In 1766, William Withering heard that an old woman from Shropshire had a secret remedy for the cure of dropsy [ödem, ansamling av vätska], and he approached her to obtain the recipe. The old woman's name has been variously given as Mother Hutton or Mrs. Hutton; she enjoyed considerable success in treating patients with fluid accumulation (edema) who had not responded to other treatments. Mother Hutton's recipe contained a number of herbs, and Withering suspected from the beginning that foxglove (Digitalis pupura [ska vara purpurea]) was responsible for the curative power of the recipe. Withering was ultimately responsible for standardizing digitalis preparations, working on dosages, and studying side effects. He published a definitive study on the usefulness of foxglove for heart failure. Withering was not a simple opportunist. He was an accomplished botanist and, in 1776, published "A Botannical Arrangement of All the Vegetables [växter, inte grönsaker ...] Naturally Growing in Great Britain with Descriptions of the Genus and Species According to Linnaeus."- Gabriele Kass-Simon, Women of Science: Righting the Record (Indiana UP 1993), sid 270
Fast hennes identitet har visat sig betydligt vagare och mer svårbestämd än så. En annan skribent har hittat varierande andrahandsuppgifter om att Witherings tipsare var "en romsk kvinna", "en gammal dam i Shropshire", "en botaniker och farmakolog", "en herbalist på landet", "mor Hutton" och "gamla mor Hutton".
At the time of this writing, I am unable to confirm that the name of the "old Shropshire woman" was "Hutton"; it may well be a twentieth-century embellishment of the foxglove story (Krantz, 1973; Krinkler, 1985).- Richard J. Kahn, "William Withering's Wonderful Weed", i Jacalyn Duffin (red.) Clio in the Clinic: History in Medical Practice (Oxford UP 2005), sid 193
På Wikipedia hävdas att gamla mor Hutton är en modern myt och fabrikation. Det hade
In reality "Mother Hutton" was created in 1928 in an illustration by William Meade Prince [känd illustratör av tidningar och reklam] as part of an advertising campaign by Parke-Davis who marketed Digitalis preparations. There is no mention of a Mother Hutton in Withering's works and no mention of him meeting any old woman directly - he is merely asked to comment on an old woman's receipt (Recipe) by a colleague. Since 1928, Mother Hutton's status has grown from being an image in an advertising poster to an acclaimed Wise Woman, Herbalist, Pharmacist and Medical Practitioner in Shropshire who was cheated out of her true recognition by Dr. Withering's unscrupulous methods.- Wikipedia: Mother Hutton