Coffin’s Botanical Journal And Medical Reformer.




The British-Medico-Botanic Establishment, 134, High Holborn.





Item Description

8vo. 6.25 x 9.5 inches. vii + [i] + 380 pp. Text in double columns. Bound in original brown cloth, gilt, with blind stamped decorative panel within borders on boards. Some wear to extremities and browning, but otherwise a very good copy. Illustrated by 6 hand coloured plates. Coffin's Botanical Journal was issued in monthly parts from January 1847 and bound into ten yearly volumes published 1849-61. The editorial office moved from Manchester to London in October 1851. The early life of Dr. Albert Isaiah Coffin (1790/91-1866) is somewhat obscure, but he is believed to have been born in Ohio, practised in upstate New York and left the US after a court case. He arrived in Britain from France in 1838. He advocated the therapeutic use of herbs (especially lobelia as an emetic and cayenne pepper for warming) and published a number of titles on medical botany and midwifery. Dr Coffin gained a following in the north of England, especially among Methodists and temperance reformers. Some of his ideas were advanced for the time; he opposed corseting in women and the attendance of male doctors at childbirth (often the cause of transmission of infection at that time). This volume emphasises the health giving properties of good food, pure water, bathing, adequate sanitation and exercise (with a modern approach to avoiding a sedentary posture for too long). It warns against the dangers of the many poisons easily available in mid-Victorian society as well as the continuing medical practice of blood letting. Regular features include Statistics of Medical Botany-Register Sheet, with details of patients, their ailments, treatment and cures. In this volume a small number of advertisements start to make their appearance at the end of each issue. 'The later institutions of British herbalism, notably the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, can be traced to Coffin' (DNB).

[Stock No. 26037]

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