What is Paracelsus and Iatrochemistry, What Does It Mean?June 27, 2021
Paracelsus argued that all beings have a common basis; this basis consisted of salt, mercury, and sulfur, which he called “materia prima” (primary substances), as well as the four previously proposed elements.
Among them, mercury and sulfur were presented as two basic elements in the Islamic world within the scope of “Transformation Theory”. These seven basic elements constituted the basic matter of all existence, animate or inanimate. So in fact, living and non-living things do not differ in essence; They are basically the same in structure. So there must be similarities between their functions.
Starting from this principle, Paracelsus argued that the laws and principles accepted in chemistry actually apply to living things as well. If a living thing has a certain chemical structure, the defects that will occur in that structure will naturally be of chemical origin and can be understood with the explanation models of chemical principles; In this case, the correction of the structure will only be possible with chemical substances. This understanding is called iatrochemistry.
Based on this theory, Paracelsus argues that bodily functions, such as the functioning of the stomach, constitute a chemical process. The stomach does not perform the digestion task by heating, soaking or breaking down the nutrients; It undergoes some chemical changes by means of some liquids secreted by the stomach. In the following centuries, based on this approach, some scientists focused their research on the glands.