The Biochemic System of Medicine
Extract from The Biochemic Handbook, pp.1-2
"The Biochemic System of Medicine is based primarily and fundamentally upon the "cell theory" of Virchow*. In 1858 that great scientist pronounced the now famous dictum that the body is merely a collection of cells, and that medicinal treatment should be directed towards the individual cell. This great truth once enunciated, was seized upon, developed and elaborated by others, notably Moleschott of Rome, and Schuessler of Oldenburg, until with the full appreciation of the value of the inorganic constituents of the cell substance, and the part taken by them in the preservation of the health of the human organism, the Biochemic treatment of disease truly became a system of medicine.
"In this system for the first time the paramount importance of the inorganic constituents of the cell substance was recognised, the fact being that these "cell salts", as they are commonly called, are the vital portions of the body, the workers, the builders; that the water and organic substances forming the remainder of the organism are simply inert matter used by these salts in building the cells of the body.
"Should a deficiency occur in one or more of these workers, of whom there are twelve, some abnormal condition arises. These abnormal conditions are known by the general term disease and according as they manifest themselves in different parts of the body, they have been designated by various names. But these names totally fail to express the real trouble.
"Every disease which afflicts the human race is due to a lack of one or more of these inorganic workers. Every pain or unpleasant sensation indicates a lack of some inorganic constituent of the body. Health and strength can be maintained only so long as the system is properly supplied with these call salts."
Virchow, Rudolf (1821-1902)
German pathologist, archaeologist, and anthropologist, the founder of cellular pathology.
Virchow was born in Schivelbein, Pomerania (now Swidwin, Poland), and educated at the University of Berlin. In 1843 he became prosector at the Charité Hospital in Berlin, and in 1847 a university lecturer. In 1849 he was invited to the medical school of Würzburg as professor of pathological anatomy, having been dismissed from his Berlin posts because of revolutionary activities. In 1856 he returned to Berlin as professor and director of the university's pathological institute.
Virchow was the first to demonstrate that the cell theory applies to diseased tissue as well as to healthy tissue - that is, that diseased cells derive from the healthy cells of normal tissue. He did not, however, accept Louis Pasteur's germ theory of disease.
He is best known for his text Cellular Pathology as Based on Histology (1850; trans. 1860). He engaged also in extensive research in the fields of archaeology and anthropology, producing numerous writings, among them Crania Ethnica Americana (1892).
Other publications include discussions of topical political and social questions. Virchow was influential in German politics and from 1880 to 1893 served as a Liberal in the German Reichstag, where he opposed the policies of the German chancellor Prince Otto von Bismarck. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Pathological Institute and Museum in Berlin. -- Encarta