International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

Database

Archivo del Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid (Royal Botanical Garden)

Location

Category Other
Organization Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Country Spain
Address Archive Unit, Real Jardín Botánico-CSIC, Plaza de Murillo, 2, E-28014 Madrid, Spain
Telephone +34 91 420 30 17, ext. 229
Fax +34 91 420 01 57
Email san_pio@rjb.csic.es
URL http://www.rjb.csic.es/

Notes

The historical archives and library of the Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid (Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid) primarily hold materials relating to botany. The library was founded at the same time as the garden itself, in 1755, and its archival holdings date from the 17th century to the present day. It holds a number of documents relating to leprosy, especially proposed botanical treatments for leprosy.

In the Expediciones Científicas (Scientific Expeditions) section of the archive, there are a number of documents relating to leprosy in the Collection on the expedition of José Celestino Mutis. He was a naturalist and scientist in South America, and was appointed leader of the ‘Expedición botánica del Nueva Reino de Granad’ by Charles III in 1783.

A file dated 1760-1808 contains the fragment of a letter, of which the sender and recipient are unknown. Various plants and their medicinal effects are discussed, among which ‘carga rucio’ is suggested for the treatment of leprosy. In another document, dated 1777, a different plant is proposed to help leprosy patients, namely, ‘Mortiño colorado’ in Sapo, Colombia. An article from 1782 provides information of a new cure for a number of diseases, including leprosy and cancer, discovered by Josef Flores in Guatemala.

A letter dated 1783 from Joseph Gurbindo to Francisco Antonio de Arrieta records how the prescription of green lizards resulted in curing a local woman. Another letter from Tomas de Arisa to the above recipient also refers to the success of this remedy in treating patients in Caracas, Venezuela.

The archive also holds a report from 1799 by Dr Juan de Arias from Cartagena de Indias in Colombia. After establishing that leprosy is not a contagious disease, he proceeds to suggest reform in the living conditions of leprosy sufferers.

There is a printed article that was published in a journal named Minerva on 20th May, 1805, the title of which is: ‘Remedios contra la lepra y mal de San Lázaro’.

Most of the holdings in this archive are available on microfiche.

Some leprosy records may be located in the following sections:

Section: Expediciones científicas; Fund: Expedición de José Celestino Mutis

Oficial documentation/Expedientes/Esp28001613000070102144/* III,2,4,55

Copy of a File promoted by the protomedico of Cartagena de Indias, Juan de Arias, with the objective to reform the conditions of the lepers, after being recognized that leprosy is not a contagious disease (23-02-1799 / 22-04-1799)

Botany/ Botanical description of José Celestino Mutis/Esp28001613000070102577/* III, 4, 1, 208

Description of the plant vulgo Mortiño colorado. (Sapo). To the back, Letter of Jose Antonio Basto, directed to Joseph Mutiens, commenting his state of health, dated the eleven of December of 1777 (Buenavista). (13-12-1777)

Medicina/Esp28001613000070103383/* III, 5, 1, 7

Copy of an article that contains a new method to cure cancer, amongst other diseases, discovered by Josef Flowers. (New Guatemala). (06031782)

Entry updated 11 January 2016

Contact

Name Ma Pilar de San Pío Aladrén, Jefe de la Unidad Archivo-Biblioteca (Curator)
Organization Archivo del Real Jardín Botánico
Address Archive Unit, Real Jardín Botánico-CSIC, Plaza de Murillo, 2, E-28014 Madrid, Spain
Telephone +34 91 420 30 17, ext. 229
Fax +34 91 420 01 57
Email san_pio@rjb.csic.es

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