Top: image of Pisciarelli, Campi Flegrei, Naples, with strong gas emission and flowing volcanic muds; Anticlockwise from left: SEM image of Samos smectite; crystals of natron, Pikrolimni, Kilkis, N Greece (images E. Photos-Jones). Bottom right: Death of Empedocles in Mount Aetna, painting by Salvatore Rosa (1665-1670) (image from www). GR-AMs logo by Allan Stroud after a depiction in marble stele of Asclepius and Hygeia, Italy.
Antimicrobial Minerals Project
The GR-AMs (2016-17) project funded by the Wellcome Trust (Seed Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences )
sets minerals known in antiquity for their medicinal applications into a modern pharmacological context.
It examines them within the original natural and cultural landscapes from which they derived and evaluates them in the presence of the microbial life (bacteria, algae, fungi), the habitats of which they have always shared.
GR-AMs asks the question: could the antimicrobial activity of some minerals, minerals-rich waters and muds be due to the presence of that microbial life?
Medicinal minerals have so far been tested selectively, and for individual properties, rather than holistically, as components of a diverse ecological habitat.
In antiquity, doctors, healers, seers, magicians or surgeons have approached natural (botanical or mineral) remedies holistically, based on sensory evaluation and empirical experimentation.
The GR-AMs Project takes on a similar approach, based on the study of specific landscapes long acknowledged for their therapeutic constituent parts.
This approach is now backed by rigorous scientific testing and analysis.