Tag Archives: arsenic

Charles Darwin’s illnesses

There is a prevalent consensus that most of Charles Darwin’s lifelong symptoms are not attributable to organic disease.1-5 It would seem unlikely that he contracted chronic Chagas disease in South America, because his symptoms began before he ever set foot on the HMS Beagle.2 His various complaints were intermittent, many improved with age, and he […]

The arsenic eaters of Styria

John Parascandola Maryland, United States   Styrian peasant women (from The Illustrated London News, July 19, 1873) In 1851, the medical world learned of the curious practice of arsenic eating among peasants in Styria (now a region of Austria) through an article in a Viennese medical journal by Swiss physician, naturalist, and traveler Johann Jakob […]