Episode 15-DIGITAL

Episode 15-DIGITAL

The Grand Digital and medicine


The use of herbaceous plants in medicine is not a new fashionable way of treating certain infections; they were used well before the beginning of the pharmaceutical industry.

Treating heart failures caused big challenges before the cardiac surgery era. Valvular diseases and weakening of the muscular pump were the main causes of failure.

At that time, the therapeutic arsenal was limited and counted on relieving pulmonary congestion using diuretics and removal of blood. The latter consisted in removing a certain amount of blood from the patient, which had the effect of reducing the overload on the heart pump.

In 1785, an English doctor named William Withering described the beneficial effects of the Grande Digitale, also known as Foxglove, a plant with flowers shaped like bells and where a finger can be introduced.

It was administered to a 40-year-old woman with end-stage heart failure. After the first week of treatment, the symptoms of her illness had greatly diminished.




It was nearly a hundred years later that the father of pharmacology, the German chemist Oswald Schmiedeberg, isolated the first pure crystal of these plants.

In doing so, the modern era of the pharmaceutical industry was born.


Although the use of a digital plant has beneficial effects on secondary symptoms of heart failure, it has no effect on the fatality of the disease. We will have to search elsewhere.


Read more: digital pharmacology