Oct 1999

Witchcraft, Folkloric Remedies and the Paranormal

Audiey Kao, MD, PhD
Virtual Mentor. 1999;1(2):13. doi: 10.1001/virtualmentor.1999.1.2.dykn1-9910.


  • Searching MEDLINE using "supernatural" terms and keywords yields the following:
    Werewolf — 20 citations
    X files — 260 citations
    Trick or Treat — 74 citations
    Ghost — 1634 citations
  • The Transylvania Journal of Medicine (1828-1839) was published by the Medical Department of Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. The university still exists, but the medical school closed in 1860.
  • Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center investigates apparent paranormal phenomena.
  • Human sacrifice was widespread as a gift to the gods among the Aztecs in the mid-15th century. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 people were sacrificed each year.
  • Witchcraft medicine uses a variety of plants to treat various afflictions. For example: Leaves from Thuja occidentalis are burned on coals to purify patients and exorcise evil spirits; Phytolacca americana is used by the Iroquois as an expectorant, emetic, cathartic, and for bewitchment; Smashed Linaria vulgarisplants when taken induces vomiting that can remove bewitching; and Sarracenia purpurea is used by sorcerers—exact use is unspecified.
  • October 31 is the birthday of: 
    John Keats, British lyric poet and physician, who died of tuberculosis at age 25; and 
    Marian Chace, who founded and championed dance/movement therapy as a profession based on body-mind relationships.


Virtual Mentor. 1999;1(2):13.



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