Nicholas Culpeper Facts

Nicholas Culpeper Facts
Nicholas Culpeper (October 18, 1616 to January 10, 1654) was an English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer. He catalogued hundreds of medicinal herbs and plants in his book, the Complete Herbal. His book, the Astrological Judgement of Diseases from the Decumbiture of the Sick (1655), is a detailed documents on the practice of medical astrology in Early Modern Europe.
Interesting Nicholas Culpeper Facts:
He was the son of a clergyman.
After his graduation from Cambridge, he was apprenticed to an apothecary.
After his marriage, he set up a pharmacy in London and provided his medicines for free to the indigent.
He examined his patients in person rather than just examining their urine as was common at the time.
He was accused of witchcraft by the Society of Apothecaries and in 1643 he joined the militia and acted as a battlefield surgeon at the Battle of Newbury.
He was opposed to the tight control of medicine by the College of Physicians and their ban on the publication of medical texts.
Culpepper translated medical and herbal texts from Latin into English and published them for use by those who could not afford a doctor.
In 1652 he published his popular, The English Physician, which has been in continuous print.
He tried to reform the practice of medicine and condemned such common practices as bloodletting.
He was famous proponent of medical astrology which linked the efficacy of plants with the astrological influences on their planting and harvesting.
Medical astrology associates the signs of the zodiac with various parts of the body.
As an example Gemini was thought to control the arms, lungs, hands, nervous system and brain.
Other astronomical bodies, like the sun, moon and planets were also thought to influence human physiology and play a role in disease.
His work on herbal medicines was so influential that plants were sent from England to the Americas to be used in medicine.
He described the use of foxglove in the treatment of heart disease.
During his military service, he sustained a serious chest wound which may have contributed to his death from tuberculosis at the young age of 37.


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