How was arsenic used as a medicine in the past?

In the 19th century, arsenides and arsenic salts were used in the form of external pastes to treat ulcers and cancer. They were also prescribed as antiperiodics, antipyretics, antiseptics, antispasmodics, caustics, cholagogues, depilatories, hemantinics, sedatives and tonics.

What is the history of arsenic?

Arsenic was known as early as the fourth century B.C., when Aristotle referred to one of its sulfides as “sandarach,” or red lead, according to Chemicool. Albertus Magnus, a German philosopher and alchemist, first isolated the element in 1250.

What was arsenic originally used for?

Arsenic compounds began to be used in agriculture as ingredients in insecticides, rat poisons, herbicides and wood preservatives, as well as pigments in paints, wallpaper and ceramics.

What was arsenic used for in the 1920s?

Odorless and colorless, it went into food as food coloring, and it was used in beauty products, such as arsenic complexion wafers that promised women pure white skin, until as late as the 1920s. It was found in the fabric of baby carriages, plant fertilizers, medicines.

Is arsenic still used as medicine?

Arsenic has been and is still being used as a medicinal agent. One noted arsenical medicinal agents is Fowler’s solution, developed by Thomas Fowler in the 1770s. Fowler’s solution was used to treat fever, asthma, syphilis and many other ailments up until the mid-1900s.

Why did the Victorians use arsenic?

Arsenic was used even in medications to treat everything from asthma and cancer to reduced libido and skin problems. Sadly, despite the evident dangers arsenic posed to Victorian Britons, regulation to protect health was painfully slow in coming in this age of laissez faire capitalism and governmental indifference.

Was arsenic used as a medicine?

Arsenic (As) is commonly known as a poison. Only a few people know that As has also been widely used in medicine. In the past years As and its compounds were used as a medicine for the treatment of such diseases as diabetes, psoriasis, syphilis, skin ulcers and joint diseases.

Who and when was arsenic discovered?

Albertus MagnusArsenic / Discoverer
Although arsenic compounds were mined by the early Chinese, Greek and Egyptian civilizations, it is believed that arsenic itself was first identified by Albertus Magnus, a German alchemist, in 1250.

Is arsenic good for anything?

Industrial processes. Arsenic is used industrially as an alloying agent, as well as in the processing of glass, pigments, textiles, paper, metal adhesives, wood preservatives and ammunition. Arsenic is also used in the hide tanning process and, to a limited extent, in pesticides, feed additives and pharmaceuticals.

What pharmaceuticals have arsenic in them?


Drug Target Type
Arsenic trioxide Canalicular multispecific organic anion transporter 1 transporter
Arsenic trioxide Thioredoxin reductase 1, cytoplasmic target
Arsenic trioxide P-glycoprotein 1 transporter
Arsenic trioxide Cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme

When did arsenic become illegal?

Why should it be limited just because some people were careless or murderous? The government was under pressure from scientists and the press, so in 1851, the Sale of Arsenic Regulation Act passed into law.

When was arsenic first used as medicine?

What is arsenic?

Arsenic: a beneficial therapeutic poison – a historical overview Arsenicals have been used since ancient Greek and Roman civilizations and in the Far East as part of traditional Chinese medicine. In Western countries, they became a therapeutic mainstay for various ailments and malignancies in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Who used arsenic in the past?

Whorton In ancient times, there were other versions of arsenic, primarily sulfide compounds. The white arsenic wasn’t discovered until the Middle Ages, but even then it wasn’t used in large quantities, except by people of power like the Borgias who used it to get rid of rivals.

When did they stop using arsenic in dye?

From the 1860s onward, there were new dyes from aniline that gave a wide range of colors just as bright as the arsenicals. As aniline dyes replaced the arsenicals, it ceased to be a problem. For most consumer products, arsenic was gone as a threat by the end of the 19th century.

What is the history of Medicine in the Philippines?

The Philippine shamans or babaylans were the first healers within the tribal communities of ancient Philippines. Later emerged folk doctors and the training and deployment of true medical practitioners as can be seen in the progression of Philippine history.