Diseases originate from stars, poisons, vices of nature, witchcraft and God. Healing is achieved by prayers, conspiracies, and medicines; of the latter, metal compounds are especially valid. Despite the ridiculous and harmful aspects of his teachings, Paracelsus completely denied ancient M., indicated the importance of chemistry and the use of inorganic compounds - forced M. to embark on a new path, prepared by the successes of other sciences.
Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Both centuries left an indelible mark on anatomy and physiology. One of the most important achievements of physiology was the discovery of blood circulation, which made Harvey's fame. He presented his theory in lectures as early as 1613, but published a book on this subject in 1628; only after 25 years of controversy did Harvey's teachings finally triumph.
Borelli, Haller and Gamberger studied breathing phenomena in detail and clarified the role of the lungs. Lymphatic vessels are described by Azelli, Peket, Rudlek, Mascagni, and ivermectina; they also proved or established a connection between the lymphatic system and the circulatory system. To clarify digestion and nutrition, Van Helmont performed many experiments, and Stenon and Wharton presented anatomical data.
Malpighi, using a microscope, studies the development of the chicken, blood circulation in the smallest vessels, the structure of the tongue, glands, liver, kidneys, skin. Ruysch became famous for his excellent filling (injections) of vessels, which made it possible to see vessels where they were not previously suspected.
For the first time such observations were collected by Bone, but Margani was the true creator of the new science. It is difficult to convey in a few words those profound changes that in the II century. M. survived in its systems. Following one doctrine, another, directly opposite, often arose; each challenged the right to explain all medical phenomena. Van Helmont is in some respects close to Paracelsus, but higher than the latter in depth of thought and erudition.
His system is a mixture of mysticism, vitalism, chemism. According to his teachings, special life principles, archaea, control the body through enzymes; each part of the body has its own archaea, and these small archaea depend on the main one; the sensuous soul stands above the archean; small archaea act through special weightless fluids - blas, which feel, move and change.
As long as the archaea is in a natural state, a part of the body or the whole organism is healthy, but if the archaean is frightened, a disease is detected. To cure the disease, the archaean should be calmed, strengthened by prescribing various medications: mercury, antimony, opium, wine; carried yesare used with caution; bloodletting is completely banished, for it weakens the patient. Sylvius le Boe, anatomist and chemist, is a representative of the numerous iatrochemistry school. He accepts the teachings of Van Helmont about archaea and enzymes, but changes it in no way in order to make it clearer: the items are caused by chemicals - alkalis and acids, although they are controlled by spirits.
The alkaline or acidic properties of liquids are the causes of disorders that can develop in dense parts, liquids, perfume, or the soul. Medicines were prescribed to alter the acidic or alkaline characteristics of fluids. This teaching quickly spread in Europe, especially in England and Germany. Thomas Willis gave iatrochemistry a slightly different form.
According to his teachings, the body is composed of spirits, water, sulfur, salt and earth; spirits serve as sources of movement and life; life is brought about and sustained by fermentation, all functions are fermentation, and special enzymes are found in all organs. Diseases occur with improper fermentation; disorders are found mainly in perfumes and in the blood, into which harmful fermented from outside or from tissues get; it is necessary to cleanse the body and spirits, reduce the volatile properties of blood, increase the sulfur content in the latter; phlebotomy is beneficial because it dampens irregular fermentation. Borelli is rightly considered the founder of the school of iatromechanics.
The latter, in order to explain the phenomena taking place in the body, called for the help of information about the then known physical forces (elasticity, attraction); in addition, much was explained by chemical interactions (fermentation, evaporation, crystallization, coagulation, precipitation, etc.). Borelli taught that muscle contraction depends on the swelling of cells due to the penetration of blood and perfume; the latter go along the nerves voluntarily or involuntarily; as soon as the spirits have met the blood, an explosion occurs and a contraction appears. The blood regenerates the organs, and the nervous spirit maintains their vital properties.
A large number of diseases arise from a disorder of the nerve juice, which occurs due to irritation or clogging of the nerve branches in the organs and glands. Balivi, not satisfied with any system, proved the advantages of inheriting truth through experience, found out the spirit of Hippocratic M. and its useful features, rebelled against the opinions of Galen and iatrochemists and advised not to get carried away with theories at the patient's bedside. In general, Balivi investigated the methods of thinking in M. and indicated the right paths for the discovery of truth.