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Salts And Saline Spirits In The Medical Marketplace And Literature: Patent Medicines And Chymical Satire

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes the continuing influence that salt chymistry had in wider society. The authors have concentrated on two areas, perceived “legitimacy” of salt iatrochymistry in medical treatment; (i) they analyze the use of salts in patent medicines and popular medicaments, and (ii) they examine the role that salt chymistry played in popular literature, primarily that which satirized alchemy and chymical medicine. The usage of saline iatrochymistry as a marketing tool to promote “innovative” medicines within a framework of medical theory which was entirely traditional. The authors present two cases to analyze the interactions between saline chymistry and popular astrological medicine; (i) explore the work of James Gibbs, a provincial "orthodox" physician who published a tract about scrofula, salt chymistry, and solar and lunar influences, (ii) examine the work of seventeenth-century London and Dublin “quacks” Lionel Lockyer and Timothy Byfield, and their connections between salts and sunlight.

Keywords: alchemy; chymical satire; Lionel Lockyer; medical marketplace; patent medicines; salt chymistry; salt iatrochymistry; salts; Timothy Byfield



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