The Renaissance During this period, new political independence from the church and a renewed interest in the classics fostered a flowering of scientific, medical and cultural achievement that is unparalleled in human history. Many of the great herbal's were written, compiled and printed during this time. Some of these were as follows: 1525 Bancke's Herbal was the first printed herbal. 1526 Grete Herball printed by Peter Treveris had the highest reputation of the earlier English herbal's. 1550 Turner's Herbs, by the physician and divine, William Turner (1510-1568). He was regarded as `the father of British Botany," because he was the first Englishman who studied plants scientifically. At the same time, the German, Fuch's Herbal by Leonhard Fuchs (1501-1566) was written and became another landmark work with beautiful illustrations. 1552 Aztec Herbal, published in 1552 is the earliest treatise on Aztec pharmacology. Written by Martin de la Cruz, an Aztec doctor, it was later translated by Juan Badiano, an Indian doctor from Xochimilco. It was discovered in the Vatican library in 1919 and has become known as the Baliano Codex. 1554 Rembert Dodoens (1517-1585) was a Belgian botanist. His herbal called Histoire de Plantes incorporated many of Fuch's woodcuts along with some new illustrations. His most important book, The Pemptades, became the basis of the English herbal known as Gerard's Herbal. 1597 & 1633 Gerard's Herbal by John Gerard (1545-1612) is the second of the three greatest English herbalists, Turner, Gerard and Parkinson. Gerard was a surgeon, well traveled and a dedicated gardener. He grew over 1000 plants mostly for seed. His herbal is largely based on the early Pemptades by Dodoens and was probably translated into English on commission by a Dr. Priest. Gerard altered the classification of plants and added a great deal from his personal observations. First published in 1597, it was later corrected and reprinted in 1633. Even to this day, amateurs calling themselves, "herbalists, freely plagiarize material from Gerard's herbal. In his work we see the old belief in the efficacy of herbs to treat not only physical diseases but those of the mind and spirit. This belief is shared by the greatest civilizations of antiquity. Gerard also describes methods of aromatherapy involving the inhalation of volatile oils, the absorption of these through the skin into the circulatory system. 1629 & 1640 John Parkinson (1567-1650) was the last of the great English herbalists. His books include Paradisi in Sole Terrestris (A Garden of Pleasant Flowers) published in 1629, and Theatrum Botanicum (The Theater of Plants) published in 1640 at the age of 73. Parkinson's monumental Theatrum Botanicum describes over 3800 plants and was the most complete and aesthetically beautiful English treatise on plants of the day. 1652 Nicolas Culpeper (1616-1654) expounded on the relationship of astrology and herbs and the older belief in the "Doctrine of Signatures". This belief extending deep into the distant past herbal traditions of the world maintains that there is a relationship between the way a plant appears and the condition for which it is indicated. Culpeper was the most loved by the people and hated by his professional colleagues herbal doctor of his day. It was the custom of the time for official medical knowledge to be printed and discussed only in Latin. In Culpeper's opinion, this was simply an elitist ploy to keep the knowledge of herbs and healing from the masses and thereby ensure the vested interests of the medical profession. There was also some sense, that this would protect the masses from possibly mistreating themselves. Medical elitism, of course, continues to this day in many forms and the many branches of medicine and with the American Medical Association (AMA) and other countries such as the British Medical Association (BMA). Always the physician of the people, Culpeper was the most hated by his professional colleagues because he violated a solemn oath of London's College of Physicians by translating from the Latin some of the elitist works of the time, notably the Pharmacopoeia which he retitled A Physicall Directory. Some of this information eventually found its way into his ever popular Culpeper's Herbal. He was the most loved because by translating the works of his greedy and paranoid colleagues, he was able to empower common folk with the knowledge of self treatment. Always a man of the people, Culpeper charged small fees, had an unaffected manner and was especially loved by his poor London West-end patients. The result is that he continues to be honored in the minds of the people with Culpeper's Herbal being reprinted through countless versions and editions up to the present. 1656 William Coles (1626-1662) authored two books, The Art of Simpling and Adam in Eden. Like Culpeper, he also wrote in colloquial English but he was severely critical of Culpeper and described him as being, "ignorant in the forme of Simples" and "transcribing out of old works only what was useful". Cole was also critical of Culpeper's astrological botany and the association of plants with planetary influences. Cole is regarded as a major exponent in English of the Doctrine of Signatures. Because medicine tended to be the official domain of either the church or the state, folk medicine throughout the Middle Ages, developed and was relegated to the practice of herbalists and healers who utilized non-official healing methods associated with previous pagan religions to attend to the needs of the those who were unable to afford the ministrations of the wealthy medical elite. This included women who were branded as witches (see the following section, Women and Healing), men who were called warlocks and other social outcasts who rebelled against the domination of Church and state and sought to rediscover their ancient so-called pagan religious customs and healing with the use of herbs and various charms. In the name of preserving Christian values, the Inquisition and witch-hunts became a convenient method to suppress and denigrate the efforts of unofficial lay healers. Today, some may still look disdainfully on the witches' strange use of animal and mineral substances described in Shakespeare's Macbeth. However, this only alludes to the outlaw status of many women