History of Chemistry


How did pharmaceutical science get started?

Paracelsus is credited with being the first person to use chemicals in medicine. Before Paracelsus, people believed that illness and disease were caused by an imbalance in the patient. Hippocrates thought it was an imbalance of the four humours (blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile), and Galen furthered these ideas by assigning a symptom to an imbalance of each of Hippocrates’ humours. These theories supported the use of medical techniques like bloodletting. Paracelsus believed that illness was the result of something from the outside world attacking inside one’s body and that some of the illnesses could be cured by chemicals. He is also known for proposing the basis of toxicology, namely that dosage was critical to whether a substance was poisonous or not.


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