In the eighteenth century, the use of mineral or fossil substances was relatively common in European medicine and pharmacy. However, this period also saw profound changes in ideas about the nomenclature, chemistry, and curative properties of minerals. Jonathan Simon has recently argued that an increasing orientation towards the mineral kingdom and the chemical transformation of minerals, and a rise in the number of mineral preparations demanded of the pharmacist, were characteristic for eighteenth-century chemistry within pharmacy. Yet in the Netherlands, and to a certain extent in England, another pattern is visible: although there certainly was an interest in the mineral kingdom and the chemical transformation of nonorganic materials, nothing suggests that this resulted in a strong increase in the demand for mineral-based pharmaceutical preparations – rather the contrary. Unlike English and French eighteenth-century pharmacy, Dutch pharmacy and its relation to academic medicine and chemistry have hardly received attention from historians of science thus far. This paper aims to fill that gap and argues that Herman Boerhaave’s (1668–1738) view on mineral medicine was crucial in the development of a certain wariness of “mineral medicine” in the eighteenth-century Netherlands and England, especially among apothecaries.
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||4|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - nov. 2018|