This week on the Evolution of Medicine podcast, we are thrilled to welcome start of the BBC one prime-time series and International Functional Forum host, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. Dr. Chatterjee is a Functional Medicine doctor who is passionate about lifestyle transformation. Over 4 million people watched season one of Doctor in the House as he reversed type two diabetes and a number of other chronic conditions.

When the Roman Empire split into the Western and Eastern Empires, the Western Empire, centered on Rome, went into a deep decline and the art of medicine slowly slipped away, with the physicians becoming pale shadows of their illustrious predecessors and generally causing more harm than good. Western Europe would not appear again in the history of medicine until long after the decline of Islam.
We’ve really enjoyed the process of interviewing some of the doctors from our Practice Accelerator, and this week we introduce Dr. Rick Henriksen of Kestrel Wellness. Dr. Rick Henriksen, M.D., M.P.P. is a Salt Lake City-based, board-certified, family physician. Having returned to the U.S. from a stint in Ecuador, he was determined to do the next iteration of his practice right. Listen in as he shares his model, his progress and key learnings from the journey.
Since its founding in 1967, the Medical School’s Program in the History of Medicine has been dedicated to research and teaching in the intellectual, political, cultural, and social history of disease, health care, and medical science. The history of medicine provides students with a historical perspective on the role health, medicine, and disease play in society today. It prepares students to think critically about historical and contemporary health issues.
1867 Joseph Lister publishes Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery, one of the most important developments in medicine. Lister was convinced of the need for cleanliness in the operating room, a revolutionary idea at the time. He develops antiseptic surgical methods, using carbolic acid to clean wounds and surgical instruments. The immediate success of his methods leads to general adoption. In one hospital that adopts his methods, deaths from infection decrease from nearly 60% to just 4%.
In the Middle Ages the church operated hospitals. In 542 a hospital called the Hotel-Dieu was founded in Lyon, France. Another hospital called the Hotel-Dieu was founded in Paris in 1660. The number of hospitals in western Europe greatly increased from the 12th century. In them monks or nuns cared for the sick as best they could. Meanwhile, during the Middle Ages there were many hospitals in the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic world.

Dr. Hall shares what he was doing that wasn't working and how through his practice has evolved through working with Freedom Practice Coaching and the Evolution of Medicine programs. His journey includes learning new skills, getting comfortable speaking in front of people, and tracking his successes and how it has affected the delivery of care to his patients. 
1656 Experimenting on dogs, English architect Sir Christopher Wren is the first to administer medications intravenously by means of an animal bladder attached to a sharpened quill. Wren also experiments with canine blood transfusions (although safe human blood transfusions only became feasible after Karl Landsteiner develops the ABO blood-typing system in 1900).
Seishu Hanaoka (1760–1835) studied medicine in Kyoto and set up a practice in his hometown of Hirayama. He became interested in the idea of anaesthesia owing to stories that a third-century Chinese surgeon Houa T’o had developed a compound drug enabling patients to sleep through the pain. Hanaoka experimented with similar formulae and produced Tsusensan, a potent hot drink. Among other botanical ingredients it contained the plants Datura metel (aka Datura alba or ‘devil’s trumpet’), monkshood and Angelica decursiva, all of which contain some potent physiologically active substances.
The History of Medicine Collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University is accepting applications for our travel grant program. https://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/history-of-medicine/grants Research grants of up to $1,500 will be offered to researchers whose work would benefit from access to the historical medical collections at the Rubenstein Rare Book & […]

