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      Herbal Diuretics Revisited: From ‘Wise Women’ to William Withering

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          Abstract

          This contribution summarizes the use of herbal diuretics over the period of two thousand years. After describing the role of herbs in the framework of the theory of the balance of humors for well-being, it details the contributions of Pliny the Elder (23–79), Dioscorides (40–90), Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179), Pietro Andrea Matthioli (1500–1577), and Leonard Fuchs (1501–1566) in providing increasingly more precise descriptions and illustrations of medicinal plants. Then, William Withering’s (1741–1799) scientific analysis of the use of foxglove for the treatment of dropsy is presented, taking into account the role peasant ‘wise women’ played in his discoveries and the role of ‘folklore medicine’ before him.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          AJN
          Am J Nephrol
          10.1159/issn.0250-8095
          American Journal of Nephrology
          S. Karger AG
          978-3-8055-7424-2
          978-3-318-00852-4
          0250-8095
          1421-9670
          2002
          July 2002
          27 June 2002
          : 22
          : 2-3
          : 112-118
          Affiliations
          Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany
          Article
          63748 Am J Nephrol 2002;22:112–118
          10.1159/000063748
          12097727
          © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Figures: 6, References: 9, Pages: 7
          Product
          Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/63748
          Categories
          Origins of Nephrology – Magic, Myth and Science

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