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South African Medical Journal

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A chapter of early medical africana

I. Norwich

Abstract


Mention is made of the early treatment utilized by the indigenous population of South Africa, as described in general terms by an intelligent caller and observer Willem ten Rhyne in 1673, who recorded his observations some 13 years later. Reference is also made to an interestino original medical volume to which Ten Rhyne contributed the use of acupuncture and scarification for the treatment of podagra (gout). A description of the physical methods used by the Hottentots of that period is illustrated from original engravings contained in the famous Kolbe 'Beschryving' of 1727. It is interesting to note the mention of dacha (dagga) by the Hottentots in Ten Rhyne's description 'of their physick' and this is possibly the first men/ion made of this drug in South African literature.




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