Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 753
Holy incorruptible bodies and tropical medicine studies

1 RVT Medical Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Visiting Professor, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, Hainan, China

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Date of Web Publication21-Aug-2017

How to cite this article:
Sriwijitalai W, Wiwanitkit V. Holy incorruptible bodies and tropical medicine studies. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:753

How to cite this URL:
Sriwijitalai W, Wiwanitkit V. Holy incorruptible bodies and tropical medicine studies. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Mar 4];10:753. Available from:

The impact and effect of religious belief on public health cannot be denied. The belief in holy incorruptible bodies can be seen among the Christian and the Buddhist. In fact, the incorruptible body is a natural mummification and links with the holiness. In medical history, it is strongly related to the public health system. The situations in tropical medicine can be well demonstrated. Focusing on plaque, the public health policy and history analysis showed that “In the past, the passage from contagion to illness ended in death, as human remedies had no effect. The only way to conquer it was invoke the incorruptible spirit of a saint.”[1] In the present, there are some new reports on the studies of holy incorruptible bodies. Many are reported issues are relating to important tropical diseases. For example, Morrow et al. reported a forensic entomological study on holy body and implied for the application in post mortem test of each individual.[2] Charlier et al. studied on the heat of a holy Christian incorruptible body and mentioned for the tuberculosis as a cause of the death, implying the importance of tuberculosis for a very long time.[3] Indeed, a similar finding from paleopathology study in another holy Christian incorruptible body also showed lung tuberculosis.[4] In fact, Petaros et al. noted that “proper bioarchaeological research could bring useful osteobiographical updates to the existing records about these saints.”[5] The scientific approach on the holy bodies can give us many new knowledge and information.[5],[6],[7] Fulcheri noted that “investigations are of particular interest not only in the anthropological, paleopathological and biological profile but also from an historical, cultural, religious, literary and artistic point of view.”[6]

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   References Top

Lippi D, Conti AA. Plague, policy, saints and terrorists: a historical survey. J Infect 2002;44:226-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Morrow JJ, Baldwin DA, Higley L, Piombino-Mascali D, Reinhard KJ. Curatorial implications of Ophyra capensis (Order Diptera, Family Muscidae) puparia recovered from the body of the Blessed Antonio Patrizi, Monticiano, Italy (Middle Ages). J Forensic Leg Med 2015;36:81-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
Charlier P, Huynh-Charlier I, Poupon J, Fox CL, Keyser C, Mougniot C, et al. The heart of Blessed Anne-Madeleine Remuzat: a biomedical approach of “miraculous” heart conservation. Cardiovasc Pathol 2014;23:344-50.  Back to cited text no. 3
Fornaciari G, Spremolla G, Vergamini P, Benedetti E. Analysis of pulmonary tissue from a natural mummy of the XIII century (Saint Zita, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy) by FT-IR microspectroscopy. Paleopathol Newsl1989;5-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
Petaros A, Skrobonja A, Bosnar A. Mummified saints of the Northern Croatian Littoral. Acta Med Hist Adriat 2012;10:131-40.  Back to cited text no. 5
Fulcheri E. Canonic recognitions and scientific investigations on the Mummies of Saints. Med Secoli 2013;25:139-65.  Back to cited text no. 6
Morimoto I, Buddhist mummies in Japan. Kaibogaku Zasshi 1993;68:381-98.  Back to cited text no. 7

Correspondence Address:
Won Sriwijitalai
RVT Medical Center, Bangkok
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.188504

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