O historii leków naturalnych na łamach „Kroniki Farmaceutycznej” w okresie dwudziestolecia międzywojennego (1919–1939)
About history of natural medicines on the pages of “Kronika Farmaceutyczna” during the interwar period (1919‒1939)
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In the years 1919‒1939, „Kronika Farmaceutyczna” was the press organ of the Trade Union of Pharmaceutical Employees of the Republic of Poland. The magazine was filled with articles devoted to defence of pharmacists’ rights but the aim of its editors was also to publish scientific and popular content, in which a prominent place was occupied by articles on the history of natural medicines. This work attempts to analyse the forms and content of that kind of articles: describe how the subject of old medicines was written about, what types of medicines were discussed, and also who and why wrote about them. Articles devoted to the history of natural medicines can be divided in four categories: scientific and popular articles dedicated to current pharmaceutical issues and preceded by historical introductions; scientific and popular articles on history; summaries from foreign pharmaceutical magazines and news from the world covering pharmaceutical problems of the time, accompanied by historical introductions, as well as summaries from foreign pharmaceutical magazines and historical news from the world. According to our research, the majority of analysed articles belonged to the first category. Articles concerning the past of natural medicines appeared throughout the interwar period and became a permanent element of “Kronika Farmaceutyczna”. They focused on plant drugs, less often on zoonotic and mineral ones. Majority of texts were writ¬ten according to a pattern based on chronological narration. Historical content was supple¬mented with ancient mythology information and folk medicine. Abundance of information obtained from contemporary literature dealing with this subject and from the sources proves that authors were undoubtedly erudite people. They committed some mistakes from time to time, though. Their errors, as well as uncomplicated, chronological system of narration were the results of the fact that they were not professional historians but pharmacists. Their interest in the past of natural medicines was to a large extent the outcome of general tendencies predominant in the Polish pharmaceutical milieu at that time. Analysed publications were therefore written by pharmacists and for pharmacists. Their purpose, aside from satisfying readers’ curiosity, was to deepen professional knowledge through enabling the perception of current pharmaceutical problems from the larger, historical perspective.
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