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  1. Originally posted in 2010 on sikhawareness.com: The maharajah’s European doctor John Martin Honigberger, a native of Kronstadt in Transylvania (no Dracula jokes please!), was a medical man. He spent 15 years at Lahore, as a physician and a Director of a gunpowder mill in the service of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was at Lahore at the British ‘annexation’, after which he was made to relinquish his former position on receipt of a pension. His published work, Thirty-Five Years In The East, was released in two volumes with part 1 being an autobiographical narrative and volume 2 concentrating on medical matters. That being said, in volume 1 the author frequently refers to the medicine he used and encountered during his travels. The work is a fascinating one, for many reasons. In addition to the references to both traditional eastern and early western practices in combating disease, there are also brief but interesting accounts of some of the religious behaviour he witnessed. His thoughts towards the then emerging field of pharmacology are also documented and he often contrasts eastern and western practice. Honigberger’s status meant he was also privy to, or at least in close proximity to the bloody political intrigues that took place after the death of the popular monarch. Here too he provides his own version of events. I will be posting extracts purely out of itihaasik interest which should hopefully make the work more accessible to any interested brothers and sisters, especially the younger generation. I hope some of you enjoy. Personally I love these glimpses into our past. dalsingh101
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