William Harvey - cure for gout?

A hot-tempered eccentric, the English physician William Harvey did much of his thinking and reading on the roof of his home, especially after 1628, when he lost most of his patients as a result of his revolutionary theories about the heart's function as a pump and its role in the circulation of the blood.

While up on the roof one day, Harvey discovered a way to relieve the nocturnal pains brought on by his gout. After sitting in his nightshirt with his legs in a pail of cold water until they were almost frozen, Harvey, according to a contemporary report, "betook himself to his stove and so 'twas gone."

[Perhaps unsurprisingly, his technique never caught on.]

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