Download E-books The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity (The Norton History of Science) PDF

By Roy Porter

"To mix huge, immense wisdom with a pleasant kind and a hugely idiosyncratic standpoint is Roy Porter's particular reward, and it makes [this] booklet . . . alive and engaging and provocative on each page."—Oliver Sacks, M.D.

Hailed as "a impressive success" (Boston Sunday Globe) and as "a triumph: at the same time exciting and instructive, witty and thought-provoking . . . a fabulous and carefully engrossing publication" (Los Angeles Times), Roy Porter's charting of the heritage of medication gives us a chance as by no means earlier than to evaluate its tradition and technological know-how and its expenditures and advantages to mankind. Porter explores medicine's evolution opposed to the backdrop of the broader spiritual, clinical, philosophical, and political views of the tradition during which it develops, overlaying flooring from the illnesses of the hunter-gatherers to contemporary chance of AIDS and ebola, from the essentially outlined conviction of the Hippocratic oath to the muddy moral dilemmas of modern day drugs. providing up a treasure trove of historic surprises alongside the best way, this publication "has immediately turn into the normal single-volume paintings in its box" (The Lancet). "The author's perceptiveness is, as traditional, scalpel-sharp; his demeanour genially bedside; his erudition invigorating." - Simon Schama 24 pages of b/w illustrations

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This checklist multiplied in time to include a wide pharmacopoeia and divers foodstuffs. Archaeological facts from the fourth century advert indicates that a few Buddhist monasteries incorporated a sick-room, that could have constructed right into a extra specified clinic, at round the similar time because the emergence of hospitals within the Christian West. at first, the clergymen’ therapeutic actions have been for fellow brethren, yet, as within the West, the monasteries additionally served the lay neighborhood. unlike the sooner Vedic medication, which isn't in any respect just like Ayurveda, there are outstanding resemblances among those Buddhist texts and later Ayurvedic texts on medicinal herbs and on particular remedies. when it comes to origins and affects, the Ayurvedic texts are themselves deceptive, for the reason that they declare a derivation from the Vedic culture. the truth is that, whereas the placement is complicated and debatable, they most likely built out of the more moderen ascetic milieu. top scholarly opinion this present day holds that the ascetic groups of the fourth century BC onwards, quite the Buddhist neighborhood, performed an essential component within the evolution of Ayurveda. AYURVEDIC medication The archetypal procedure of Indian drugs is termed Ayurveda – the information (Sanskrit: veda) wanted for sturdiness (ayus). Ayurvedic teachings quantity to a code of existence and encompass functional suggestion relating all elements of existence, from washing to nutrition, from workout to routine, inside a much broader Hindu spiritual philosophy of rebirth, renunciation, and the upkeep of the stability of the soul. Their theoretical starting place lies within the idea of 3 simple physically humours (dosas) – wind, bile, and phlegm – which mirror the macrocosmic forces of wind, sunlight and moon. There also are seven basic physically components: chyle, blood, flesh, fats, bone, marrow and semen. The Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia is principally natural, prescribing an collection of cures together with ointments, enemas, douches, therapeutic massage, sweating and surgical procedure. notwithstanding metal compounds got here into scientific use from round advert a thousand, those remained marginal; opium too was once introduced in, it sounds as if from Islamic resources, to alleviate dysentery. For reaching health and wellbeing, the canonical texts rigidity temperance in all issues – foodstuff, sleep, workout, intercourse and drugs themselves. The fit existence is to be consonant with the harmonies of the universe and actual non secular teachings. Written in Sanskrit, the earliest surviving Ayurveda texts date from the early centuries of the Christian period; conventional claims between practitioners that Ayurveda dates again millions of years are pious. Of many of the Sanskrit writings that expound the Ayurveda, the earliest are the Caraka Samhita [Caraka’s Compendium] and the Susruta Sambita [Susruta’s Compendium], supposedly the paintings of the sages Caraka and Susruta. Very huge in bulk, they shape the cornerstone of Ayurveda. a 3rd early textual content, the Bhela Samhita, survives merely in one broken manuscript. The Caraka Samhita culture is hooked up with north-western India, and particularly the traditional college of Taksasila; the Susruta Samhita used to be supposedly composed in Benares at the River Ganges.

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