Tag Archives: HMS Beagle

Charles Darwin’s illness and the ‘wondrous water cure’

John Hayman Melbourne, Australia   Fig. 1 Diagram of a douche, from John Smedley, Practical Hydropathy. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) suffered from a relapsing, incapacitating illness for most of his adult life with a bewildering array of symptoms.1 The first symptoms appeared when he was a medical student in Edinburgh (1825-1827), where he was unable to […]

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 […]