c.130 CE Birth of Galen, considered by many to be the most important contributor to medicine following Hippocrates. Born of Greek parents, Galen resides primarily in Rome where he is physician to the gladiators and personal physician to several emperors. He publishes some 500 treatises and is still respected for his contributions to anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology.
James Maskell:  Yeah.  So we have a couple of people speaking about tech.  Specifically, Stephanie Tilenius, she’s written a lot for Forbes.  And she’s high up at one of the biggest VC companies in Silicon Valley.  She really spoke about a number of the things that you’ve spoken about there, wearables.  I don’t know if you’ve seen in the US Open now, they have all the ball boys wearing the wearables, so that’s really expanding the interest.  Dr. Robin Berzin, who was with me on The Huffington Post the other day talking about tech.  She’s really talking about it from a patient’s perspective.  I think, I’m sure you’ve seen this, Chris, but I think just for men; men need different incentives to take care of themselves.  Women are generally better at it.  They are generally better at taking care of themselves and feeling problems before they come up and get serious.  Whereas men tend to wait until the very last moment, until there’s literally no other option apart from going to the doctor’s office.  And so I think what’s really cool is that, for men, obviously we’re going to have these touch points.  Medicine’s going to have these touch points to be able to catch things before they get really bad.  And then on the other side of it, you have things that I find, that I’m quite competitive.  I want to get competitive with my friend who’s in Iceland and who has a Fitbit, and he’s doing 120,000 steps a week, and he’s challenging me to do it, and we’re going back and forth.  There’s some of the gamification aspect.  There’s this really cool app called GymPact, which I’ve been following since I saw them at South by Southwest.  And in that, you sort of put money, you bet on yourself to do your run, or to go to the gym, or to eat the right food.  You bet on it.  And everyone puts all their money in and the people that do what they say they’re going to do get paid out by the people that don’t.  And so if it was going to give you $5 or $10 to actually go to the gym, there’s extra incentive that might be the next thing that gets the next generation of men to really be proactive with their health.  What I think is cool and interesting is that at the moment, there’s a lot of apps that are being made by healthy 30-year-olds for other healthy 30-year-olds, which is probably not going to solve medicine’s biggest problems right now, but at least there’s starting to be iteration.  And the most exciting thing is that once the iWatch comes out, in the same way that you saw the iPhone, the biggest apps—things like Instagram and Snapchat—where people are innovating on top of a hardware platform for software, just think about all of those people out there that are going to want to build apps for the iWatch.  And what you actually have is the concentrated intention of way more people around the world looking for ways to engage people in being healthy.  And that is exciting by itself.
One of the things that James learned last week is that he has “perfect detoxification pathways”, but not all people are so lucky. A huge topic of discussion on the upcoming Summit is MTHFR. Methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase is the rate-limiting enzyme in the methyl cycle, and it is encoded by the MTHFR gene. This week we welcome Sterling Hill, the founder of MTHFRsupport.com. Sterling is an educator and having found out of her personal status and what it means for her - she has been educating others about the impact of MTHFR for years.
Although there is no record to establish when plants were first used for medicinal purposes (herbalism), the use of plants as healing agents, as well as clays and soils is ancient. Over time through emulation of the behavior of fauna a medicinal knowledge base developed and passed between generations. As tribal culture specialized specific castes, shamans and apothecaries fulfilled the role of healer.[1] The first known dentistry dates to c. 7000 BC in Baluchistan where Neolithic dentists used flint-tipped drills and bowstrings.[2] The first known trepanning operation was carried out c. 5000 BC in Ensisheim, France.[3] A possible amputation was carried out c. 4,900 BC in Buthiers-Bulancourt, France.[4]
Western conceptions of the body differ significantly from indigenous knowledge and explanatory frameworks in Asia. As colonial governments assumed responsibility for health care, conceptions of the human body were translated into local languages and related to vernacular views of health, disease, and healing. The contributors to this volume chart and analyze the organization of western medical education in Southeast Asia, public health education in the region, and the response of practitioners of “traditional medicine”.

This week, we feature the keynote presentation from the summit by Dr. Jeffrey Bland. You can get this talk and many other gifts by registering for the summit. In his talk, Dr. Jeffrey Bland shares his view of the current state of genetics. Even If you're not interested in genetic testing, we hope that you will take a few minutes and listen to the godfather of functional medicine, as he shares his thoughts on genomics and why it will be the catalyst for functional medicine to become the operating system for a new era of predictive preventative medicine.

