Paracelsus: Doctor or Magician?

Doctor or Magician?

Born in 1493-4, Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim — known as Paracelsus — was a Swiss physician and alchemist educated in medicine, botany, mining and humanism. His novel ideas revolutionized science. Paracelsus studied at the University of Basel and gained his doctorate from the University of Ferrara in 1515. Critical of the official medicine of his time, he valued praxis over books, which earned him many enemies. Unlike other doctors, Paracelsus used chemicals to treat and even cure certain diseases, which led to accusations of witchcraft. He is also credited with the phrase "The dose makes the poison” which introduced the idea that toxic substances can be medicine at small doses.

Paracelsus’s works include The Great Surgery Book (1536) in which he advocated for cleanliness, wound protection, and diet regulation. Frequent public speeches let a larger audience access his ideas. While he experienced setbacks, Paracelsus’s new approach to medical treatment became the basis of the modern scientific method still in use today.


Moisture Method Collection: Pharma


1. What were the beginnings of the pharmaceutical industry?

People have been using plants and minerals to treat illnesses for thousands of years in Ancient half of the 19th century when research laboratories and experimentation became common in the process of development of new medicines.



2. When was the first pharmaceutical drug created?

The first medicinal drugs came from natural sources such as herbs, roots, plants and fungi. Chloral hydrate is said to be the one of the oldest synthetic agents. It was synthesised by Justin Liebig in 1832 and used as a sedative.



3. Who is the most famous pharmacist?

The most famous pharmacist is Alexander Flemming who discovered world's first antibiotic penicillin, though speaking of fame, one cannot miss Agatha Christie, who had been an assistant pharmacist before she has become a world-famous author of detective novels.