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 Swiss 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 16th and 17th centuries 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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  • Iatrochemistry — I*a tro*chem is*try, n. Chemistry applied to, or used in, medicine; used especially with reference to the doctrines in the school of physicians in Flanders, in the 17th century, who held that health depends upon the proper chemical relations of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • iatrochemistry — jatrochemija statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis XVI–XVII a. chemija, naudota gydymo tikslams. atitikmenys: angl. iatrochemistry rus. ятрохимия …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • iatrochemistry — iatrochemical /uy a treuh kem i keuhl, ee a /, adj. iatrochemically, adv. iatrochemist, n. /uy a treuh kem euh stree, ee a /, n. (in the 16th and 17th centuries) the study of chemistry in relation to the physiology, pathology, and treatment of… …   Universalium

  • iatrochemistry — noun An early branch of chemistry, having roots in alchemy, that tried to provide chemical remedies to diseases. See Also: iatrochemist …   Wiktionary

  • iatrochemistry — The study of chemistry in relation to physiologic and pathologic processes, and the treatment of disease by chemical substance as practiced by a school of medical thought in the 17th century. * * * iat·ro·chem·is·t …   Medical dictionary

  • iatrochemistry — n. study of chemistry for medical purposes (mainly during the 16th and 17th centuries) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • iatrochemistry — iat·ro·chemistry …   English syllables

  • iatrochemistry — /aɪˌætroʊˈkɛməstri/ (say uy.atroh kemuhstree) noun medieval medical chemistry …   Australian-English dictionary

  • iatrochemistry — “+ noun Etymology: iatro + chemistry : chemistry combined with medicine used of the chemistry of the period about 1525 1660 dominated by the teachings of Paracelsus; compare iatrophysics …   Useful english dictionary

  • History of Medicine —     History of Medicine     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► History of Medicine     The history of medical science, considered as a part of the general history of civilization, should logically begin in Mesopotamia, where tradition and philological… …   Catholic encyclopedia

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