Previous Book

Main

Scurvy

Next Book


Scurvy

1753

LIND, JAMES. A Treatise of the Scurvy.Edinburgh: Sands, Murray & Cochran, 1753.

James Lind wrote in his Treatise of the Scurvy: "On the 20th of May, 1747, I took twelve patients in the scurvy on board the Salisbury at sea. Their cases were as similar as I could have them." Thus began his description of his classic therapeutic experiment on sailors with the scurvy in which various, then proposed remedies, were tested as antiscorbutics. His experiment provided clear evidence of the curative value of oranges and lemons and was also the first example of a controlled clinical nutrition study using human subjects.

James Lind was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of a merchant. At age 15 he was apprenticed to a physician and in 1739 passed the examination for surgeon's mate in the Royal Navy. A year after his famous experiment he retired from the Navy, obtained a medical degree, and entered private practice. Ten years later he became physician at the Royal Naval Hospital at Portsmouth.