Now you may be thinking that Paracelsus is some character straight out of Harry Potter. And you wouldn’t be completely wrong as he is mentioned in the series. However, Paracelsus or Theophrastus von Hohenheim as he name was an actual Swiss physician. Or was this just way to hide being a real-life actual wizard?
Paracelsus was a known prodigy in the world of medicine. Though he considered himself an alchemist, most of his breakthroughs were most beneficial to medicine. Until Paracelsus no one was using minerals or other chemicals in medicine, he is credited with inventing toxicology. He used toxins like mercury, lead, and arsenic to create cures. Basically creating the methodology behind given the patient the correct dose. Too high a dose would be poison, but the correct dose can cure.
Also, he coined the term “zinc” so you can thank Paracelsus for knowing what to call zinc! Thank god for that, right?
But all this sound very normal, doesn’t it? Paracelsus definitely was a pioneering chemist with a great understanding of what chemicals could influence the body. So why was he later considered to be a magic wizard doctor then? Even history did classify him as the first medical chemist – and this may have to do with most of his work being edited and published after his death. But, his original writings are full of astrology and mysticism, it appeared Paracelsus considered himself to have magical powers.
Even going so far as creating the “Alphabet of Magi” which he deemed was a way to speak to the spirits of healing. Paracelsus believed that for a patient to truly heal, their body had to be in harmony with nature. That the spirits of nature would be willing to provide their healing. So he, of course, devised a way of speaking to and controlling the spirits – makes sense doesn’t it?
Yet despite these bizarre beliefs he is credited with healing many people. His magic healing even became quite famous. And his legacy has long lived on, for example, he also discovered that some illnesses come from psychological roots. Which in the modern world of stress and burnout, is something we are all too familiar with.