1522 Paracelsus laudanum excerpt  

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1522 Paracelsus laudanum excerpt:

  • Around 1522, Paracelsus made reference to an opium-based elixir that he called laudanum from the Latin word laudare, meaning "to praise.
"Here is a brief specimen of a letter of his to Erasmus, who had consulted him at Bale in 1522 : ^ Qu8B mihi sagax musa et Asfoos tribuit medica, candid^ apud me damans : similium judiciorum manifestus sum auctor. Regio hepatis pharmacis non indi- get, ncc aliae duaa species indigent laxativis. Medicamen est magistrale arcanum potius ex re comfortativa specific^, ex melleis abstersivis, id est, consolidativis.' More follows. (The Astoos is probably the mys- tic familiar, Azoth, kept by 'Bombastus,' as Butler speaks, Hud. iii. 1. 628, " shut in the pummel of his sword.") Erasmus appears to have been well pleased with the opinion given. In his reply he says : 'Demiror unde me tam penitus noris semel duntaxat visum, u^nig- mata tua non ex arte medic0., quam nunquam didici, sed ex misero sensu verissima esse agnosco/ &c. The great specific of Paracelsus was a tincture of opium : a remedy omnino laudandum : hence by popular corruption our familiar word ' laudanum.'"--The Canadian Journal of Science, Literature and History (1870)

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