A History of Endocrinology by V. C. Medvei CBE, MD, FRCP (auth.)

By V. C. Medvei CBE, MD, FRCP (auth.)

o historical past of endocrinology might be written with no reference N to Sir Humphry Davy Rolleston, whose enormous learn of the topic seemed in 1936 less than the modest subtitle: The Endocrine Organs in healthiness and disorder with an old overview. It was once according to the author's Fitzpatrick Lectures on the Royal collage of Physicians of London in 1933 and 1934. The lectureship, which dates from 1901, is dedicated to the heritage of drugs. Rolleston's paintings as regards scholarship and supply can't be handed and may stay the cast foundation for from now on learn. it truly is of curiosity to notice that Rolleston gave the Fitzpatrick Lectures whilst he was once seventy one years of age and had his booklet released while he was once seventy four. via that point he had accomplished so much of his specialist goals and all of the honours a exotic scientific occupation can provide (see part II). He perceived in actual fact that endocrinology was once "an huge, immense topic in a so much lively level of growth", which "recently has bought most beneficial support from natural chemists, who've committed a lot time to the elucidation of the constitution, isolation and synthesis of the hormones". He remarked that the data of endocrinology was once increasing with severe rapidity, and it's been prompt that during this recognize it can seem to be itself inspired by way of a development hormone. He persisted: "Before 1890 there have been relatively few courses facing the ductless glands, yet in 1913, A.

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The Hindus knew that pregnancy lasted ten lunar months. They believed that some 'sealing spirits' were responsible for female sterility. They also thought that in the eighth month of pregnancy the vital force was drawn from the mother to the child and back HE 25 A HISTORY OF ENDOCRINOLOGY again repeatedly; hence an eight months' child could not survive, whereas a seven months' baby had a better chance. A hole in a rock was symbolic for a woman's birth passage and passing through such a narrow hole would give the Hindu woman improved fertility.

For night blindness "in the eyes", take the roasted liver of an ox and crush it. Many of the animal remedies used by man all over the world came from ancient Egypt. This applied especially to mice, which became very popular in Chinas . Yet mice were already suspected of disseminating disease (see the Bible, Isaiah, xvi, 17) The Egyptians and the Babylonians were pioneers in organotherapy and became the teachers in medicine of other nations in the Middle East: "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians" (Acts, vii, 22).

Wine was also used, but regarded as dangerous. Salt, starvation, eczema, crying (emotional distress) diminish the amount of sperm; so do disease, venesection, and a tiring journeylO. A plant, dudaim (? mandrake) was also used against infertility or as an aphrodisiac. Women who had under- or undeveloped genitalia, lacked breast development, had a deep voice and suffered pain when attempting intercourse were called 'rams'. Female castration was, of course, unknown to the ancients, but Hebrew animal breeders knew that sows or cows could be fattened after hysterectomy, which prevented breeding.

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