epidemiologists since the 1980s have challenged the traditional view that the Black Death was caused by[…]

Oribasius: Ancient Physician to Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate

Oribasius was considered as one of the most illustrious representatives of intellectual circles. Introduction Oribasius (c. 320-400/403 CE) was the physician and political advisor of the Roman emperor Julian the Apostate (r. 361-363 CE). A native of Pergamon, a rich and powerful Greek city in Mysia, he studied medicine and oratory and belonged to the[…]

Anonymus Londinensis: Ancient Greek Physician and Author

His work is the most important surviving medical papyrus and provides information about the history of Greek medical thought. ‘On Medicine’ Overview While only fragments survive of some portions of the text, the papyrus containing the work of Anonymus Londinensis is exceptionally well preserved, with 3.5 meters of the roll largely intact, containing almost 2,000[…]

Protection, Kansas: Vaccine Response in 1957 and Today

They were the first to be fully inoculated against polio. Today is a different picture. Introduction Sixty-four years ago, residents of this tiny town in southwestern Kansas set a public health example by making it the first in the nation to be fully inoculated against polio. It’s a different story today. People in Protection, like[…]

The State of Science, Microbiology, and Vaccines in 1918

Many vaccines were developed and used during the 1918–1919 pandemic. Synopsis The influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 dramatically altered biomedical knowledge of the disease. At its onset, the foundation of scientific knowledge was information collected during the previous major pandemic of 1889–1890. The work of Otto Leichtenstern, first published in 1896, described the major epidemiological and[…]

A Healthy Microbiome Builds a Strong Immune System to Help Fight COVID

The microbes in your gut influence how your immune system reacts to bacteria and viruses. Introduction Takeaways Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria that are vital for keeping you healthy. Some of these microbes help to regulate the immune system. New research, which has not yet been peer reviewed, shows the presence of[…]