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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L1715 • Carl Linnaeus to Abraham Bäck, 22 February 1754 n.s.
Dated 22 febr. 1754. Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Stockholm (Sweden). Written in Swedish & Latin.

Viro Excellentissimo,
D[omino] D[octori] ABR[AHAM] BAECK.

Radix Absinthii pontici laudatur a Germanis, quod illa non, uti ipsa herba, inebriat et temulentos reddit, sed est etiam debilior.

Agrimonia minime excludi potest; ejus infusum in febribus ardentibus, utpote summum refrigerans, per totam Americam quotidianum est, ut de viribus non sit dubitandum, reliquas ut taceam vires.

Betonica apud veteres inter primaria medicamenta locum obtinuit, nobilis facta libro Antonii Musae; sed constitit demum Vetonicam Musae non fuisse Betonicam, sed flores Tunicae, ideoque hodie eviluit; at vero vires Betonicae sunt singulares. Primo inter omnes labiatas s[ive] verticillatas maxime corroborans est. Dein etiam inebriat, quod nulla alia planta verticillata, indicio hanc agere in nervos, potenter etiam sternutationem excitat, quod neque ulla alia verticillata.

Erysimi herba clarum nomen per Lobelium obtinuit in infarctu pulmonum; acris aliquantum est et Armoraciae quodammodo viribus, sed potest exsiccari salvis viribus, quod vix ulla alia Tetradynama s[ive] siliquosa; adeoque non author essem, ut excluderetur.

Herba ipsa Britannicae excludatur, sed radix absolute retinenda.

Prunella possimus commode carere.

Lignum Rhodium etiam exulare potest.

Valerianae majoris Radix sapore et odore longe vehementior et fortior est Valeriana minore sive nostrate; et cum major in hortis crescat facillime inter omnes Hortenses plantas, author essem, ut haec nostrati praeferetur.

Chamomilla tam romana quam nostras debet assumi.

Prior in duritie mammarum, in Nephritide, colica, torminibus a partu, in enematibus, vi sudorifera puerperis &c. insignis.

Posterior in Dysuria, vomitu gravidarum, Cardialgia, Tertiana, Balneis, Pediluviis, fomentis &c. usitatissima est. Nec iisdem viribus gaudet cum antecedenti; haec enim magis amara; haec o°o caeruleum dat, quod non praecedens, indicio virium diversarum.

Bellis minor summis encomiis a Germanis exclamata. Creditur vulneraria et praescribitur in Hectica, Hypochondriasi, Haemorrhoidibus, Peripneumonia, sed tamen dubia evadit.

Verbasci Herba absolute necessaria est. Radix etiam utilis, praesertim in paronychia et ubi repellendum. Si altera excluderetur, necessario excludatur n:o 91, non vero 90 in mat[eria] medica.

Paeoniae radix et flores excludi non debent, nec video, qua ratione has in dubium vocare poteris; at vero flores (si de his sermo sit) forte possent omitti, absque insigni damno medicinae, quamvis in Ecclampsia utatur non semper frustra.

Angelica alpina viribus quadruplo fortioribus gaudet quam hortensis, uti ex sapore et odore constat.

At velim observes, quod Radix haec aestate collecta sit succulenta, aquosa et valde debilis; hyeme vero extracta dura, valde resinosa, ut fere tota resina.

Debet etiam radix desumi a planta unius anni; quum primo vere e semine enata, aestate priore tantum folia promit, sed secundo anno caulem et semina; dein perit.

Si itaque D[ominus] D[octor] Gissler sumserit Radicem vel aestate vel a planta caulescente, nequit non esse valde debilis; si vero desumserit inter primam et secundam aestatem, postquam radix resinam induerit, erit omnino praestantior pyrenaica.

Quaeso, in beate defuncti D[omini] Arch[iatri] Ribes auctione pro me emas Langii Methodum testaceor[um] marinor[um] Lucernae 1722 quarto; ne dimittas librum 20 thaleris. Hanc maxime Tuae curae commendo.

Vale, Dulcissime Amice!
C[arolus] Linnaeus.

Ups[aliae] d[ie] 22 febr[uarii] 1754.