healers and their use of bonafide and potent remedies, however strange. Interestingly Shakespeare's son-in-saw and next door neighbor, John Hall was a great herbalist of the time whose official medical armamentarium included various animal parts, herbs and minerals much as these even today are also part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The psychological aspects of healing through the use of rituals, prayers, charms and talismans represent another aspect of traditional herbal shamanism. It was not the power and validity of such methods of healing with which the Church took issue, for priests similarly employed various religious relics, specially consecrated `holy' water and the symbol of the cross in a similar way. Rather is was the question by whose authority the healing was achieved. If, therefore, an individual was healed with a non-Christian symbol, it must have been by the power of the devil. During the 17th century, the Swiss physician, Philippus Paracelsus advocated the use of minerals. These included methods of purifying and using minerals such as copper, sulfur, arsenic, mercury and iron. Because of his emphasis on the importance of Chemistry, Paracelsus holds two seeming contradictory distinctions as the "father of alchemy" and the founder of a system of mineral drug medicine that has ultimately resulted in the primacy of plants used for medicine. WOMEN AND HEALING It may be noticed that thus far, that other than mythological figures such as Hygeia, Hepatica and other ancient goddesses, the only prominent historical woman described in this overview of the history of herbal medicine is Hildegard. While there were undoubtedly others, little seems to be known about them and they certainly do not play a prominent role in the chronicled history of medicine with the exception of a few in comparatively recent times. Certainly this is not because women, as a group, had no interest in healing. Quite the opposite. With the preponderant numbers of women who enroll in our course and attend our various seminars, women as a group, in my opinion are the most apt healers, with a natural tendency of compassion required for healing. Further, unlike men, their monthly and cyclic physiological needs (menses, childbirth and menopause) involve them directly on a regular basis with healing. We can only assume, therefore, that women have always had a lively and direct involvement with health and healing but were, along with other disadvantaged groups of peoples such as native people, blacks and Jews, simply overlooked in the chronicles of history. Before the great holocaust of the 20th century with the execution of 100's of thousands of Jews, gypsies and other ethnic groups by the Germans during the 2nd world war, another holocaust involving perhaps even greater numbers of women healers occurred between the 14th and 17th centuries with the systemic torture and executions of millions of women as witches. According to Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English in their very important booklet entitled Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers (Glass Mountain Pamphlets, P. O. box 238, Oyster Bay, N.Y., 11771), "The great majority of them were lay healers serving the peasant population, and their suppression marks one of the struggles in the history of man's suppression of women as healers." They go on to say that "The witch-hunts represented well-organized campaigns, initiated, financed and executed by Church and State." They came about coincident with the evolution of the European medical profession and the apparent need to suppress any attempts by the lay people to minister to their own medical needs. ..... Because of the Medieval Church, with the support of kings, princes and secular authorities, controlled medical education and practice, the Inquisition (witch-hunts) constitutes, among other things, an early instance of the `professional' repudiating the skills and interfering with the rights of the `nonprofessional' to minister to the poor. (Thomas Szasz, The Manufacture of Madness) As Ehrenreich and English state, "Witch hunts did not eliminate the lower class woman healer, but they branded her forever as superstitious and possibly malevolent. So thoroughly was she discredited among the emerging middle classes that in the 17th and 18th centuries it was possible for male practitioners to make serious inroads into that last preserve of female healing --- midwifery. Nonprofessional male practitioners - "barber surgeons" - lead the assault in England, claiming technical superiority on the basis of their use of the obstetrical forceps. ---- Female midwives in England organized and charged the male intruders with commercialism and dangerous misuse of the forceps. But it was too late - the women were easily put down as ignorant "old wives" clinging to the superstitions of the past." Ehrenreich and English's book goes on to describe the male take over of the roles of healing from the 1800's through the early 20th century throughout all European countries and in the US. It is difficult for us today to conceive of the profound lack of personal rights and the historical repression of women that has been so characteristic of the history of both Western and Eastern countries of the world. Rather than to over simplistically condemn men as a group, since I believe that ultimately both men and women suffer from female repression, the cause seems to coincide with the rise of warlike civilizations where physical strength and brutality became more of a necessity for survival and highly valued by both sexes. Witness our own time, that as war is becoming more technological and mechanized, it is less the exclusive domain of men as women are admitted into the military. Concomitantly, women's rights are emerging more strongly to the fore in all sectors of society. It is valuable to study more feminine oriented ancient civilizations such as the Mycenaean civilization of Crete which existed from around 1500 to 1100 B.C that made many important contributions to the evolution of civilization. The following section of describes the rise of the Eclectic medical system in the US. Among the many unique achievements of the Eclectics was the recognition, admission and graduation of women and blacks into the medical profession.