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Am J Nephrol. 2002 Jul;22(2-3):112-8.

Herbal diuretics revisited: from "wise women" to William Withering.

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1
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Otto-Hahn-Strasse 11, D-44227 Dortmund, Germany.evamaria.kinne@mpi-dortmund.mpg.de

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.

PMID:
12097727
DOI:
63748
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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