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Iatrochemistry (or chemiatry) is a branch of both chemistry and medicine. Having its roots in alchemy, iatrochemistry seeks to provide chemical solutions to diseases and medical ailments.

This area of science has fallen out of use since the rise of modern medical practices. However, iatrochemistry was popular between 1525 and 1660, especially in Flanders. Its most notable leader was Paracelsus, an important Swissmarker alchemist of the 16th century. Iatrochemists believed that physical health was dependent on a specific balance of bodily fluids.

Alchemists used plant products and arsenic to treat diseases. The medical chemistry of the 1500s and 1600s gained the name iatrochemistry, coming from the Greek word for physician.


  • Conrad, Lawrence; Nutton, Vivian; et al. The Western Medical Tradition: 800 BC To AD 1800. Cambridge University Press, 1995.
  • Debus, Allen G., The English Paracelsians. [Franklin Watts, Inc., New York], 1965.

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