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June 30, 1951

Paracelsus: Magic Into Science

JAMA. 1951;146(9):877. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670090109046

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Abstract

This book portrays in easily readable fashion the true history of the life, adventures, beliefs, and prophecies of a man who can be considered the founder not only of biochemistry and chemotherapy, but of experimental science itself. At the time of Paracelsus, chemistry was a technique rather than a science, but largely because of his efforts this craft won recognition among the sciences. In fact, he was the first to use the word "chemist," and the first to classify chemical substances.

In his search for truth and knowledge, Paracelsus traveled far and wide in a troubled world, disagreeing with the medieval folk-medicines and cures and refusing to believe patients doomed merely because the books did not prescribe a treatment. From his many travels, he brought home experiences that became the foundation of his doctrines in medicine and chemistry.

The fact that Paracelsus lived in the age of the Renaissance and

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