Recipes with seeds, leaves and roots in sumero-Arkadian pharmacy?

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giorgiana1976 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The recipes often cites palm, cedar, pine, fig, almond, and their fruit, and cane, saffron, mustard, chicory, onion, garlic, sesame.

Drugs from nature animals were obtained from snakes, lizards, wolves, dogs.

Drugs related to mineral were gypsum, sulfur, alum, metal oxides. The recipes were generally composed of many ingredients. Medication was varied and was met as the form of solutions, ointments, maceration, powders, suppositories, poultices from fetid organic products in order to cast evil spirits.

Pharmacopoeia  recommend seeds, roots, stems and sap of young shoots, leaves and fruit, distinguishing between herbaceous, woody, aromatic and resinous. Are often used only some plant species that grow in specific places.

 Sometimes are included in recipes some ingredients with magical action, such as dust or powder on the doorstep or a tomb, temple or any town left. Preparation of medicines is done in a way very carefully, weighing the ingredients as accurately as can be. It is assumed that there were used quite sensitive scales. The unit for weight was talent, and 60 shekels were the equivalent of 0.27 g.

Medical texts gave precise instructions on how to prepare the remedies. Medicines should be taken at certain times of day or night, or introduced into the body orally or applied externally. It is often used fumigations or smelling a therapeutic substance, poultices were applied  with different mixtures, held 3-4 days, there were oil enemas and suppositories. There were small bronze tubes through which drug substances were placed in body cavities,or therapeutic  dust were blown in. Along with medicines, prescribing massage and gymnastics was often recommended. Prescribing a large number of recipes for the same disease, which apparently were used at a time. Fermented beverages were known.

 Code of Hammurabi provided suppression of the abuse of beer in some taverns,which  it was initially used during religious ceremonies. Much later, beer consumption has become a habit. Babylonians Art in perfumery and cosmetics was recognized in the Orient, by intense trade that they do with it. Herbs were apparently planted under the care of trained gardeners.

In his "Herbarium Assyrian" (1924), R. Campbell Thompson has described over 250 medicinal plants, 180 animal preparations and 120 chemicals.

 Selling all kinds of drugs was so active that it seems that there was, at the time of Hammurabi, a street of  remedies seller in the city of Sippar. In Hippocratic writings are found many recipes from Babylonian medicine and pharmacy , and some Greek terms of drugs name,  that are used today, are of Babylonian origin.


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