Herbalism and Quackery

  • P. V. Taberner


The juxtaposition of herbalists and quacks is in no way intended as a slight to the former group of practitioners. Herbalism is an ancient and respected science which has led to the discovery of many of the drugs used clinically today. Leaving aside the question of the effectiveness of many herbal remedies, there is no doubt that the genuine herbalists have always had complete faith in the value of their treatments, and their principal objective has been to help their patients. The quacks, in contrast, have unashamedly sought to exploit their clients by offering nostrums which they know to be ineffective, and selling them at inflated prices. Preparations which are claimed to restore virility or banish sexual weakness are obviously going to provide a lucrative business for these charlatans who trade upon the gullibility and ignorance of their clients. Their activities have already been mentioned earlier, in the discussion of the role of advertising in the sale of aphrodisiacs. In this chapter the secret remedies of the quacks will be investigated in more detail.


Herbal Remedy Ginseng Root Ginseng Extract White Phosphorus Zinc Phosphide 
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© Peter V. Taberner 1985

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  • P. V. Taberner

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