Coffin’s Botanical Journal And Medical Reformer.




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





Item Description

8vo. 6 x 9. 25 inches. viii + [2] pp. advertisement + 349-372 pp + 380 pp. (less issues 270, 279 and 287). Also contains issues 268 and 269 from previous vol. Text in double columns. Bound in quarter brown cloth over marbled boards. Extremities worn and some browning; otherwise a very good copy. Illustrated by 8 hand coloured and 2 uncoloured 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 continues the Journal's awareness of the many poisons easily available in mid-Victorian society and includes a list of antidotes. It warns against the effects on the body of excessive alcohol and strongly supports the consumption of tea and coffee as an alternative beverage. The Journal is uneasy about compulsory inoculation and vaccination and publicises mistakes made by orthodox medicine. 'The later institutions of British herbalism, notably the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, can be traced to Coffin' (DNB).

[Stock No. 26038]

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