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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 4, S1, Pages 9-11
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem107
Original Article

The Diseases of the Medici Family and the Use of Phytotherapy

History of Medicine, University of Florence, Italy

Copyright © 2007 Donatella Lippi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Medici Project is a paleopathological and historico-medical research, based on the exhumation of corpses of the Medici Family buried in the Medici Chapels (Florence, San Lorenzo). The scientific research carried out on these remains permits us to reconstruct habits and causes of death of members of this famous family of Italian Renaissance. The comparison between the literary sources and the paleopathological evidence is also important to reconstruct different therapies. Physicians, who assisted the most important persons of the Medici Family, have left a rich literature about their patients: the treatments were based on the use of plants and natural substances. Analyzing these sources is of unique importance and throws light on the therapeutical choices of the time.