Monday, June 27, 2011

Miracle cures from the age of Hippocrates

From simple syrups, eye drops, balms and pills to suppositories combining a multitude of ingredients, pharmaceutics has been a precision science since antiquity.

Used through the ages to cure a vast variety of ailments and diseases, pharmaceutics has its roots in the combination of medicinal plants and roots. In fact, Hippocrates’ (ca 460 - ca 370 BC) writings mention at least 250 medicinal plants in his studies, while Galen of Pergamon (AD 129-199), the most accomplished of antiquity’s medical researchers, described in his so-called Galenic Formulations medicines that combine up to 100 different ingredients each.

In AD 1300, the Byzantine physician Nicholas Myrepsos compiled a compendium of more that 2,200 medicines, many of which concerned mixtures of three to five different ingredients.

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