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May 11, 1918


JAMA. 1918;70(19):1374-1375. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600190030011

The history of medicine shows that at practically all stages of civilization, and among the most diverse types of races, man gradually learned by experience to appreciate the effects of certain agencies for good or harm in relation to his own person. In his story of the growth of medicine from its earliest period, Buck1 has portrayed how the powers of observation and the reasoning faculty presumably have been applied to the avoidance of bodily dangers and the relief from physical suffering. Buck suggests how man "gradually learned that cold, under certain circumstances, is competent to produce pain in the chest, shortness of breath, active secretion of mucus, etc., and his instinct led him, when he became affected in this manner, to crave the local application of heat as a means of affording relief from these distressing symptoms. Again, when he used certain plants as food he could scarcely