April 1963

Primitive Physic; or an Easy and Natural Method of Curing Most Diseases

Author Affiliations

By John Wesley. Price, not given. Pp. 120. Barr & Company, London, 1843.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(4):527-529. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620280127026

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Primitive Physic went to 43 editions, plus 12 in America before 1820. In this one there had been no changes since the 1780 edition, when Wesley wrote that he had omitted many articles from the 1760 version and added others. He also added a considerable number of medicines. He repeated the injunction he had written in the first edition: "in complicated cases, or where life is in immediate danger, let every one apply without delay to a physician that fears God." Throughout the book Wesley refers to himself as the editor, not author. He wrote a long introduction to the first edition, and added postscripts in 1755, 1760, and 1780. In 1755 he expressed surprise that three impressions had been called for in five years, and it had even been transcribed into the daily papers of a neighboring kingdom (was this Scotland?). In 1760 he claimed to have discovered a

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