Alchemy as the Precursor to Modern Medicine Practices

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Chemical medicine originates from medical alchemy of the medieval period. Its nature was controversial and the acceptance and practice of chemical medicine caused problems with those who had strong ties with Scholasticism that rooted them in the Galenic tradition and made them wary of new practices and innovations. The fact that chemical medicine became quite popular thanks to the sixteenth-century Swiss doctor Paracelsus only increased the controversial nature. Paracelsus was well-known for his “miraculous cures” as well as for rejecting the European medical organization (De Vos, 2007).
Paula De Vos (2007) wrote an article about the introduction of chemical medicine into Mexican medical practices during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She shares a case of a Doña Michaela de Sierra, whose legs had been paralysed for over 25 years but had been cured with a series of medications that were a combination of traditional Galenic treatments and chemical medicines. This shift of treatments, from the purely Galenic preparations to the inclusion of chemical medicines, is validated by the appearance of contemporary pharmaceutical texts in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The change occurred at the same time to a similar alteration in Spain. The inauguration of Charles II to the throne started an era of acceptance to changes in medical practices. This medical development happened later in Spain and Mexico compared to other European countries
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