1870s Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch establish the germ theory of disease. According to germ theory, a specific disease is caused by a specific organism. Before this discovery, most doctors believe diseases are caused by spontaneous generation. In fact, doctors would perform autopsies on people who died of infectious diseases and then care for living patients without washing their hands, not realizing that they were therefore transmitting the disease.


The foundational text of Chinese medicine is the Huangdi neijing, (or Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon), written 5th century to 3rd century BCE.[31] Near the end of the 2nd century CE, during the Han dynasty, Zhang Zhongjing, wrote a Treatise on Cold Damage, which contains the earliest known reference to the Neijing Suwen. The Jin Dynasty practitioner and advocate of acupuncture and moxibustion, Huangfu Mi (215–282), also quotes the Yellow Emperor in his Jiayi jing, c. 265. During the Tang Dynasty, the Suwen was expanded and revised, and is now the best extant representation of the foundational roots of traditional Chinese medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine that is based on the use of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage and other forms of therapy has been practiced in China for thousands of years.


The medicinal leech has been in use for thousands of years, and is even today considered to be a way of restoring venous circulation after reconstructive surgery. But it was in the early 19th century that the leech really soared in popularity. Led by French physician François-Joseph-Victor Broussais (1772–1838), who postulated that all disease stemmed from local inflammation treatable by bloodletting, the ‘leech craze’ saw barrels of the creatures shipped across the globe, wild leech populations decimated almost to extinction, and the establishment of prosperous leech farms.
510-430 BC - Alcmaeon of Croton scientific anatomic dissections. He studied the optic nerves and the brain, arguing that the brain was the seat of the senses and intelligence. He distinguished veins from the arteries and had at least vague understanding of the circulation of the blood.[2] Variously described by modern scholars as Father of Anatomy; Father of Physiology; Father of Embryology; Father of Psychology; Creator of Psychiatry; Founder of Gynecology; and as the Father of Medicine itself.[6] There is little evidence to support the claims but he is, nonetheless, important.[5][7]

In East Semitic cultures, the main medicinal authority was a kind of exorcist-healer known as an āšipu.[8][9][10] The profession was generally passed down from father to son[8] and was held in extremely high regard.[8] Of less frequent recourse was another kind of healer known as an asu, who corresponds more closely to a modern physician[7] and treated physical symptoms using primarily folk remedies composed of various herbs, animal products, and minerals, as well as potions, enemas, and ointments or poultices.[7] These physicians, who could be either male or female, also dressed wounds, set limbs, and performed simple surgeries.[7] The ancient Mesopotamians also practiced prophylaxis[7] and took measures to prevent the spread of disease.[7]
^ Heeßel, N. P. (2004). "Diagnosis, Divination, and Disease: Towards an Understanding of the Rationale Behind the Babylonian Diagonostic Handbook". In Horstmanshoff, H.F. .; Stol, Marten; Tilburg, Cornelis. Magic and Rationality in Ancient Near Eastern and Graeco-Roman Medicine. Studies in Ancient Medicine. 27. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. pp. 97–116. ISBN 978-9004136663.
^ Cooter, R.J. (1976). "Phrenology and British alienists, c. 1825–1845. Part I: Converts to a doctrine". Medical History. 20 (1): 1–21. doi:10.1017/s0025727300021761. PMC 1081688. PMID 765647.; Cooter, R.J. (1976). "Phrenology and British alienists, c. 1825–1845. Part II: Doctrine and practice". Medical History. 20 (2): 135–51. doi:10.1017/s0025727300022195. PMC 1081733. PMID 781421.
She came to our recent Functional Forum in San Francisco and afterwards approached us with some great ideas about how we can make the Functional Forum more approachable for those with social anxiety.  If you've seen the forum, you know that Gabe and James are not introverted by any stretch of the imagination, so, it was great to learn from the experience of others.
Later Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) proved that microscopic organisms caused disease. In the early 19th century many scientists believed in spontaneous generation i.e. that some living things spontaneously grew from non-living matter. In a series of experiments between 1857 and 1863 Pasteur proved this was not so. Once doctors knew what caused disease they made rapid headway in finding cures or prevention.