[a][a] : [added in the left margin fol.1r;
there is no indication of where it
should be inserted].
Det woro artigt att se D[octo]r Kaehlers saker; han skrifwer att han sänt mig det under Wett[enskaps] Acad[emiens] adresser. jag wille det ej hafwa, men wähl se. Dett kunne gifwas till Hennes M[ajeste]ts cabbinet sedermera.

Archiatren
Wälborne H[err] Doctor BAECK
Stockholm.

upSUMMARY

The letter to Abraham BäckBäck, Abraham (1713-1795).
Swedish. Physician, president of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Close
friend of Linnaeus. Correspondent of
Linnaeus.
contains notes on several medical plants that might or might not be mentioned in the Swedish pharmacopoeia [Linnaeus refers to the work with the forthcoming Pharmacopoea SvecicaSchulz von Schulzenheim, David
Pharmacopoea Svecica (Stockholm,
1775)
]. The root of Absinthium ponticum is praised by the Germans, since it is milder than the rest of the plant.

Agrimonia can not be omitted, since it is manifestly very efficient against fever and is in use all over America, just to mention one of its qualities.

Betonica used to be in high esteem among the elderly, promoted by Antonius MusaBrassavola, Antonio Musa
(1500-1555). Italian. Physician.
Ferrara.
. However, Musa was mistaken about the identity of the plant, although Betonica does have special qualities, especially as a fortifier.

Erysimum was made famous as a medicine against lung disease by Mathias de L’ObelL’Obel (Lobelius), Mathias de
(1538-1616). French. Botanist,
physician-in-ordinary and botanist to
James I.
. It is rather bitter and similar to Armoracia, but it can be dried without losing its qualities which other similar herbs can not, so Linnaeus does not advise excluding it.

The plant Britannica should be excluded, but its root retained.

Prunella can be omitted, as can Lignum Rhodium.

Valeriana major should be preferred to the smaller or indigenous Valeriana, since it is stronger and can be cultivated in gardens in Sweden.

Both variants of Chamomilla should be included. Several usages are mentioned.

Bellis minor has been praised by Germans for fever, hypochondria and other diseases, but Linnaeus considers it dubious.

The herb of Verbascus must be included, and its root is also useful.

Root and flower of Paeonia should not be excluded, and Linnaeus does not understand how they could be questioned. However, the flower might be omitted, although it is useful against cramp.

Angelica alpina is four times as potent as the garden variant, but you must note that the effect of its root varies with the time of the year when it was collected. Furthermore, the root must be taken from a plant during its first year (it is biennial).

So if Nils GisslerGissler, Nils (1715-1771).
Swedish. Logices, physices et medicinae
lector, Härnösand.
took the root in the summer or from an old specimen, it is quite understandable that it did not work.

Linnaeus wants Bäck to try to buy Carl Nicolaus Lang’sLang, Carl Nicolaus
(1670-1741). Swiss.
Methodus nova et facilis testacea marinaLang, Carl Nicolaus Methodus
nova et facilis testacea marina [...] in
suas debitas et distinctas classes,
genera, et species distribuendi

(Luzern, 1722).
in the public sale of Evald Ribe’sRibe, Evald (1701-1752).
Swedish. Surgeon. President of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Brother of
Carl Frederik Ribe.
books, but Bäck shall not go over twenty daler.

PS. [in Swedish] Linnaeus mentions an interest in seeing Mårten Kähler’sKähler, Mårten
(1728-1773). Swedish. Physician, orator
and poet. Studied under Linnaeus and
Nils Rosén von Rosenstein. Served
as physician of the admirality at
Karlskrona. Correspondent of Linnaeus.
material. It had been sent to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences [Kungliga Svenska VetenskapsakademienKungliga Svenska Vetenskapsakademien,
Swedish. The Royal Swedish
Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Founded
in 1739.
] in Stockholm. Linnaeus did not want to have it, just to see it.

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. original (KVA). [1] [2] [3] [4]

upEDITIONS

1. Bref och skrifvelser (1910), vol. I:4, p. 259-260   p.259  p.260.

upTEXTUAL NOTES

a.
[added in the left margin fol.1r; there is no indication of where it should be inserted].