Anglo-European Science and the Rhetoric of Empire; Malaria, by Paul C. Winther

By Paul C. Winther

Anglo-European technological know-how and the Rhetoric of Empire offers the recorded evidence of allegedly clinical use of opium in colonial India and British exam and supreme recognition of this tradition. putting the opium controversy in its extensive context, the booklet sheds gentle on British diplomatic equipment for prolonging colonial rule.

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Extra info for Anglo-European Science and the Rhetoric of Empire; Malaria, Opium, and British Rule in India, 1756-1895

Sample text

If the culprit was a type of soil or trees, then get rid of the trees and avoid contact with the former. The list of procedures and techniques that tellurian theoreticians recommended for the disease in diverse regions of the world is almost endless. They also were receptive to substances that people could ingest to ensure continued internal equilibrium despite living in ‘malarious’locales. Medical personnel and lay people articulating some variant of humoral theory, therefore, were predisposed to accepting a substance as a febrlfuge or prophylactic, or both, if it ‘controlled’or suppressed a symptom common to many maladies.

This mode of delivery prohibited the use of crude or Introduction 25 semi-processed opium. The drug contained insoluble material that could not pass through needles. Furthermore, the mother drug contained nonalkaloidal substances (as much as the aforementioned 66 percent) that were unnecessary and possibly harmful if they were ingested by mouth and entered the stomach. Carefully measured, pure solutions of opium alkaloids circumvented the problems. The message was clear. Prior to the 1890s, western medical practitioners knew that the quickest way to benefit from opium’s alkaloids was to inject them directly into the bloodstream.

The following chapters describe what they said. Here, it suffices to repeat what has already been stated: quinine was the cure of choice for many Anglo-European medical practitioners. But “many physicians” is not “all physicians,”and most certainly not all of the people who were practicing western medicine in India. Some of these dissenters were very influential. NOTES 1, A less vitriolic assessment of opium use in India by a missionary appeared thirteen years later. See William Paton (1924). 2.

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