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Marcos Patchett: Language of N. Culpeper
Mon 23 January 2017, 18:30 – 20:30 GMT
Culpeper's medical language, and that of his contemporaries, is often incomprehensible to contemporary readers, as he uses 17th century medical terminology and astrological classifications to describe diseases and their remedies. To a modern eye this can look bizarre or ludicrous. But in fact a rigorous logic underpins all the Renaissance physicians and apothecaries' work, no less consistent and practical than Traditional Chinese or ...Ayurvedic systems and formulae, and based on similar principles. In this talk, Marcos will review Culpeper's use of humoral and astrological terminology in his herbal, and decode it. He will describe
- how Culpeper and his contemporaries thought of disease and formulated treatments;
- how to understand the 'temperature' and 'qualities' of plants and medicines from a Traditional Western perspective;
- how to approximate the pharmacological actions of medicines based on their humoral attributes and traditional actions;
- why Culpeper's astrological classifications provide another way of grouping drug actions and may even assist in scientific prescribing, without employing esoteric methodology.