Majno G.; The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World; Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ Pr; 1975. Ann Intern Med. 1998;128:318. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-128-4-199802150-00017
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;128(4):318.
Pus is therefore a noble substance: it is made of brave cells that never sneak back into the blood vessels to escape; they all die in the line of duty. Note also the double meaning of suppuration: it indicates that there is an infection, but also that the body is fighting it well. The outcome of the battle can be predicted, to some extent, from the aspect of the pus, as was observed even in ancient times. The whitish, creamy kind (and therefore rich in polys) is “preferable,” because it indicates that an infection is being fought effectively. Hence its ancient Latin name of pus bonum et laudable, “good and laudable pus.” Thin or malodorous pus suggests a poor defense of especially vicious bacteria.
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