Kindly Medicine: Physio-medicalism in America, 1836-1911

Front Cover
Kent State University Press, 1997 - History - 207 pages
1 Review

Between 1836 and 1911, thirteen physio-medical colleges opened, and then closed, their doors.  These authentic American schools, founded on a philosophy of so-called Physio-Medicalism, substituted botanical medicines for allopathy's mineral drugs and promoted the belief that the human body has an inherent "vital force" that can be used to heal.  In Kindly Medicine, John Haller offers the first complete history of this high-brow branch of botanical medicine.

Physio-Medicalist, along with Thomsonians, Homeopathys, Hydropaths, and Eclectics, represented the earliest wave of medical sectarianism in nineteenth-century America.  United in their opposition to the harsh regimens of allopathy, or regular medicine, these sects had their beginnings in the era of Jacksonian democracy and individualism when every man yearned  to become his own legislator, minister, and even his own physician.

The Physio-Medicals demanded equal rights with regular practitioners to jobs in the army, navy and public institutions and equal representation on the new state licensing and regulatory boards.  As the nineteenth century drew to a close, they saw their influence waning as they could no longer match allopathy's increasing hold on science and on the public's trust.  In this history of the movement, John Haller recounts the events that led to the establishment of Physio-Medicalism and traces the circumstances that brought its slow descent into obscurity.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

An interesting account of 19th century prescientific 'vitalistic theory.' aka vital force or vis medicatrix naturae which so many alternative or complementary or integrative or natural or naturopathic 'medicines' are centered around: that "special and immaterial force" that has been debunked by modern biology.
-r.c.
 

Contents

The Medical Landscape
1
Thomsons Progeny
25
Years of Challenge 18391859
45
Years of Consolidation 18591900
65
Vitalism and the Materia Medica
89
The American
111
Final Years 19001911
133
Notes
153
Selected Bibliography
175
Index
199
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 195 - The National Dispensatory. Containing the Natural History, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Actions and Uses of Medicines, including those recognized in the Pharmacopoeias of the United States, Great Britain and Germany, with numerous references to the French Codex.
Page 186 - THE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF MEDICINE. Designed for the Use of Practitioners and Students of Medicine.
Page 186 - A Practical Treatise on the Diagnosis, Pathology and Treatment of Diseases Of the Heart. Second revised and enlarged edition. In one octavo volume of 550 pages, with a plate. Cloth, $4.
Page 189 - HOWE. Emergencies, and How to Treat Them. The Etiology, Pathology, and Treatment of Accidents, Diseases, and Cases of Poisoning, which demand Prompt Attention.
Page 186 - A TEXT-BOOK OF HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY; Designed for the Use of Practitioners and Students of Medicine. Illustrated by plates, and 313 wood engravings, large 8vo, 28s.

References to this book

Bibliographic information