From the Arabs came the art of Chemistry that they perfected and in which many discoveries were made by them. Moslem religion forbade the dissection of Bodies so their scientific efforts concentrated on other aspects. Unhindered by interference from the Catholic Church as their European counterparts were, they pursued the discovery of the “ Stone of Wisdom” and the “Alikser – Water of Life”. They gave this particular Scientific research a name; “ Al Kimija” the study of solids. The Greeks called this later “Chemeia” and that’s where the name Chemistry is derived from. People working in this scientific field were called Alchemists. They never found it but did discover alcohol during the process.  

During 13th Century the basis for University education was laid and following during the 16th and 17th century the knowledge of Human anatomy had been drastically improved. Towards the end of the 17th Century Harvey discovered the blood circulation, although this discovery is now being challenged! It appears that in the University of Cairo writing and drawings are at hand, dating back to 900 A.C., describing in detail what Harvey is said to have discovered.  

But always, after a great step forward in Medicine, things come to a standstill until some great scientist makes another discovery. It Hippocratis who warned his Greek colleagues not to discard old things and only abbey by his teachings, so many old cures had proven their effectiveness in centuries before him.  Five centuries later there was Galenus who’s teaching together with those of Hippocratis became scientific dogmatic right towards the end of the middle Ages.  


Then Paracelsus (Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim 1493-1541) appeared who caused a hurricane in scientific thinking and did away with much of the dogmatic teachings. He attacked the theories everyone took for granted and stimulated the practical study and research in medical care. But did von Hohenheim show contempt for everything applied so far? Hardly, but he incorporated previous knowledge into his own thinking and teachings and had an open mind for everything that had a proven medical healing record. 

This Swiss Physician was the first to see the benefits of Chemistry for Medicine. But this man, the founder of  chemical medicine (Iatro chemie in German), had also a great knowledge of medicinal herbs.  The predecessor of the present Laudanum, the pain killer “Anodynum specificum” was his discovery which made him famous. A theory of this famous physician was that by distillation obtained essential oils, which his called the “Quinta essentia” , were the most active parts of a tree, shrub, plant or flower. This theory formed the basis for further investigations and experiments in the beneficial medical use of “Quinta essentia” Now you also know where the name “Essential” in essential oils comes from! 

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