It’s official: just in time for June & in the spirit of Chinese medicine, both Julie & Christian have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine!
…In the spirit of Chinese medicine? yes, you read that right. Vaccines actually have their roots in Chinese medicine!
Find out more below!
There was a saying in ancient China: “One half of a person’s life is up to destiny. The other half is up to Smallpox.”
During the 15th century, Chinese doctors developed a technique to protect people against Smallpox called variolation.
The procedure involved taking dried flakes of pus from the blisters of a survivor, powdering them & either blowing them into a patient’s nose or applying them to a small cut on an uninfected patient’s arm.
The patient would get sick, but the symptoms would be milder. They would survive & become immunized against the disease.
Chinese medicine discovered that using the pus produced by an inoculated patient provided even milder symptoms in the next patient, & that the pus from the seventh patient in the inoculation chain provided immunity with almost no symptoms whatsoever!
The technique of variolation then made its way to the Middle East & Africa, where, in 1718, lady Montagu of England saw the procedure being performed in what is now Turkey.
Having lost many family members to smallpox & been scarred by the disease herself, lady Montagu chose to have her 5 year old son Edward undergo the procedure. She instructed Dr. Charles Maitland, her personal physician, to supervise & learn the technique.
When she returned to England, Dr. Maitland variolated Lady Montagu’s 4 year old daughter in front of members of the College of Physicians.
The inoculation proved successful, & lady Montagu began promoting variolation as a method of immunizing the general public.
The technique quickly spread through the West, saving countless lives. Variolation, however, was difficult to perform, & so a new, easier method was developed which involved injecting a solution of the dead virus.
Edward Jenner, the founder of modern vaccination, learned this technique. After discovering that milkmaids infected with the mild illness of cowpox developed an immunity to smallpox, he decided to use the pox from a cow. He called the procedure “vaccination” after the latin word vacca, which means cow.
Thus, the modern vaccine was born!