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Paracelsus, Swiss alchemist and physician

Paracelsus, Swiss alchemist and physician

H416/0199

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Paracelsus. Engraving of Paracelsus (1493-1541), Swiss alchemist and physician. Born Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, "Paracelsus" (a name he gave himself) means "better than Celsus"; Celsus being a famous Roman physician. Paracelsus trav- elled widely, absorbing the medical knowledge of many cultures. He advocated that physicians should not interfere with natural healing processes and that pharmacists should carefully control doses of drugs. He made studies of tuberculosis and silicosis, was the first person to recognise congenital syphilis and advocated that lunatics should be treated kindly. However, he also tried to find a magical medicine or elixir of life.

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