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Lecture 2

BPS 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Phlegm, Parsley, Phocomelia

Biopharmaceutical sciences
Course Code
BPS 1101
William Ogilvie

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Preparation Changes Chemical Composition
Raw and cooked foods have different patterns of chemicals.
No Standardization
No instructions.
oInformation passed verbally.
oPoor reproducibility.
Now things come with standard instructions that increase reliability.
Philosophy to Identify Cures
Cure arrived at by reasoning (make it up).
Search for “proof” afterward.
Healing often connected with superstition, magic, and religion.
Hippocrates Develops Doctrine of Humours
The universe is made up of four elements:
oEarth, air, fire, water.
He built on these ideas and this dominated medical theory.
Body is made of four humours:
oBlood, phlegm, yellow bile, black bile.
Doctrine of Humours
The four humours are normally in balance.
Too much or not enough of a humour causes disease.
Cure by re-balancing the humours.
oDiagnose using the properties of the humours.
Fevers associated with hot and dry.
oCure using cold and wet.
Too Much Thinking
Properties of four elements:
oEarth – dry.
oAir – cold.
oFire – hot.
oWater – wet.
Properties of four humours:
oBlood – cold.
oPhlegm – wet.
oYellow bile – hot.
oBlack bile – dry.
Bloodletting and the Doctrine of Humours
Re-balance blood humour by taking different volumes of blood.
oRemoving blood may not be beneficial since everyone needs blood to survive.
The treatment is often worse than the disease.
Creative Methods to Remove Blood
Sometimes leeches were used to suck out blood.
Bloodletting Often Killed the Patient
George Washington was killed because he lost too much blood from a bloodlet.
Rebalance with Emetics and Purges

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These treatments were often done randomly.
Doctrine of Humours was Stupid
Based on incorrect idea.
oMade it up.
Treatments developed using it were harmful and painful.
oSpecial foods.
Doctrine of Signatures
Jakob Bohme, shoemaker and philosopher (1575-1624):
oGod left clues to tell us how to use things.
oDisease and cure were linked.
oThis approach is/was used by almost all cultures.
Walnuts Look like Brains
Eating walnuts is good for brain health.
Walnuts actually don’t do anything for the brain.
Boneset Stems Grow “Through” the Leaves
Connection between boneset and improving the health of our bones.
“Sharks Don’t Get Cancer”
Sharks have cartilage whereas we have bones.
oShark cartilage used as cancer treatment.
No real difference between shark and human cartilage.
Sharks do get cancer.
Parsley and Fresh Breath
Fresh breath – parsley.
Parsley – green.
Green – chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll – fresh breath.
There is a connection to the doctrine of humours.
Not Just Candy
The ingredients on the pack of gum:
oListed from greatest amount to the least amount.
Chlorophyll is last.
Wax is coated on the gum to make is shiny.
Chlorophyll will not freshen your breath.
The natural and artificial flavours do.
Mandrake Roots Look Like People
Mandrake roots used for many medicinal and magical purposes.
oPrimary use was a cure for demonic possession.
Mandrake Harvest Using a Dog
Protect against the screaming.
oEnsure the magic is preserved.
Rhino Horn is a Phallic Symbol
Powdered rhino horn used in Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac.
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