So prognosis became pessimistic, and the therapeutics of the abler men negative, until fresh hopes arose of stemming the tides of evil at their earliest flow.
In the herbals and older treatises on materia medica and therapeutics no explanation is usually offered of the action of medicines, and in such works as that of Cullen (1789) only a few of the more obvious actions are occasionally explained according to the current theories of physiology and pathology.
The diseases to which the application has been hitherto confined are papillomata, lupus vulgaris, epithelial tumours, syphilitic ulcers, pigmentary naevi, angiomata, and pruritus and chronic itching of the skin; but the use of radium in therapeutics is still experimental.
The Royal Institute for experimental therapeutics (Konigl.Institut fiir experimentelle Therapie), moved to Frankfort in 1899, attracts numerous foreign students, and is especially concerned with the study of bacteriology and serums.
As regards the theory, it may be pointed out: (I) that the nature or cosmical miracles - feeding of the five thousand, stilling of the storm, withering of the fig-tree - are as wellattested as the miracles of healing; (2) that many of the diseases, the cure of which is reported, are of a kind with which moral therapeutics could not effect anything; 1 (3) that Christ's own insight regarding the power by which he wrought His works is directly challenged by this explanation, for He never failed to ascribe His power to the Father dwelling in Him.
In works such as Pareira's Elements of Materia Medica and Therapeutics (1842), the physiological effects of medicines are usually described, but very briefly as compared with the materia medica.
Ergot is used in therapeutics as a haemostatic, and is very valuable in haemoptysis and sometimes in haematemesis.
Medicina: sc. ars, art of healing, from mederi, to heal) may be used very widely, to include Pathology, the theory of the causation of disease, or, very narrowly, to mean only the drug or form of remedy prescribed by the physician - this being more properly the subject of Therapeutics (q.v.) and Pharmacology.
The last decade of the 19th century will stand out in the history of medical science as the period in which serum therapeutics and serum diagnosis had their birth.
The same method of serum therapeutics has been used in other infective diseases, but not with the same success.