Journeys Scurvy Herbals Vesalius

Scurvy

MOELLENBROCK, ANDREAS VALENTINUS. Cochlearia curiosa: or the curiosities of scurvygrass... Englished by Tho. Sherley. London: S. and B. Griffin, for William Cade, 1676.

This is the English edition of Moellenbrock's Cochlearia Curiosa. Andreas Valentinus Moellenbrock (1650-?) was a German physician and apothecary. Scurvy grass was recognized early to be of value in the treatment of scurvy. It often appears in prescriptions for "scurby" written by William Shakespeare's son-in-law, Dr. John Hall, prior to publication of this work.

In this small book Moellenbrock describes his attempts to obtain "the volatile Salt of scurvy grass." He advised using fresh-gathered leaves and pressing out the juice, then evaporating it a little, until"somewhat thickened, and so set by, till of its own accord the Salt shoot in the juice." Moellenbrock's effort to obtain curative crystalline salt could be considered an early experimental forerunner of the isolation of crystalline vitamin C (ascorbic acid) by C. G. King in 1932.

[Scurvy grass] Mollenbrock's effort to obtain curative crystalline salt from scurvy grass could be considered an early experimental forerunner of the isolation of crystalline vitamin C in 1932.