ARTICLE

Monika Urbanik

“Healing medicine” by Louis Le Roy (1766–1842)
2020-03-15

“Healing medicine” by Louis Le Roy (1766–1842)

The turn of the 18th and 19th centuries appears of great consequence for medicine. Rapid advancement of investigation methods in scientific research, especially those applied in the field of anatomy and pathomorphology, effectively disqualified most of the therapeutic regimens pursued so far. This gave an impulse to many pseudo-medics to come up with new medical doctrines and theories, which were meant to offer an alternative to academic medicine. Each one of them promoted his own concept, striving to explain the essentials of a disease, whilst proposing a reliable way of treatment, aided by specific medications made by themselves. One such method was proposed by Louis Le Roy (1766–1842). He was an ardent advocate of a universal method of treatment based on the application of a set of laxative and vomiting agents, prepared in line with a formula developed by a Normandy-born military doctor, one Jean Pelgas (1732–1804). The book titled ‘La médicine curative ou la purgation dirigée contre la cause des maladies, reconnue et analysée dans cet ouvrage’ [The Laxative and Vomiting Treatment – in short] was freely available on the market, offering extensive information on the actual origins of the disease at issue, its specific types, and the way in which it is should be treated with these preparations. The treatment method proposed by Le Roy was also popular in Poland. The French edition of “La médecine curative” was translated into Polish, and first published in Warsaw, in 1829, under the title “La médecine curative” [The Curative Medicine], with the next one following a year after, i.e. 1830. The same method of treatment was also propagated by Józef Orkisz, who enclosed a separate treaty devoted to it with his own book „Nowy poradnik lekarski dla osób wszelkiego stanu” [A new medical guide for persons of all social strata]. (Warsaw 1835). The formulas for Le Roy’s medications may also be encountered in the pharmacy manuscripts. The raw ingredients referenced in Le Roy’s medications were highly laxative. They comprised: Gummi-resina scammonium – a juice obtained from a wild morning-glory root (Convolvulus Scammonia L.), Radix turpethi – turbite morning-glory root (Convolvulus turphethum L.), senesu leaves (of the Senna Mill. genus.), and Tubera jalapae – a laxative agent (Ipomea purga). Furthermore, the vomiting-laxative medications also comprised an extra emetic (vomiting agent), i.e. antimonyl-potassium tartrate.

Keywords: history of pharmacy, history of medicine, Louis Le Roy.

© Farm Pol, 2020, 76(2): 93–101

919.67 kB | 20 marca 2020