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A Dangerous And Unnecessary Medicine, How And Why (fiscle Part-XI) Part 1

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User: disha
A Dangerous And Unnecessary Medicine, How And Why (fiscle Part-XI) Part 1
The Only Intoxicating Drinks Known To The Ancients Were Wines And Beers.
That These Were Used For Medicinal As Well As Beverage Purposes Is
Evident From Sacred And Secular History. About The Tenth Century Of The
Christian Era, An Arabian Alchemist Discovered The Art Of Distillation,
By Which The Active Principle Of Fermented Liquors Could Be Drawn Off
And Separated. To The Spirit Thus Produced The Name Alcohol Was Given. A
Plausible Reason Cited For This Name Is That The Arabian For Evil Spirit
Is _Al Ghole_, And The Effects Of The Mysterious Liquid Upon Men
Suggested Demoniacal Possession.



Medical Knowledge At This Time Was Very Limited: There Was No Accurate
Way Of Determining The Real Nature Of The New Substance, Nor Its Action
Upon The Human System. It Could Be Judged Only By Its _Seeming_ Effects.
As These Were Pleasing, It Was Supposed That A Great Medical Discovery
Had Been Made. The Alchemists Had Been Seeking A Panacea For All The
Ills To Which Flesh Is Heir, Indeed For Something Which Would Enable Men
Even To Defy Death, And The Subtle New Spirit Was Eagerly Proclaimed As
The Long-Looked-For Cure-All, If Not The Very _Aqua Vitæ_ Itself.
Physicians Introduced It To Their Patients, And Were Lavish In Their
Praises Of Its Curative Powers.

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