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Views & Reviews Medical Classics

Primitive Physic: Or, an Easy and Natural Method of Curing most Diseases

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 04 March 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b908
  1. William O Goldthorp, retired consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology, Cheshire
  1. wmogoldthorp{at}

    John Wesley is of course well known as a founder of Methodism and writer of sermons; less well known is this medical work. His uncle was a physician; and his Puritan great grandfather had, on being thrown out of his parish after the 1660 restoration, studied theology and medicine at Oxford, thereafter retaining his independence by practising medicine.

    Wesley’s preface to the first edition of Primitive Physic is 14 pages, much of it of a religious nature. His purpose was to give advice, including on saving money, and it includes a …

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