EARLY ANAEMIA

Due dissertazioni sopra li vantaggi, che si ottengono in medicina dall’uso del ferro per guarire molte infermità, per conservar la salute, per ritardar la vecchiaja … 

Genoa, Paolo Scionico, 1767. 

4to in 8s, pp. 106, [2 (blank)]; large woodcut initials; very slight dampstaining to upper margin of title, sporadic light foxing to final quire, otherwise a very good copy; uncut, sewn longstitch in contemporary carta rustica.

£600

Approximately:
US $764€704

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Due dissertazioni sopra li vantaggi, che si ottengono in medicina dall’uso del ferro per guarire molte infermità, per conservar la salute, per ritardar la vecchiaja … 

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First and only edition, rare, of these treatises on the medicinal benefits of iron supplements, with accounts of their use by the author in curing over 450 patients of maladies ranging from anorexia to melancholy. 

Gibelli, a doctor and member of the Società medica di emulazione di Genova, claims to have administered oral iron supplements to over 450 patients between 1762 and 1767.  Many of his patients are young women who report such symptoms as swollen hands and feet, irregular menstrual cycles, and loss of appetite, all of which are now associated with anaemia (a term coined forty years later).  In a series of case studies, he reports a decline in fatigue and disturbed sleep, after twenty-four days of treatment in one instance. 

Following his two dissertazioni (first delivered in April 1760 and June 1762, respectively), Gibelli appends his later reflections on the medicinal uses of iron in relation to specific medical conditions, naming individual patients whom he has treated for, inter alia, miscarriage, anorexia, edema, wasting syndrome, chronic diarrhoea, syphilis (‘lue celtica’, for which he explicitly refuses to name his patients), kidney stones, and hypochondria. 

Rare outside Italy.  OCLC records copies at the British Library and the University of Minnesota only.  We trace a second copy in the US, at the National Library of Medicine. 

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