Eighteenth-Century Medical Myths

Originally posted 2017-10-10 13:35:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

There are a couple of issues here. Are there cases where colonists benefited from the medical practices from Native Americans? Did professionally trained colonial doctors incorporate a significant number of Native American medicines? There are primary sources that discuss the healing ability of Native Americans. John Lawson in his 1714 book, The History of Carolina, noted “An Indian hath been often found to heal an English-man of a Malady . . . which the ablest of our English Pretenders in America, after repeated Applications, have deserted the Patient as incurable; God having furnish’d every Country with specifick Remedies for their peculiar Diseases.” The 1771 edition of Mark Catesby’s book, The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands, noted that Native Americans knew about many “plants of virtue,” but their knowledge of anatomy and surgery was limited. While there were some surgical procedures performed by Native Americans such as treating wounds and ulcers, Catesby was comparing their expertise with the European tradition of surgery.

  1. Interesting stuff you have researched Marc. Would be good to dig a little deeper to get behind the concepts and policies that drove 18th Cent medicine practices./

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.