Tag Archives: digitalis purpurea

Nicholas Senn, the great master of abdominal surgery

Photo of Nicholas Senn. From A group of distinguished physicians and surgeons of Chicago… by F.M. Sperry. 1904. Via Wikimedia. Public Domain. Nicholas Senn was a man with an extraordinary capacity for work, an innovator, always trying new methods, even new experiments that he first conducted on himself. Born in 1844 in St. Gaul, Switzerland, […]

The other Charles Darwin (1758-1778)

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Erasmus Darwin and William Withering. “Precursoritis” is the bane of historiography.” – Stephen Jay Gould   One of the best-known and important discoveries in the practice of medicine was the introduction of digitalis by William Withering (Fig 1). It was the subject of controversy that involved […]

William Withering and the foxglove

William Withering, W. Bond, 19th century Engraving of Carl Frederik von Breda painting In 1785 William Withering, physician and botanist in Birmingham, England, wrote a book describing how for ten years he had used an extract of foxglove to treat patients afflicted with swollen legs and abdomen. He said he had often been urged to […]