Concept

Vis medicatrix naturae

Résumé
Vis medicatrix naturae (literally "the healing power of nature", and also known as natura medica) is the Latin rendering of the Greek Νόσων φύσεις ἰητροί ("Nature is the physician(s) of diseases"), a phrase attributed to Hippocrates. While the phrase is not actually attested in his corpus, it nevertheless sums up one of the guiding principles of Hippocratic medicine, which is that organisms left alone can often heal themselves (cf. the Hippocratic primum non nocere). Hippocrates Hippocrates believed that an organism is not passive to injuries or disease, but rebalances itself to counteract them. The state of illness, therefore, is not a malady but an effort of the body to overcome a disturbed equilibrium. It is this capacity of organisms to correct imbalances that distinguishes them from non-living matter. From this follows the medical approach that “nature is the best physician” or “nature is the healer of disease”. To do this Hippocrates considered a doctor's chief aim was
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