Biographies of Hahnemann, Kent, Paracelsus, Bach and others in the vitalist tradition.
Note: The following reviews are based on the first edition (1992) of this book titled The Magical Staff. In 2000, this book was revised and renamed (Vitalism - The History of Herbalism, Homeopathy, and Flower Essences).
An essential assumption behind most natural healing therapies is
the recognition that a life force flows through and animates the physical body. This concept of vitalism is both ancient and contemporary.
Discussing the western roots of vitalism, Matthew Wood provides
biographies of nine of the leading physicians who have made important and enduring contributions to the science and art of natural
medicine since 1500.
The intellectual worlds and theoretical medical perspectives of
Samuel Hahnemann, Johann Rademacher, Samuel Thomson, James
Tyler Kent, James Compton Burnett, and Edward Bach are vividly
described. The eras of these men, as well as the links between them,
are shown. They were the founders and thinkers behind homeopathy,
alchemical healing, herbalism and flower essences-major traditions
which flourish today.
"This fine book is about theory and practice in the history of medicine. The Magical Staff should help physicians realize that incorporating a more holistic view of the body into their practice is a reaffirmation of their heritage, not a capitulation to something foreign
and unscientific. Practitioners of natural medicine can recapture the
impulses of their inspiration, gain more understanding of their tradition, and transcend the too-frequent bickering over details of technique by focusing on the underlying unity of these principles and
-Dr. Mitch Bebel Stargrove, ND
National College of Naturopathic Medicine
"Matthew Wood has written an outstanding book, with much to
contribute to the herbal renaissance and the coming of age of holistic
medicine. It is a unique and important look at the history of western medicine from the perspective of vitalism."
California School of Herbal Studies