Medicine: Viper Heads

Moss grown on a human skull, the thigh bone of a hanged man, the ashes of a coal-black cat's head, animal excrement, black tips of crab's claws, burned hart's horn, toads, newts, serpents—these were medi- eval medicaments whose use has not yet entirely disappeared. Last week the American Medical Association reported a Frenchman's use of viper heads as a diuretic. Professor G. Billard of the Uni-versity of Clermont was consulted in a young girl's case of scarlet fever. Her kidneys would not function. Professor Billard had recently prepared an ancient diuretic which the French...

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