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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L5356 • Carl Linnaeus to François Boissier de La Croix de Sauvages, n.s.
Dated . Sent from Uppsala (Sweden) to Montpellier (France). Written in Latin.

PRINCIPI MEDICORUM
C[arolus] Linné.

Quaeritur, ad quodnam genus referatur passio illa, qua corripiuntur feminae circa annum 49, dum Catamaeniae cessant, nostratibus Kaeringbad s[ive] Balneationes anicularum. Phlogosibus, iteratis vicibus de die, cum anxietate corripiuntur, quae intra quadrantem horae in sudores transeunt et solvuntur.

Singulare, quod Carcinomata apud nos, Dei gratia, rarissima; Fahluna autem frequentissima, nec rationem divinare possum.

Elephanthiasis rarior apud nostrates maris accolas, frequentior Norvegis, creditur oriri a Gordio isto spirali, qui frequentissimus haeret in omni Halece.

upSUMMARY

This is the last letter from Linnaeus to François Boissier de La Croix de SauvagesSauvages, François Boissier de
La Croix de
(1706-1767). French.
Botanist and clergyman and physician,
professor in medicine at Montpellier.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
. He hails him as ”the sovereign of physicians”.

Linnaeus dwells on the condition common among women, who are about 49 years old. In Sweden it is called ”käringbad” [i.e. ”old women’s bath”], or Balneationes anicularum. Several times a day they are attacked by flushes accompanied by anxiety; after fifteen minutes the flushes turn into sweating and cease.

It is remarkable that cancer is very rare in Sweden, but falluna is very common, but Linnaeus cannot guess the reason why.

Elephantiasis is rather rare among coastal inhabitants but is more common on the Norwegian coast. It is believed that this is due to Gordius spiralis that infects people when they eat seafood.