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July 11, 1885

Myths in Medicine and Old Time Doctors

JAMA. 1885;V(2):55. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.04470010027019

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Abstract

This book (which should have been indexed) is a very readable epitome of the history of Medicine. It is to be regarded as a luxury rather than as a necessity for the physician's library, but it is one in which very much of interest may be found. In reading the first chapter on "Eminent Physicians of Ancient Times," from Hippocrates to Galen, we are somewhat surprised to find that some of the views expressed by Galen, and which are now myths (and believed by many people) are not mentioned. For example, the curious belief that has existed since the time of Galen, that human health is largely under the influence of the moon. Galen states that animals born at the full of the moon, are strong and healthy.

This belief in the influence of the moon has been very wide-spread. It is mentioned by Kirckringius and Mead, and by Martius

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