Medical education instituted at the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico chiefly served the needs of urban elites. Male and female curanderos or lay practitioners, attended to the ills of the popular classes. The Spanish crown began regulating the medical profession just a few years after the conquest, setting up the Royal Tribunal of the Protomedicato, a board for licensing medical personnel in 1527. Licensing became more systematic after 1646 with physicians, druggists, surgeons, and bleeders requiring a license before they could publicly practice.[108] Crown regulation of medical practice became more general in the Spanish empire.[109]
^ Porter, Roy (1992). "Madness and its Institutions". In Wear, Andrew. Medicine in Society: Historical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 277–302. ISBN 978-0521336390.; Goldstein, Jan (2001) [1987]. Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0226301600.; Grob, Gerald N. (1994). Mad Among Us. Simon and Schuster. pp. 25–30. ISBN 978-1439105719.
Responding to a growing consumer movement, Congress passes two major pieces of legislation: the Wheeler-Lea Act, which allows the Federal Trade Commission to prosecute against companies whose advertising deceives and harms consumers; and the Copeland Bill, which expands the Food and Drug Administration's power to regulate drug and food safety, and extends its oversight to include cosmetics.
Mental illnesses were well known in ancient Mesopotamia,[17] where diseases and mental disorders were believed to be caused by specific deities.[6] Because hands symbolized control over a person, mental illnesses were known as "hands" of certain deities.[6] One psychological illness was known as Qāt Ištar, meaning "Hand of Ishtar".[6] Others were known as "Hand of Shamash", "Hand of the Ghost", and "Hand of the God".[6] Descriptions of these illnesses, however, are so vague that it is usually impossible to determine which illnesses they correspond to in modern terminology.[6] Mesopotamian doctors kept detailed record of their patients' hallucinations and assigned spiritual meanings to them.[17] A patient who hallucinated that he was seeing a dog was predicted to die;[17] whereas, if he saw a gazelle, he would recover.[17] The royal family of Elam was notorious for its members frequently suffering from insanity.[17] Erectile dysfunction was recognized as being rooted in psychological problems.[17]
c.130 CE Birth of Galen, considered by many to be the most important contributor to medicine following Hippocrates. Born of Greek parents, Galen resides primarily in Rome where he is physician to the gladiators and personal physician to several emperors. He publishes some 500 treatises and is still respected for his contributions to anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology.

“Rescaling Colonial Life From the Indigenous to the Alien: The Late 20th Century Search for Human Biological Futures,“ follows the reach of colonial practices of natural history through genomics and into outer space. The article centers around biochemist and medical anthropologist Baruch Blumberg, who began his career collecting samples from colonial subjects in Surinam and ended it as head of the NASA program in Astrobiology. Joanna Radin’s history traces entwinements of colonial natural history, space exploration, and inductive methods in postwar biological science.


The medicinal leech has been in use for thousands of years, and is even today considered to be a way of restoring venous circulation after reconstructive surgery. But it was in the early 19th century that the leech really soared in popularity. Led by French physician François-Joseph-Victor Broussais (1772–1838), who postulated that all disease stemmed from local inflammation treatable by bloodletting, the ‘leech craze’ saw barrels of the creatures shipped across the globe, wild leech populations decimated almost to extinction, and the establishment of prosperous leech farms.

James Maskell is the host of our podcast and flagship show, the Functional Forum, the world’s largest integrative medicine community. He is on a mission to create structures necessary to evolve humanity beyond chronic disease. He lectures internationally and has been featured on TEDx, TEDMED and HuffPostLive and also founder of KNEW Health, a payer solution for chronic disease reversal.
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