History of Medical Drugs

People have been treating physical and mental ailments with medicines for thousands of years. More than 500 medicinal remedies were listed on clay tablets from Babylonia, from the eighteenth century B. C. In the earlier day humans believed the world was controlled by good and evil spirits. People who became sick were thought to be victims of evil forces or of a god’s anger. The early remedies were medicines from natural sources. Such as plants and minerals that was found nearby.

Over time and with more experiments they learned to use practical recipes for various treatments. The oldest Babylonian texts on medicine date back to the Old Babylonian period in the first half of the 2nd millennium BC. The most extensive Babylonian medical text, however, is the Diagnostic Handbook written by the physician Esagil-kin-apli of Borsippa,[9] during the reign of the Babylonian king Adad-apla-iddina (1069-1046 BC). [10]

Along with contemporary ancient Egyptian medicine, the Babylonians introduced the concepts of diagnosis, prognosis, physical examination, and medical prescriptions. In addition, the Diagnostic Handbook introduced the methods of therapy and etiology and the use of empiricism, logic and rationality in diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. The text contains a list of medical symptoms and often detailed empirical observations along with logical rules used in combining observed symptoms on the body of a patient with its diagnosis and prognosis.

[11] The Diagnostic Handbook was based on a logical set of axioms and assumptions, including the modern view that through the examination and inspection of the symptoms of a patient, it is possible to determine the patient’s disease, its aetiology and future development, and the chances of the patient’s recovery.

The symptoms and diseases of a patient were treated through therapeutic means such as bandages, creams and pills. Most of our knowledge of ancient Hebrew medicine during the 1st millennium BC comes from the Torah, i. e. the Five Books of Moses, which contain various health related laws and rituals, such as isolating infected people (Leviticus 13:45-46), washing after handling a dead body (Numbers 19:11-19) and burying excrement away from camp (Deuteronomy 23:12-13).

While the observance of these statutes would have and do lead to several health benefits, Jewish belief commands that these rituals and prohibitions be kept purely to fulfill the will of God with no ulterior motive.

Max Neuberger, writing in his “History of Medicine” says “The commands concern prophylaxis and suppression of epidemics, suppression of venereal disease and prostitution, care of the skin, baths, food, housing and clothing, regulation of labor, sexual life, discipline of the people. Many of these commands, such as Sabbath rest, circumcision, laws concerning food (interdiction of blood and pork), measures concerning menstruating and lying-in women and those suffering from gonorrhea, isolation of lepers, and hygiene of the camp, are, in view of the conditions of the climate, surprisingly rational.

Li Che Ten used a resource called Pena T’Sao. It listed over 1000 plants and 8000 recipes that were used for treating peoples illness. A Hindu named Susrutas wrote a medicinal work called The Book of Life. As of today some of the same plants that were administered back then are still used today such as topically, orally, and rectally. The Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medicine source lists more than 700 different herbal remedies used by healers.

The concept of a drug was from the early Greek records as the word pharmakon, which also meant magic spell, remedy, or poison. Hippocrates was the first to propose that disease was caused by natural causes. He was also the first to dissect the human body to study the functions of specific organs.

The Islamic civilization rose to primacy in medical science as Muslim physicians contributed significantly to the field of medicine, including anatomy, ophthalmology, pharmacology, pharmacy, physiology, surgery, and the pharmaceutical sciences.

The Arabs were influenced by, and further developed Greek, Roman and Indian medical practices. Galen, Hippocrates, Sushruta and Charaka were pre-eminent authorities. [37] The translation of 129 works of ancient Greek physician Galen into Arabic by Hunayn ibn Ishaq and his assistants, and in particular Galen’s insistence on a rational systematic approach to medicine, set the template for Islamic medicine, which rapidly spread throughout the Arab Empire.

Muslim physicians set up some of the earliest dedicated hospitals, which later spread to Europe during the Crusades, inspired by the hospitals in the Middle East. Galen, another Greek physician who lived in Rome and built on Hippocrates theory of emperical learning. He used concepts from Aristotle that made him believe that disease was caused by an imbalance of blood, phlegm, black bile or yellow bile. The illnesses were cured with a herbal compound. During the Middle Ages Monasteries became centers of treatment and intellectual life.

Monks wrote and copied medicinal texts and grew herb gardens of medicinal plants. The Swiss surgeon Paracelus(1493-1541) was the first to challenge the teachings of Galen. He advocated the use of individual drugs rather than mixtures or potions. He believed that treating diseases with individual drugs would make it easier to determine which drug helped and which drug made the illness worsen for the patient. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the earliest official listings of medicinal preparations appeared in print.

The first was the Nuovo Receptario, which was compiled by doctors in Florence, Italy and was published in 1498. In 1546, Valerius Cordis published the Dispensatorium in Nuremberg, Germany. This type of official listing is often referred to as a pharmacopoeia. In the 19th century, the French physiologist Claude Bernard(1813-1817) explained how drugs work on the body. Because of his laboratory methods to study drugs, he is credited with founding the field of experimental; pharmacology.

Pharmacology is the science of drugs and their interaction with the system of living animals. By the late 19th century, pharmacology had become a scientific discipline. Following the lead of Oswald Schmiedeberg at the University of Strasbourg in Germany. Early settlers had to rely on domesyic or kitchen medicine from home remedies. When the colonies grew in the 18th century, they attracted more a broader range of immagrants, including physicians and apothecaries. An apothecary was the forerunner of todays pharmacist’s in England.

Introduction to Medical Science * Stages of medical science effort: Stage 1: the stage of translation from foreign sources to Arabic. Stage 2: the stage of excellence & genuine contribution in which Islamic Physicians were the leaders of medical science. …

1. A number of drugs have been used for centuries, either as remedies or in religious ceremonies. Describe how three of these drugs were used by ancient civilization and how they are used today. Include in your answer the improvements …

? HISTORY OF PHARMACOLOGY Pharmacology Is the scientific study of the origin, nature, chemistry, effects, and uses of drugs Pharmacology is not synonymous with pharmacy. Pharmacology deals with how drugs interact within biological systems to affect function, while pharmacy is …

Galen was a Greek pharmacist-physician who lived in Rome and who describe the method of preparing formulas containing plant and animal drugs and the term ”galenical pharmacy” was originated. In 19th century material medica (medical matter) undergo divisions: 1. pharmacology …

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