late 14c., "substance obtained by mining," from Old French mineral and directly from Medieval Latin minerale "something mined," noun use of neuter of mineralis "pertaining to mines," from minera "a mine" (see mine (n.1)).
Meaning "material substance that is neither animal nor vegetable" is attested from early 15c. The modern scientific sense ("inorganic body occurring in nature, homogeneous and having a definite chemical composition and certain distinguishing physical characteristics") is by 1813.
As an adjective, early 15c., "neither animal nor vegetable, inorganic," from Old French mineral and directly from Medieval Latin mineralis. The sense of "impregnated with minerals" is first in mineral water (early 15c.), which originally was "water found in nature with some mineral substance dissolved in it" (later made so artificially).
1560s, "study and description of natural objects, natural philosophy" (a sense now obsolete), from French physiologie (16c.) or directly from Latin physiologia "natural science, study of nature," from Greek physiologia "natural science, inquiry into nature," from physios "nature" (see physio-) + logia "study" (see -logy). Meaning "science of the normal function of living things" is attested from 1610s. Related: Physiologic; physiologist.
The two words [physics/physiology] had once the same wide meaning of natural science or natural philosophy. They have now been narrowed & differentiated, physics retaining only the properties of matter & energy in inorganic nature, & physiology only the normal functions & phenomena of living beings. [Fowler, 1926]