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The History of Medicine

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All human settlements and civilisation used their natural environment as a source of procuring remedies .The written records of medicine date back to 3500 years. 

How did early man know medicine?
We can only guess that some 300,000 years of interaction and observation of environment gradually led to a wide use of plants, minerals, and animal products to produce certain effects.

Even animals choose the right combination and quantities of food they need to stay healthy, know poisonous plants to avoid, and may even know what to consume when ill.

First doctor and first pharmacist
Long before our ancestors could write, certain individuals in some groups would have become the most knowledgeable about healing and remedies and used to be consulted when any one in the group felt ill, and this was the first doctor and the first pharmacist.

Ancient civilisation and medicine

Ancient Egyptians:
Surviving Egyptian papyri from around 1600 BC list a wealth of plants, animals, and mineral remedies still used today.

Examples of those listed include plants such as coriander, fennel, gentian, henbane, pomegranate, senna, and thyme, minerals such as aluminum hydroxide, copper, iron, lime, and mercury. They also use animal products such as honey, ox liver, wax, and animal fats. Next time – in sha’ Allah - we will know more about medicine of ancient Chinese and medicine in India.

Radwa Samir -

Radwa Samir has a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from Cairo University.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 May 2007 16:00  

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